1. The Kailashnath Temple in the Ellora Caves complex of Maharashtra state.

    The temple, which is intended to symbolize Mount Kailash in the Himalayas, mystical abode of the god Shiva, was not “built” but is rather sculpted in one piece out of the solid basalt bedrock of the area. It is estimated that close to half a million tons of this very hard igneous rock had to be removed, cutting downwards from the top to isolate the core body of what would become the temple before the mass of intricate relief carvings were begun. 


    None of the tools used to create this stunning monument have ever been found, which begs the quesion how the work was done with the rather simple technology that archaeologists say was available in India in the 26-year reign (757-783 AD) of King Krishna I of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty. 
     
    There is either an error with the archaeological undertstanding of the technology of that epoch, or the time-frame attributed to the temple, or both. However it was done, it is undoubtedly a tribute to ancient Indian craftsmanship and aesthetics on an exceptionally grand and breathtaking scale. 
    It is noteworthy that the Mahabalipuram shore temples overlook extensive submerged ruins which may date back to the last Ice Age when sea level was 100 metres lower.
     
     
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    Carved from the living rock itself.
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