Inner Sanctum with
Doorway to Inner Sanctum
Shiva Lingam and Yoni
Apsaras and Gandharva
Scenes from Ramayana
Laksmi with Elephants Inside Entrance
Manu Stambha Just Inside the Temple Courtyard
Peaceful (Shanti) Shiva
Searching for Where the Shiva Lingam Begins and Ends
image of Ardhanarishvara, Lord-who-is-half-woman, is a well-known
figure of Shiva joined with his consort, Parvati.
Kamadeva and Rati
and Rati with Sugarcane Bow
god of desire, Kamadeva, and his consort, Rati, are carved on the
inside of the courtyard wall for visitors just entering, or just
leaving. How appropriate to be reminded of the powerful pull of
desire both before and after visiting a temple.
In the 8th and 9th centuries CE, the Kailash Cave Temple was carved out of the volcanic rock which formed countless plateaus in the western ghats (small mountain range), part of the geological formation known as the Deccan Plateau. Part of a group of 34 caves built into the side of this plateau, Kailash, cave number 16, is monumental by any standards. The Kailash rock-cut temple stands 30 metres (99 feet) high, 52 metres (170 feet) in length, and 33 metres (108 feet) wide. The other 33 caves, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain, were dug into the side of the plateau much like other cave dwellings, but Kailash appears to have been literally excavated from the top in order to create a free-standing temple encircled by smaller cave shrines, the entire complex carved out of the same black rock.