Kailash, the grandest and most incredible of all Ellora cave structures, is world famous for its majesty and uniqueness. This mysterious rock-cut temple is not only an architectural marvel but also a symbol of India’s national dignity. The construction of this temple took a century and a half and still remains a mystery to scholars and researchers.
History of Kailash
In Ellora, an ancient Indian village, one can find many ancient cave complexes including Hindu, Buddhist and Jainist shrines. The oldest of these are the Hindu temples and shrines. However, who carved these caves and when remains a mystery. Scholars have not found any dates or descriptions of the construction. It was recently discovered that the Kailash temple was originally completely covered with white plaster, confirming its antiquity.
Controversy over the age of the temple
There are several theories regarding the age of the Kailash temple. Some claim that it was carved into the rock hundreds of years ago, while others believe that the temple is thousands of years old, just modified by Buddhist and Jainist monks. The inscriptions on the walls of the temple are very old and have almost crumbled over time, making them almost impossible to read and decipher. Locals claim that the grandiosity of the temple conveys the infinity of the universe and it was blessed by Hindu sages and gurus.
The steadfastness of Kailash
The Kailash temple was so immovable that even several attempts by invading Padishah Aurangzeb to break the temple pillars and desecrate the “divine structure” only resulted in further extermination by the Mughals. Only minor damage was done to the elephant sculptures. This shows that the temple was not only an architectural masterpiece, but also a symbol of national spirit and strength.
Uniqueness of Kailash
Kailash Temple was actually unbuilt – the entire structure was carved out of one giant piece of rock, without the use of scaffolding. Its dimensions are impressive: 55×36 meters, with a total area of 1980 square meters. The temple is located in the center of a 58×51 meter courtyard carved into the rock, going 33 meters deep into the rock. The lower part of the temple is a pedestal 8 meters high, on which stand 3-meter high statues of elephants and lions. Kailash is covered with intricate stone carvings that make it even more majestic. Interestingly, the size of this temple is twice as big and one and a half times taller than the famous Parthenon in Athens.
Construction of Kailash
In order to build the Kailash temple, about 200,000 tons of rock had to be extracted. Scientists estimate that the construction involved about 7,000 laborers and the project took about 150 years to complete. However, it is still a mystery how the Hindus managed such a grandiose project without the use of modern technology.
The Kailash Temple at Ellora is not only a majestic structure but also a symbol of India’s national dignity. Its uniqueness and steadfastness is admired and admired by scholars and travelers from all over the world. This temple is a proof that a nation’s greatness is not only manifested in its political and economic might but also in its cultural heritage.