The Temple itself was carved into the mountain, 164 feet deep, 109 feet wide, and 98 feet high. This means that the Kailasa Temple is one of the biggest monolithic structures on the planet, carved out of a single rock.
This magnificent temple, located in Ellora, Maharashtra, India, the temple itself is known as The Kailasa Temple. Some refer to it as the Kailasanatha temple.
Rightfully, the Kailasa Temple is considered one of the most remarkable cave temples ever built in India because of its size, architecture and sculptural treatment.
Their construction is generally acknowledged as having started during the eighth century.
Vertical Excavation — Carving a Mountain
The temple looks totally bada**. In fact, this is one of my favorite temples in India. It looks impressive, it looks different, and it looks majestic.
The most notable feature of the Kailasa Temple is ‘Vertical Excavation.’
When the temple was built, its carvers started at the top of the mountain and excavated downward. As explained by Rajan, K.V. Soundara, in the book Rock–cut Temple Styles, traditional methods were precisely followed by the master architect of the project, and could not have been achieved if its builders excavated the temple out of the front.
This fact makes the Kailasa unique and different from other temples.
The queen promised to build a temple if her wish was granted and promised to observe a fast until she could see the shikhara (top) of this temple.
Eventually, the king was cured, and the queen requested for the temple to be built immediately.
However, each and every architect who was introduced to the project explained that it would take months to build a temple complete with a shikhara (top).
Then, one architect called Kokasa explained to the King and Queen that they would see the shikhara of a temple within a week’s time.
Eventually, Kokasa started but using a different technique. Instead of carving from the side, he went for the top, and excavated the mountaintop vertically, from the top. Eventually, within a week, he finished the shikhara allowing the queen to conclude her fast.
One of the most notorious elements of the Kailsaaa temple depicts Ravana shaking the Kailasa mountain. The sculpture is recognized as one of the finest pieces of Hindu art, and it is possible that the temple came to be known as Kailasa after it.
More than 400,000 tons of rock were removed from the mountain.
It is estimated that around 60 tons of rock were removed each day during the temple’s initial construction phase.
It is believed that the builders worked for more than twelve hours a day, hauling around 5 tons of rock (average) out from the mountain each hour.