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Kailasa, Ellora caves

Formed from a single block of excavated stone, Kailasa temple is considered one of the most impressive cave temples in India. The enormous structure is one of 34 cave temples and monasteries that are collectively known as the Ellora Caves. Located in the western region of Maharashtra about 30 km from the city of Aurangabad, the caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and include monuments dating between 600 and 1000 CE. While there are many impressive structures on-site, it’s the megalithic Kailasa temple that is perhaps the most well-known.

Renowned both for its size and impressive ornamentation, it’s not entirely clear who had Kailasa temple built. While there are no written records, scholars generally attribute it to Rachtrakuta king Krishna I, who ruled from about 756 to 773 CE. This attribution is based on several epigraphs that connect the temple to “Krishnaraja,” though nothing written directly about the ruler contains information about the temple.  Further, the non- Rashtrakuta style temples located close-by denotes the involvement of Pallava and Chalukya artists.

(Image source: Wikimedia commons
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