Kailasa temple, Ellora

Kailasa temple, Ellora

The Kailasha (IAST: Kailāśa) or Kailashanatha (IAST: Kailāśanātha) temple is the largest of the rock-cut Hindu temples at the Ellora Caves, Maharashtra, India. A megalith carved from a rock cliff face, it is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples in the world because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment, and "the climax of the rock-cut phase of Indian architecture". The top of the superstructure over the sanctuary is 32.6 metres (107 feet) above the level of the court below, although the rock face slopes downwards from the rear of the temple to the front.

The Kailasa temple (Cave 16) is the largest of the 34 Buddhist, Jain and Hindu cave temples and monasteries known collectively as the Ellora Caves, ranging for over 2 kilometres (1.5 miles) along the sloping basalt cliff at the site. Most of the excavation of the temple is generally attributed to the eighth century Rashtrakuta king Krishna I (r. c. 756 – 773), with some elements completed later. The temple architecture shows traces of Pallava and Chalukya styles. The temple contains a number of relief and free-standing sculptures on a grand scale equal to the architecture, though only traces remain of the paintings which originally decorated it.

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