The Great Pyramid of Egypt, one of the seven wonders of the world, was built by putting together more than 2 million blocks of rocks. The structure is considered one of the greatest features built by humans. But, did you know, the Kailasa temple, situated within the Ellora Caves, is made of just one rock. The temple, five times the size of the Egyptian pyramid, was carved out of a single mountain.
Where is the Temple located?
Located about 30 km from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, the rock-cave temple of Ellora is the largest monolithic structure in the world. It is the largest of the 34 cave temples within the Ellora caves.
Who Built the Temple?
Although there is no written record, it is said that the temple was built by Rahatrakta king Krishna I, who ruled from about 756 AD to 773 AD. This attribution is based on some inscriptions linking the temple with 'Krishna Raja', but those written directly about the ruler do not contain any information about the temple.
But why is this temple considered an architectural spectacle?
The reason is, this is the only temple in the world where a mountain was cut out from the top, to create a temple. In all other primeval caves and other structures, even in Ellora, the rocks are cut from the front and carved as they went along. This technique of rock cutting is known as “cut in monolith”, while Kailasa temple is the only temple that used the “cut out monolith” approach.
Modern day historians and archeologists are startled by some of the features within the temple. One of the pillars within the temple, over 100 feet tall, was constructed by scooping out all the rock around it.
Archaeologists confirm that over 4 lakh tons of rock had to be removed to construct the entire temple, which would not take years but centuries of human labor.
This is where things get more interesting!!
The historians have found no records of such monstrous task of construction spanning over decades and centuries. In fact, they believe the temple was built in less than 18 years. Many historians are of the view that the structure was created with the help of extraterrestrial intelligence as it is humanly and technologically impossible, even with modern day technology, to construct this temple in 18 years.
Archaeologists also back this theory because the design and size of the temple is much better and bigger than the other temples in Ellora. They believe the Kailasa temple was built centuries before humans started carving other temples in the compound. Unlike other 33 temples, Kailasa is the only temple that is visible from the air, like the Nazca lines of Peru. Even on Google Earth, the aerial view of Kailasa temple shows an X mark, which is a circular design, studded with 4 lions.
How to visit the temple?
Kailasa temple is situated next to the Grishneshwar temple, one of the twelve Jyotirling of Lord Shiva in India. It is one of the 34 temples within the Ellora Caves, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Ellora Caves are located 30 km from the city of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar (earlier known as Aurangabad), in Maharashtra.
Did Kailasa Temple get its due recognition
Despite being centuries ahead of its time, in terms of architectural excellence and design, the temple is yet to get its true recognition. If it was built anywhere outside of India, it would have probably been considered as a wonder of the world. It is time to burst our bubble of oblivion and start recognizing and promoting our primordial heritage.
P.S - This blog is too short to comprehensively depict the grandeur of the temple. Its true magnificence can only be witnessed by visiting the temple.