Kailasa Temple in Ellora, Maharashtra, India, is the world’s largest monolithic piece of art. Master craftspeople carved the gigantic structure from a single piece of solid rock in a cave on a mountainside. The entire building took more than two decades to carve. There are plenty of other mind-boggling facts about this ancient wonder while some of the history behind the temple has a bit of controversy attached to it.
Architects started from the top of the mountain and worked downward to carve the structure. The painstaking process removed more than 2,000,000 tons of volcanic rock between 757 and 783 A.D., according to archaeologists. Kailasa Temple is one of 34 caves in the area carved from solid rock. Other similar caves date back as early as 300 B.C.
Kailasa Temple covers more square footage than the Parthenon in Athens. Somehow, civilizations in India came and went without anyone noticing this magnificent art until 1682.
That’s when Mughal King Aurangzeb, a Muslim, ordered the temple destroyed so he could erase all traces of it. Despite three years and 1,000 men, Kailasa Temple endured. The rock was simply too hard to demolish, even though artisans used only hammers, chisels and picks to construct it.
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