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7 Incredible Facts About India's Architectural Wonder: The Kailasa Tample

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7 outstanding facts about Kailasa Temple that will blow your mind!


The said phrase was not coined in jest, nor can it be used in vain. Anyone who visits this mysterious and beautiful country can't help but agree with that point. With thousands of years of history, India has a lot to offer, especially those beautiful temples that have stood the test of time and proudly tell their own story for future generations.

One such mysterious and unusual location has been the subject of numerous discussions and studies by archaeologists, historians, and visitors alike- the KAILASA TEMPLE. In this blog, we will discuss the characteristics that contribute to Kailasa Temple's status as the World's Architectural Wonder.

This multi-story structure was built as a tribute to Lord Shiva's home in the Himalayas' Kailasa Parbat. It is located in the city of Aurangabad, Maharashtra, in the Ellora Caves. Every year, visitors from all over India and abroad flock to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Check out these 5 astounding characteristics that make it special and one of the most mysterious and fascinating places on the planet.

The characteristics of the Kailasa temple:

  1. A Megalith structure

Kailasa temple was built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty. What distinguishes it from other temples around the world is that it was carved from a single piece of basalt rock! Archaeologists believe that the 6000-year-old rock was carved out first from the top, and then the carvers moved downwards. That is, it was carved from the roof to the base in a methodical manner. This method of construction is diametrically opposed to the traditional method of building from the ground up.

2. Cut Out Techniques

Typically, rock structures are built using the cut-in technique. The rock or hill is cut from the front and then carved as the construction progresses. The Kailasa temple, on the other hand, is built using the cut-out technique, which is the polar opposite of the more popular cut-in technique. That makes one wonder about the level of architectural knowledge in ancient India. Most importantly, how did they calculate the exact dimensions and angles of the structures they were building using only scales or rulers and no sophisticated engineering equipment like we use today to determine the correct dimensions? Isn't it intriguing?

3. The Structural Design and the Mesmerizing Carvings

The Ellora caves contain approximately 32 cave temples. The Kailasa Temple is the 16th cave temple and stands approximately 32 metres tall. With just one glance at this enthralling structure, one is completely ensnared and impressed by its beauty and grandeur.

The U-shaped structure is a perfect example of the artisans' exemplary skills in creating this magnificent temple. The interior of the temple contains many beautiful sculptures of deities and carvings with such elaborate designs and detailing that one wonders whether such ethereal structures were created by man or if God himself descended from the heavens above. It gives you the impression of entering a completely different world or dimension.

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The incredibly precise design and construction methods raise an important question. How were those artisans able to carve out such complex designs without the availability of heavy and complex machinery and with only picks and chisels? Absolutely incredible!

4.Where Is The Evidence?

The Kailasa temple is so massive that tonnes and tonnes of rock had to be removed from the site in order to build it. Archaeologists estimate that at least 40000 tonnes of rocks were removed due to the temple's massive size. What is incredible is that the rocks and debris were never recovered. The area surrounding the temple was thoroughly scouted, but no debris or dumped rock was ever discovered! So the question of what happened to the massive amount of debris remains unanswered. What happened to it?

5. Plundered; yet she stands tall

The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb is said to have ordered 1000 labourers to destroy the Kailasa temple during his reign. However, even after three years of hard work, they were only able to cause minor damage to this massive structure. She has witnessed the atrocities committed by cruel emperors. She has endured climatic changes and natural disasters, and yet she stands tall, carrying within herself an unknown number of forgotten tales and lore. These hardworking people with a never-say-die spirit built massive monoliths, underground tunnels, bridges, balconies, and even a sophisticated drainage system. How did they envision, plan, design, and then execute such intricate and complex structures with the simple artistic tools and knowledge?

6. No mean feat!

This archaeological feat must have taken hundreds of years to build, one would think. However, archaeologists believe that this temple was built in just 18 years! This is absolutely mind-boggling given that, even with modern machinery at our disposal, achieving what they accomplished in such a short period of time would be impossible.

7. The marvel that is Kailasa temple!

There are so many unresolved mysteries surrounding this temple that we are still in the dark about. The more one attempts to unravel them, the more questions are raised.

People, particularly in Western countries, believe that this temple is the work of aliens, and that no human could have created such architecture without advanced techniques and machinery at the time. They have the right to their own opinions. OR, it could be argued that our forefathers were quite advanced and equipped with knowledge and tools that we will never be able to comprehend. We cannot confirm anything without evidence and can only form opinions; however, we cannot deny this beautiful, behemoth piece of art that has stood for centuries as evidence.

We may never find true answers to our questions, but as humans, we should be proud of having created such an archaeological marvel that is a true testament to the human mind, resilience, craftsmanship, and hard work.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Kanika Tandon

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