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.
LOCATION OF THE CAVE :CLICK HERE
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
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
THE CAVES AFTER CAVE NO 16.
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
Dance of Lord Shiva
exquisitively carved pillars and pilasters
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA:---
….. to be continued