Friday, 19 February 2016


20th February, 2016
DAY -3, 04-02-2016.
After the dharshan of Sri Ghrishneshwar, visited the Ellora caves also. Ellora caves is about 2 KM from the Jothir Linga Shiva Temple, Sri Ghrishneshwar /  Sri Ghusmeshwar. The Caves centre point  is No 16 dedicated to Lord Shiva. Caves 1 to 14 are for Buddhism of which No 10 is dedicated for Viswakarma.  From Caves 16 to 27 dedicated for Lord Shiva and rest up to 31 dedicated for Lord Vishnu. The last 4 caves ( 31 to 34) are dedicated to Jainism.

The cave No 16 is called as Kailasanathar temple. This is the only cave  temple chiseled from top to bottom  with 2 floor side balconies.   The details are as follows.
The kailasha is a great monolithic rock cut temple isolated from the surrounding rock and excavated from top to bottom and scooped out all through from outside. It is said that ten generations worked for it and took more than 200 years for the completion. The temple was planned and begun under the Rastrakuta King Dantidurga ( 735 – 757 AD) and the major work went on  in the reign of Krishna ( 757-773 AD). The artistic activities of kailasha  were carried out in several phases and spread over many reigns of the Rastrakuta Rulers. This cave is locally known as Kailasha  is a temple complex, with all essential elements of temple , including main shrine, Nandhi Shrine, gateway, surrounding cloisters and subsidiary shrines. The temple is richly carved with niches, pilasters, windows and cornices. The whole temple is decorated  with gigantic images of deities, amorous couples, friezes of epic scenes along with fauna, floral and geometrical designs. After  completion of the temple  there is evidence of renewed plaster and painting is about 9th to 11th centuries AD.  

Various sculpture carved here  in the temple are not there by accident, but by deliberate design. Every sculpture has a meaning and a purpose. The two elephants  and free standing pillars  of victory  in courtyard  reflect Rashtrakuta’s supremacy and power. The figures of Sankha–Nidhi and Padma-Nidhi and the panel  of Gajalakshmi in courtyard symbolize their prosperity. While the figures of river goddess Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswathi symbolize the purity, devotion  and knowledge respectively. The enormous animals  supporting  the super structure  of Kailasha show the great importance  given  for the animal worlds  in the Hindu mythology. The whole temple complex is surrounded by a  raised pillar corridor decorated  with huge panels of mythological stories.

The main temple is called as Rang-Mahal ( Painted Palace) because after its completion, the temple was plastered  and painted. Rang-Mahal is rectangular on plan. The 7 metre high plinth is decorated  with life size elephants  and mythical animals and friezes illustrating  two great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. The main temple has a Vadya mandapa, Nandi Mandapa, a Pillared hall, an antechamber and a small sanctum surrounded by five subsidiary  shrines ( Panchayatana). The ceilings of the sanctum, ante chamber and the hall have pendentive rosettes, goddess Anna-Poorna and dancing Siva respectively. The whole Temple is also decorated with beautiful paintings.

Lankeshvara temple carved on northern corridor is dedicated to Lord Shiva . The temple consists of a Pillared hall, an antechamber sanctum and Nandi shrine. On the parapet wall is a frieze of amorous couples carved in bass relief. The pillars and walls are  decorated with a number of interesting panels. The sanctum houses a linga and the back wall is carved with Maheshmurti in low relief.
Cave No 16 – Sri Kailasanathar temple 

 Main entrance to Cave No 16 – Sri Kailasanathar temple 
 North side corridor

 Shiva in a meditation posture 
 Shiva with 10 hands 

 Victory Pillar of Rashtrakuta’s 

 The remains of plastering and painting of Rang Mahal entrance  
  Rang-Mahal - ceiling reliefs and Paintings 
  Shiva Linga in the sanctum
 Prakaram sannadhis 
 Prakaram sannadhis 

 Prakaram sannadhis 
 The ground level corridor view from the Rang Mahal 
 Episodes from Mahabharata
Episodes from Ramayan

 Ground level Back side corridor 
 Ground level Back side - Elephants on the athistanam  


 Podhiyal sirpams 
 Podhiyal sirpams 

 Left and right side dwarabalakars 
 Left and right side dwarabalakars 
 Marriage of Shiva with Parvathy
 Shiva with Brahma with their consorts 
 Shiva with Dhakshan –goat head
 Saptha mathrikas
 Dance of Lord Shiva 

 exquisitively carved pillars and pilasters 

….. to be continued


  1. awesome, fantastic and very nice shots...just being speechless, thanks a lot for sharing.

    1. thanks for the comments Jyotirmoy Sarkar

  2. Very beautiful journey with grand pictures !!