It might not be one of the seven wonders of the world but Kailasa Temple is one of the most majestic cave temples in India. The huge structure is one of the 34 caves, temples and monasteries that are collectively known and Ellora Caves. Situated 30 km from the city of Aurangabad in the Western region of Maharastra, these caves include monuments dating between 600 and 1000 CE. The imposing architecture has its place in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are not just one or two but many grand and impressive architectural buildings in the complex, however, one of the most well known of them all is Kailasa Temple.
This rock cave temple is one of the most popular tourist destinations of not only Maharastra but also one of the most visited places in India and travellers from all across the globe flock here to witness the largest monolithic structure in the world. Kailasa Temple is the 16th cave and is one of the 30 caves forming Ellora Caves. The entire area covering these 30 caves is one of the most popular tourist hubs in Maharastra.
Planning to explore this stunning man-made marvel? The best time to explore Ajanta and Ellora Caves falls between June and March. The window is almost a year long, however, scorching heat in the months of summer might just make it difficult to explore this beautiful site, so one must avoid April and May. However, winter is the best and the ideal season to explore the caves.
History of Kailasa Temple
While the construction surrounding this magnificent architecture is still a mystery, historians believe that it dates back to 756 to 773 CE and was built by Rachtrakuta king Krishna I. Although, the details about the ruler has been documented nowhere and thus hasn't been found to date.
However, what is known is the fact that the architecture of the temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva represents the top of Mount Kailash, the Himalayas which is also considered to be his abode. Not just this but the method construction of the cave too was something that separates this temple from others. Kailasa Temple was constructed upside down and since there were no cranes, the army of men with hammers and chisels made their way vertically into 200,000 tonnes of rock. Standing at almost three storeys tall, the main temple complex, Shikhara is a sight to behold. With individual shrines, large statues and free-standing pillars, the artisans added intricate designs and sculpture details as they descended from one storey to another.
Carved from an enormous single rock, The Kailasha has stone carvings that depict various Hindu deities like Lord Shiva (to whom this temple is dedicated), Lord Vishnu and the panels in this temple even show the devotees of these gods. At the base of the temple, one can see the carved elements that appear to carry the load of the temple of their backs.
Major Attractions in and Around Kailasa Temple
While visiting Kailasa Temple, one must always plan a tour to Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The entire complex is a must-visit tourist destination in Maharastra. Apart from the caves, there are other destinations that should be on the checklist of every traveller planning a trip to the caves. Other tourist spots that should be on the checklist of every traveller are.
1. Bibi Ka Maqbara
It was built by Mughal Ruler, Aurangzeb in the memory of his first and chief wife Dilras Banu Begum. Its historical relevance and beauty, both are worth a visit.
2. Daulatbad Fort
Known as one of the undefeated forts in the country, this one must be on the travel bucket list of every history buff.
3. Grishneshwar Temple
Visit this ancient Hindu Temple which is also said to be the last jyotirlinga on Earth.
4. Jayakwadi Dam
When in Aurangabad, don't miss one of Asia's largest dams.
5. Goga Baba Hill
Take a short hike and witness the beautiful panoramic view of nature. This hilltop surely makes for one of the loved spots in Aurangabad.
6. Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum
Tales of brave Chhatrapati Shivaji is known to all, however, one can visit this museum to experience the valour of the brave fighter.
How to Reach Kailasa Temple
To visit both Ajanta and Ellora caves, one must take a train, bus or flight to Aurangabad and from there a traveller can either take a designated city and cave tours to these locations or can independently explore these archaeological sights. The distance of Kailasa Temple from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru approximately is 1,215, 341, 1,713, and 962 km respectively.
Aurangabad is a city in Maharashtra that is easily accessible by Indian railways. Major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai along with many others have direct superfast and express trains to this Indian city.
Merely 11 km from the main city, Aurangabad Airport aka Chikalthana Airport has great connectivity from the major Indian cities. One can catch direct flights from cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi from this airport at regular intervals.
Aurangabad is well connected by roadways. Regular buses and cabs are available from Mumbai, Shirdi, Pune and other cities as well. However, it is always advisable to opt for railways or airways when travelling from a longer distance.