Kailash Temple – Cave 16 of Ellora Caves

“Faith moves Mountains” so we have heard. But here is a temple – The Kailash Temple of Ellora caves – the finest example of “Faith: carving a temple out of a mountain”. It is beautiful and so different from other caves that I had to share this separately.
Kailash Temple

 

 

 

 

 

The temple is not a constructed structure but it is carved out of single solid volcanic rock. It is recognized as the greatest monolithic structure in the world today. And it is definitely not a cave, please. You will find unimaginable perfection in the curves and emotions of the sculptures. (click on images to see larger pic)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A long row of life sized elephants….
The lions carved out have a distinct foreign influence…

 

 

 

 

 

 

The temple walls, pillars, arches, ceilings, corners, galleries are all sculpted. Figures of Gods and Goddesses from the Puranas, epics, heavenly nymphs, musicians and scenes from mythological stories; we could just shake our heads in wonder, awe struck. Heavenly creation carved out with just chisel and hammer.

 

 

 

 

 

Lotus sculpted on the ceiling… the ceiling supported by heavenly figures on all four corners.

 

 

 

 

Scenes from the epic Ramayan…each character carved in detail…

 

 

 

 

 

…huge elephant, you can get an idea of its size, look at the woman standing below it…

 

 

 

 

 

This temple was initially covered with white lime plaster to replicate the snow covered peaks of Mount Kailash. What a spectacular sight it must have been then! Most of the plaster coating has crumbled off, but even today it looks so beautiful and magnificent. Only some traces of color paintings are visible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We spent an hour and a half there trying and exploring each and every corner. Yet it never struck us to climb the mountain and capture the top view of the temple. I would love to make a trip there once more just for this. If you are touring through Ellora but missing out the Kailash Temple, it will be the greatest miss of your life. Miss out the other caves still okay but not The Kailash Temple there.

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Ellora Caves, Aurangabad, here we come
Treasures at Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

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