Lad Khan Temple is the oldest of Aihole temples
The Lad Khan Temple, dedicated to Shiva, is one of the oldest Hindu temples and is located in Aihole in the state of Karnataka, India. It was built in the 5th century by the kings of the Chalukya dynasty. It is located to the south of the Durga temple, Aihole. The temple is named after a person named Lad khan, who turned this temple into his residence for a short period and this is the oldest temple of Aihole.
The temple consists of a shrine (garba griha) with mandapa in front of it. The mukha mandapa is situated in front of the sanctum and consists of a set of 12 carved pillars. The sabha mandapa leads to the maha mandapa and the pillars are arranged to form two concentric squares. The walls have floral patterns on them and the windows have lattice work done in the northern style. Facing the sanctum, a second smaller sanctum is situated above the center of the hall whose outer walls have many carved images. Originally dedicated to Vishnu, now the main shrine houses a Shiva Linga with a Nandi. The temple was built in a Panchayatana style, indicating a very early experiment in temple construction. The special feature of this temple is that it starts with a rectangular structure and ends with a square structure. Based on a wooden construction design, the square and rectangular plan has a steep roof, which is an adaptation of wooden styles in stone. The maha mandapa is open to exterior by large windows between the pillars. The roof above the maha mandapa shows a turret as a first version of the futures towers shikharas and vimana