June 23, 2016
Many archaeological discoveries and ancient monuments that survived
to the present day suggest that our ancestors were far more advanced
than we think.
Massive and sometimes "impossible" structures make us
wonder how the ancient people built something like this thousands of
years ago, without the sophisticated construction equipment we have
One of such structures is the majestic
Kailasa temple, which
was carved out of a single rock block 1,200 years ago.
Located in the Maharashtra state in western India, it’s definitely
one of the most impressive ancient Hindu temples. It’s a part of the
Ellora Caves, an area that extends over more than two
kilometers (1,2 miles) and includes the total of 34 monasteries and
The Kailasa temple is 164 feet deep, 109 feet wide, and 98 feet
high, which makes it one of the largest monolithic structures in the
It is oriented towards the Mount Kailash, which is the home
of the god Shiva, according to the Hindu beliefs.
The temple is full of remarkable details and is decorated with the
traditional Hindu architectural elements, such as elephants, lions
makaras (sea-creatures in Hindu culture), erotic male and female
figures, scenes from,
The huge monolithic pillars in the courtyard, which are flanking the
entrance on both sides, are particularly striking.
It is estimated that about 400,000 tons of rocks were cooped out to
build this amazing monolithic structure.
The walls were carved with
extreme precision from top down, with a vertical excavation method.
No surprise that this challenging task took centuries of human labor
Most archaeologists believe that the Kailasa temple was completed in
the 8th century, during the reign of King Krishna I of the Rashtrakuta dynasty. It is also thought that the earliest carvings
were made back in 300 BC.
K. Dhavalikar, a retired Professor of Archaeology and the Director
of the Deccan College Post-Graduate Research Institute in Pune,
India, wrote a book based on the results of his research in the
According to him,
"all these shrines and the Kailasa
were not excavated at the same time, but belong to different
("Ellora", M. K. Dhavalikar, 2003, p. 44)
Despite all the research efforts, the archaeologists are clueless as
to who built the temple and for what purpose.
The only certain thing
is that the builders of the Kailasa temple had truly remarkable
skills since they managed to create such a huge monolithic structure
using just a few 'hand tools' like hammers, chisels, and picks.
There are still many questions that remain unanswered about the
origin and builders of the temple. Some people even argue that it
was built with the use of
You can learn more
about this theory in the video below: