According to the information on an ASI (Archeological Survey of India) plaque, the temple is dated to the late 7th century CE and was likely dedicated to Surya, the sun god. The original idol in the garbhagriha (inner sanctum) is missing. However, there is a relief depicting Surya riding seven horses on the lintel of the door leading to the garbhagriha. Check the Surya, the Sun God page to read about the Surya shrine in the Hoysalesvara Temple complex in Halebidu, Karnataka, India.
Embedded into the outer wall are the jālandharas (perforated stone windows) and devakoshtas (niches), two of the unique features of the southern Dravida style architecture. The Durga Temple in Aihole, also built by the Chalukyas, has similar architectural elements embedded into its inner wall. The richly decorated shikhara (tower) of this temple is also unique in that it is octagonal.
It is not clear how the temple got its name. In Kannada, mālé means garland and mālegitti means a lady garland maker. It became a Shivalaya (a shrine for Shiva) after a Shivalinga was installed in its garbhagirha (inner sanctum) years later.
– Lower Shivalaya – Located just below Upper Shivalaya and to the east of Malegitti Shivalaya
– Upper Shivalaya
– Yellamma Temple – Located on the west side of the Agastya Lake
– Bhuthanatha Temple – Located on the eastern shore of the Agastya Lake
– Agatsya Lake – A view from the Badami Caves
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