Dedicated to

Deity Posture

Architecture Style



Krishna I

Completed on

756-773 CE

About Kailasanatha Temple, Ellora, Maharashtra

The Kailasanatha Temple, also called Kailash Temple, is one of the enormous ancient, rock-cut, Hindu temples in India. This is situated in Ellora, in the Indian State of Maharashtra. A huge megalith carved out from a single rock, is supposed to be one of the most remarkable cave temples.

The Kailash Temple is one of the 32 cave temples and sanctuaries, which altogether make up the Ellora Caves. This shrine lies in Cave 16 of the enormous cave structures. Associated to the 8th century Rashtrakuta King Krishna I (756-773 CE), the popular architecture appears to be accomplished in the Pallava and Chalukya styles.

Method of Construction

The Kailasha Temple is largely famous for its upright excavation method. The carvers began at the top of the actual rock, moving downwards.

The Legend

According to Marathi lore, the local king agonized from an incurable disease. His queen prayed to Prabhu Ghrishneshwara (Shiva) at Elapura, pledging to create a temple if her wish consented. She also vowed to be on a fast till the time that she could catch a glimpse of the shikhara on top of the temple.

As soon as the king was healed, she requested him to construct the temple instantly. But the architects asserted that it would take much time before they could complete the building of the shikhara.

One architect named Kokasa, though, came ahead and convinced the king and the queen that they would be able to behold the shikhara within a week. The smart architect began engraving from the top, consequently completing the shikhara by just a week. The queen was able to accomplish her vow to Bhagwan Shiva and was also able to complete her fast after the building of the shikhara.

Many experts think that Kokasa was the major creator of the temple, which was possibly understood as Manikeshwara at that period. Numerous 11th-13th century inscriptions found all over middle India praise architects born in the stunning family of Kokasa.

Mysteries of the Kailasanatha Temple

•The Kailasha temple is engraved out of a single rock. It stays a dilemma as to how workers during that time managed to attain that accomplishment and build a structure of that height.

•The whole temple was engraved from top to down. It is incredible to even attempt and comprehend how the crafters would have successfully completed this; that too, with only rudimentary tools like hammer, chisels and picks accessible to them at that time.

•The Kailasanatha temple has the biggest cantilevered rock roof in the world. And this was built in 700 AD; probably even before.

•Larger in area than the Pantheon in Greece, it is told that more than four hundred thousand tons of rock had been removed out to construct this temple!

•The temple was apparently formulated so as to mimic Mount Kailash. The pyramidal pattern of the primary shrine is thought to exemplify the real structure of Mount Kailash.

•It is speculated that work happened hardly 16 hours a day. Since there was no electricity in those days, the sun’s beams and the moonlight were reflected onto mirrors to help the crafters proceed with their work. Nonetheless, there are numerous internal parts of the building, where the sun’s rays cannot reach, no matter how many mirrors are used for the objective. It is amazing to speculate how the workers had managed extremely detailed carvings and monuments in those places.

Architecture of Kailasanatha Temple, Ellora, Maharashtra

Architecture and Sculptures

The opening to the temple yard encompasses a deep gopuram. Ample of the divinities at the left of the openings are Shaivite, whereas the ones on the right side are primarily Vaishnavite. A two-storeyed doorway directs to a U-shaped yard, bordered by a brightly carved columned walkway, three storeys tall. Originally, bridges of rock adjoined these hallways. Though, these have plunged in the current day.

The prominent shrine is devoted to Shiva and his mount Nandi. The sanctum sanctorum rooms a huge Shivalingam and accentuates a flat-roofed mandapa, supported by 16 pillars and a shikhara constructed in the Dravidian style. The shrine also shows various pillars, windows, inner and outer compartments, and meeting galleries, all engraved with the portrayals of deities, mithunas, and further pictures.

As always, the Nandi reclines on a stoop, right in front of the shrine. The Nandi mandapa and the primary shrine are each about 7 meters in size and are constructed on two storeys. The core of the temple is engraved, to indicate that elephants are carrying the structure over. A stone bridge attaches the Nandi mandapa to the main stoop of the shrine.

There are two Dhwajasthambas in the yard. One remarkable monument is that of Ravana attempting to lift Mount Kailasa.
One can also discover five separated shrines within the temple yard. Out of these, three are devoted to the Holy River Goddesses, Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati.

How to reach Kailasanatha Temple, Ellora, Maharashtra?

By Train: Aurangabad Railway Station is 28 km from the Ellora Caves. The following are a few trains running to Aurangabad: Sachkhand Express 12716, Tapovan Express 17617, Ajanta express 17063.
By Air: Aurangabad Airport is 35 km from the Ellora Caves. It connects Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.
By Bus: NearestCentral Bus Stand in Aurangabad is 27 km from the Ellora Caves.

Kailasanatha Temple, Ellora, Maharashtra Timings

No data was found

Kailasanatha Temple, Ellora, Maharashtra Images

Kailasanatha Temple, Ellora, Maharashtra on Map

Temple Videos

No Videos found


More Temples to Explore

Namaste Vanakkam Sat Srī Akāl Namaskārām Khurumjari Parnām Tashi Delek Khurumjari 


Let's Do It Toghter

Join The Team &
Bring The Change