Art & culture
Ancient Kailash at Ellora Re-visited | Ravindra Gundu Rao
LA 46
The Ajanta and Ellora caves have long remained an architectural fascination for both well versed with the historical and cultural significance of the site and for those just beginning to scratch the surface. This book attempts to revisit the intent and the design of the monument through a novel perspective.
Book Review - The Kailas at Ellora- A New View of a Misunderstood Masterwork | Roger Vogler & Peeyush Sekhsaria
Mapin Publishing & INTACH Aurangabad Chapter, 2015

The rock cut architecture of 7th and 8th century Ajanta and Ellora ,are arguably among the best of the built heritage of the sub continent, later paving way for more of the same in Badami and perhaps even in the Dambulla Caves of Sri Lanka. Of these, Kailash stands out in a class of its own from somewhat similar monuments of Mamallapuram, which were from an earlier period by perhaps 5-6 centuries, and several in-situ colossal sculptures such as Bahubali in Shravana Belagola, Nandi in Chamundi Hill of Mysore - these being a reverse of the top down method of construction.

Thirteen centuries is a long time even by sub continental standards, as the sun and the moon are the only witness to the true history; rest of us mortals can rightfully indulge in speculative knowledge. That always makes for interesting reading and debate. At the outset, any one reading or reviewing such a publication needs to know the monument under consideration in detail, which I am not, making my task more difficult. I had seen the monument three decades ago with perhaps less evolved eyes and mind.

The American author is fascinated as most of us would be, with the Kailash monument from nearly half a century since his visit three decades ago and has researched available historical documents quite exhaustively and has presented his depth of metaphorical, the Hindu mythological, and philosophical besides the architectural knowledge to his global readership in an interesting manner.


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