Monday, January 12, 2015

outside - in

Thought behind the Thought

Reading people has been an old hobby of mine. I love to understand and analyse  the people I meet, from the way they dress to the way they talk, to the topics they choose to discuss and their views on various issues and concepts.
I have realised that many a times, what people wear as their image becomes transperent as you go on peeling off layers, and only when all the irrelevant things are out of the picture, you see very clearly the kind of person they are.

If that is so, I thought, wouldn't it be a great self-improvement technique, if we can ourselves peel off all the superflous layers and understand what we really are?

Art, Craft and Design

Peeling off layers and bringing out the inner spirit is exactly and literally the technique employed in the making of the world famous Kailash temple at Ellora, the biggest monumental construction in the world which was dug out in the top to down manner from sheer rock and the most widespread rock-carved projects ever commenced.

It is said that the Kailash Temple was constructed in the mid of 8th century under the guidance of King Krishna I (757-775 CE) of the Rashtrakuta era for his Nepalese queen as she was missing the presence of Kailash Mountain after moving to the Deccan. The queen was a huge follower of Lord Shiva.

The multi-level temple with its pyramidal structure looks like Mount Kailash, the home of Lord Shiva, with a height of 98 feet and a width of 109 feet. It is assumed that 2,00,000 lakhs tonnes of rock was required to be separated out which needed seven thousand labourers and almost took 150 years to dig the whole structure. Earlier, the temple was covered with white plaster which made it look similar to snow-covered Mount Kailash.

The rock-cut temple and has four parts- the body of the temple, the entrance gate, the Nandi shrine and a group of five shrines surrounding the courtyard.

The main body of the temple occupies a parallelogram, 45 metres by 33 metres, with sections of its sides projecting at intervals. It stands on a high plinth which is carved with sculptures of elephants and lions. The larger halls of the temples are decorated with images of Brahmanical Gods. The tower of the temple (
28.5 metres high) is in three diminishing tiers and is crowned by a cupola.

The gateway of the temple is double storeyed. On either side of the shrine of Nandi are two columns ( each
15.6 metres high)  having a Trishul, the ensign of Shiva. 

The Kailasha temples resemble the Chalukya temples at Pattadakal but it is far more refined in its design than the temples at Pattadakal. It was considered to be the model for all the temples in South India. The temple has many sculptural designs depicting events from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. There is a scene in a relief of Ravana trying to shake Mount Kailasha and Shiva pressing Ravana into the cavern of the mountain with his feet.

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