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Temples : Icon of Indian Heritage

Dr Ujwala Chakradeo

Dr Ujwala ChakradeoSep 13, 2021, 11:13 AM IST

Temples : Icon of  Indian Heritage

Believed to be a replica of Mt Kailash in the Himalayas, Kailash Temple is the only man made structure in the world where shikhara was constructed first and foundation came towards the end 


There is a great deal of mystique about temples. There is some kind of secretive element about temples that imparts this mystique aura. Attempts have been made in the past to unfold the mystery associated with temples and most of the time these efforts have resulted in causing an injury to these prestigious structures. The wounds are still bleeding in many places.

What knowledge, strength and capability were possessed by our ancestors to create the marvels in the form of temples? Kailash temple at Ellora is top on the list. The only man made structure in the world where shikhara was constructed first and foundation in the last.  Can anyone ever imagine building the peak first and then making the foundation of the temple? 

This temple is said to be the replica of Mount Kailash in the Himalayas. Amazing and astonishing work of art is this  Kailash temple at Ellora; about 30 KM away from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Completed by Rashtrakuta Raja Krishnaraja in the eighth century. The temple must have taken almost a hundred years to complete. The construction of the temple was started by King Dantidurg. This temple is one of the several caves on the site. 

Huge rock was first identified, a 30m x 60m rectangle was marked on it and this rectangular piece was then separated by digging a 30 m deep trench in the solid rock. Not a simple job to be performed. Almost 100 years were taken to complete the temple construction, better word would be temple carving. To dig the trench almost 40 thousand ton stone was carved out and thrown outside.  Even today, with all kinds of modern machinery available to man, it seems impossible to imagine how such a thing could have been manifested at that time. Moreover, it is impossible to imagine how the details and maps of the temple would have been made available from one generation to another over a period of one hundred years.

There are many beautiful sculptures on the walls of the temple from top to bottom, all carved in a similar manner. one wrong stroke of a chisel would spoil the work of many hours. but not a single mistake is observed in the entire temple.  The inner gabhara, which  is also made of stone, has sculptures on the inner side of the roof. How difficult it must have been for  the sculptors to carve such a beautiful sculpture without letting the pieces of stone get into the eye.

The flagpole in front of the temple has become the icon of Indian heritage. 


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