Kailasa temple, Kailasanatha temple
Located in Ellora, Maharashtra, Kailasa temple or Kailasanatha temple (Cave 16) is one of the largest rock-cut ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the most remarkable cave temples in India because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment. A megalith carved out of one single rock, the Kailasanatha temple is one of the 32 cave temples and monasteries collectively known as the Ellora Caves. The Kailasa temple construction was attributed to the 8th century Rashtrakuta king Krishna I in 756-773 CE. However, some other parts of the temple complex was commissioned by later rulers.
There is no doubt that the Kailasa temple was commissioned by a Rashtrakuta ruler, generally attributed to the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I (r. 756-773 CE), based on two epigraphs that link the temple to "Krishnaraja".The Baroda copper-plate inscription (c. 812-813 CE) of Karkaraja II (a ruler of a Rashtrakuta branch of Gujarat) mentions Krishnaraja as the patron of Kailasanatha, and also it mentions a Shiva temple at Elapura (Ellora). It states th...View more
t the king constructed a temple so wondrous that even the gods and the architect were astonished. It is believed by most scholars that this is a reference to the Kailasa Shiva temple at Elora. However, the scholars believes that the construction of the temple spanned the reigns of multiple kings.
The temple architecture shows traces of Pallava and Chalukya styles. The entrance to the temple courtyard features a low gopuram. Most of the deities at the left of the entrance are Shaivaite (followers of Lord Shiva) while on the right hand side the deities are Vaishnavaites (followers of Lord Vishnu). A two-storeyed gateway opens to reveal a U-shaped courtyard. The courtyard is edged by a columned arcade three stories high. The arcades are punc...View more
uated by huge sculpted panels, and alcoves containing enormous sculptures of a variety of deities. Originally flying bridges of stone connected these galleries to central temple structures, but these have fallen.Within the courtyard, there is a central shrine dedicated to Shiva, and an image of his mount Nandi (the sacred bull). The central shrine housing the lingam features a flat-roofed mandapa supported by 16 pillars, and a Dravidian shikhara.The shrine ľ complete with pillars, windows, inner and outer rooms, gathering halls, and an enormous stone lingam at its heart ľ is carved with niches, plasters, windows as well as images of deities, mithunas (erotic male and female figures) and other figures. As is traditional in Shiva temples, Nandi sits on a porch in front of the central temple. The Nandi mandapa and main Shiva temple are each about 7 metres high, and built on two storeys. The lower stories of the Nandi Mandapa are both solid structures, decorated with elaborate illustrative carvings.The base of the temple has been carved to suggest that elephants are holding the structure aloft. A rock bridge connects the Nandi Mandapa to the porch of the temple. The base of the temple hall features scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Timings : Morning 09:00 AM To 05:00 PM
Wear neat and modest clothes
Ellora occupies a relatively flat rocky region of the Western Ghats. Ancient volcanic activity in this area created many layered basalt formations, known as Deccan Traps. Formed during the volcanic activity of the Cretaceous geological period, one such west-facing cliff houses the Ellora Caves. Its vertical face made access to many layers of rock formations easier, enabling architects to pick basalt with finer grains for more detailed sculpting.
Ellora, Maharashtra 431102
Aurangabad is the nearest city to Kailasa temple and it is well connected with them by road. From Aurangabad bus and taxi services available to reach Kailasa temple. Aurangabad is also well connected by state transport buses from major cities of Maharashtra like Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Satara, Kolhapur and Ahmednagar.
How to Reach Kailasa Temple Ellora from Mumbai: To travel from Mumbai to Kailashnath temple head towards Thane - Kasara - Igatpuri - Nashik. From Nashik you can reach Kailasa Temple via Kopergaon or Andarsul.
How to Reach Kailasa Temple Ellora from Pune: To travel from Pune to Kailashnath temple head towards Shikrapur - Ranjangaon - Shirur - Supe - Ahmednagar - Newasa - Limbe Jalgaon - Daulatabad - Kailasa Temple.
How to Reach Kailasa Temple Ellora by Train:
Aurangabad is the nearest railway station to reach Kailasa temple which is situated around 30 kms from the temple. There are direct trains available from the major cities in Maharashtra; like Mumbai, Pune, Ahmednagar, Nashik etc. to reach Aurangabad.
Aurangabad airport is located at about 15 kms from the Kailasa temple and it is the closest airport to the Kailasa temple. Aurangabad airport is well connected to major cities of Maharashtra and India. One may fly to Aurangabad and reach Kailasa temple by any local transport.