Deities: Lord Shiva
Location: Ellora, Maharashtra
Built in: 8th century
Built by: Rashtrakuta king Krishna
Also known as: Kailasanatha Temple
Best time to visit: October to February
STD Code: 02432
Kailash Temple , also Kailasanatha Temple is one of the 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 km, that were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff in the complex located at Ellora, Maharashtra Ellora that lies just 30 kms from Aurangabad. It was built in the 8th century by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna.
At Ellora, 34 cave temples were carved out of the hillside with hand tools. Only 12 of these 34 caves in the centre are the most impressive. The massive Kailash Temple (cave 16) is nearly one a half time taller than the Parthnon and occupies almost twice its area. It is believed that it was constructed by excavating approx. 200,000 tones of rock and is possible the world’s largest monolithic structure. Representing Shiva’s Himalayan home, the temple is exquisitely sculpted with scenes from Hindus mythology, each pulsing with drama, energy and passion.
Kailash Temple at cave 16, were a big Shiva-linga (form of Lord Shiva) is worshiped. It is the biggest building carved in a stone in the whole world. Is a part of Ellora Cave Complex. Beautiful sculptures from Ramayana and Mahabharata are carved on the walls of this cave temple.
The depiction of the demon Ravana shaking Mount Kailash is a masterpiece contain the scenes of semi-mythological history, the royal court and popular life of the ancient times, as told in romances and plays. Some pictures recall the Greek and Roman compositions and proportions, few late resemble to Chinese manners to some extent. But majority belongs to a phase which is purely Indian as they are found no where else. These monuments were constructed during two different periods of time separated by a long interval of four centuries. The older ones were the product of last to centuries before Christ and belong to Himalaya period of Buddhism in later part of 2nd century AD when Buddhism was divided into two sections, after the conduct of the fourth general council under another great king, Kanishka.
The scheme of the Kailash temple is basically divided into four main parts: the body of the temple itself, the entrance gateway, an intermediate nandi shrine and the cloisters surrounding the courtyard. One cannot help but be aware of the spiritual energy that went into its creation – a jewel hewn out of the rock itself. One of the India’s greatest architectural treasures was hewn out of the solid rock of the hillside to form a free-standing temple consisting of a gateway, two-storied halls and the main shrine within. The most majestic creation is the Kailash Temple, a full-sized freestanding temple flanked by huge elephants all carved from solid rock, pillars and podiums, as the workers dug away some 200,000 tons of rock. The result is an awe-inspiring representation of Shiva’s Himalayan abode. Nearby caves are alive with stone murals depicting divine struggles and victories. With these caves before us, it is clear that India far surpasses the rest of the world in the glory of its rock-cut architecture.
Every December, the Ellora festival of music and dance at the Kailasha Temple, which is attended by large number of people.
How to reach:
by Air: Aurangabad airport is situated the closest to the magnificent caves of Ellora. Approximately 15 km away, the airport is connected with the Delhi and Mumbai international airport, by public as well as private airlines.
by Rail: The rail head that lies nearest to the Ellora Caves comprises of the Aurangabad railway station. It falls on the South Central Railway Line and is situated about 30 km from Ellora. There are direct trains linking this station with most of the key cities in India.
by Road: Aurangabad city is located closest to Ellora Caves and is well connected with them by road. One can easily find taxis as well as buses plying between the two destinations. From Aurangabad, one can also find buses and taxis to Mumbai,
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