Ancient Indian Temple Carved Entirely From on Giant Rock

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In Maharashtra, India stands a temple 60-feet tall, 200-feet wide and carved entirely from one giant rock. Known as the Kailashnath Temple, the structure was created between 756-774 CE by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I as a symbol of dedication and homage to the Hindu Lord Shiva.

The foot of the temple is carved to look as if elephants are carrying the structure on their backs. Like other Hindu temples, the Kailashnath Temple has a Shikhara (spire) atop its highest summit.  It appears that the temple also once had bridges of stone connecting the various galleries to the center temple structures, but they have since fallen.

By studying the architecture and carving patterns, researchers have determined that the temple could not have been created by excavating from the front, meaning that the carvers had to have began at the top and started excavating downwards, slowly fashioning the temple out of the mountain side.

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Image credits: Ben Beiske, Deep blue oceanPratheeppShabnam SirurKris KumarSanjay achShabnam SirurShabnam SirurShabnam Sirur

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