Kailasanath (Lord Shiva) Temple, Ellora

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An integral part of the World famous Ellora caves- Kailasa Nath temple at Ellora is a World Heritage site of the UNESCO.

According to the World body, it is the epitome of Indian architecture which needs to be preserved for the many generations to come.

The richly sculptured temple is excavated (not constructed) on a single rock of Charanadri hills. It took almost 100years to complete, which also involved removing about two lakh tones of rock. What a meticulous planning and also execution!

The temple is an immortal contribution of the Rashtrakuta rulers to the Word heritage. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Kailas Nath. The architecture is Dravidian in style. As usual to Dravidian Shiva temples there is a big Nandi (Bull) statue facing the sanctum sanctorum.

At the sanctum sanctorum a huge Shiva Linga is carved out of a living rock. There is also a Sabhamandap or central hall which houses the Nandi. Initially the entire structure was covered with white plaster which is almost faded now.

The base of the Nandi Mandap has been carved to suggest that life-sized elephants are holding the structure aloft. The grand sculpture of Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva, with his full might is a landmark of Indian art.

In all, Ellora Caves has 34 caves belonging to Hindu, Budhist and Jain traditions. Caves 1 to 12 belongs to Budhism, 13-29 to Hinduism and the rest to Jains. The Kailasa Nath temple is on cave no16.

Ellora caves is 30 kilometers away from Aurangabad, which is well connected by road to all parts of Maharashtra.

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