Kailasa Temple Ellora

Kailasa Temple is the oldest and biggest temple carved with engineering perfection.

What’s so special about this temple?

This temple was not constructed by adding stone blocks, but an entire mountain was carved to create this temple! This is the only temple in the world where a mountain was cut out from top, to create a structure.

It’s construction is generally attributed to the Rashtrakuta King Krishna 1 (756AD-776AD). Other than that, almost nothing is known about the origins, constructors and builders of Kailasa temple, there are no dates neither,nor any trace or inscriptions to describe the construction to be known to the world on the overall process and entire purpose of construction. The inscriptions are very old, most of them got diminished as hundreds of years passed by. Deciphering and reading inscriptions is almost impossible.

The plan of Kailasa Temple.

Historians and archaeologists are confused because of the sheer amount of rock that was removed from this temple. It is confirmed that over 400,000 tons of rock had to be scooped out and is believed to have taken 7000 labourers and 150 years to complete this project.

Practically speaking with modern technology, given the space and plan around the Kailasa temple, it is almost impossible to implement Ten 10-ton JCB machines to remove the rock pieces, as movement of each machine would require space and such huge machines can muffle up lot of space around them, their function is very complicated and when the ground is hollow the machine cannot operate and pose problem in itself.

Hypothetically, If the scale of work was carried today, it would have required at least 10 largest ever 10-ton JCB machines to excavate the pieces of rock of 20,000 tonnes by each machine. Each machine is able to excavate 100 tons of rock pieces in phased manner so even removal of 1000 tonnes each day would have taken more than 6 months i.e. 200 days of continous work !

And what’s more?

The temple has bridges that connect towers,rain water harvesting systems,drainage systems,hidden underground passages,elaborate balconies in different areas and complex stairways that connect multiple levels-all carved out of rock.

Interestingly no one has a clue till date where this 20000 ton debris is dumped .

It’s hard to believe that this was done by people with limited mathematical and architectural knowledge. Today building a massive structure like Kailasa temple would require pre-design and 3D conceptions using latest CAD softwares and high-tech computers. Imagining how the structure will look at which area we should have distance properly maintained to start carving, where we should pause, which side we should start building entrace, how the internal design be formed. There are hundreds of questions which require answers and only getting resolutions around these queries alone would require several months of hundreds of dedicated designs, 3D graphic artistes and designers who have knowledge of construction and civil work. Repeating such a feat even by using modern technology is almost impossible.

Some more pictures:

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