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The world famous Kailash Temple at Ellora

Updated on March 16, 2016

monument rock religious


Vatapi in the ancient times


Vishnu Temple at Vatapi is a fine example of rock

After the fall of the Satavahanas, the Chalukyas and the Pallavas became prominent kingdoms in the South from the sixth to the eighth centuries AD. After the fall of the Satavahanas, the Chalukyas, the Pallavas and the Cholas became prominent kingdoms in the South from the 6th to the 8th centuries AD.

The Chalukyas had their capital at Vatapi or modern Badami in Karnataka. Pulakesin IInd AD 608 – 642 was the greatest ruler of this dynasty. He was the contemporary of Harshavardhana. Twas Pulakesin IInd who resisted Harsha's advance in South and defeated him on the banks of the river Narmada. His empire included north Konkan, Gujarat and the Malwa region. He defeated the Pallava ruler Mahendravarman and came very close to the Pallava capital of Kanchipuram. An account of Pulakesin victory is recorded in the Aihole Inscription.

The Chalukyas had their capital at Vatapi or modern Badami in Karnataka. They were patrons of art and culture. The chalukyas were tolerant towards other religions. They constructed a number of temples at Vatapi and Aihole. The Pallavas power began to decline after their defeat by the Chalukyas in AD 691.

The Chalukyas were patrons of art and culture. Ther were worshippers of Vishnu and Shiva, they were tolerant towards other religions. They constructed a number of temples at Vatapi and Aihole. Some of the Ajanta caves belong to the time the early Chalukyas. The Vishnu Temple at Vatapi is a fine example of rock – cut architecture. Other noteworthy temples were the Shiva Temple at Pattadakal and the Vishnu Temple at Aihole. The Chalukyas traded with South – East – Asia, Persia and Arabia.

The Pallava rulers patronised Sanskrit learning. Sanskrit was the official language. Mahendravarman himself was a scholar and musician. Dandin lived during the time of Narasimhavarman. Dandin composed Das Kumar Charitam, or the tale of Ten Princes. It throws light on the socio – economic condition of the age.

Kailash Temple at Ellora


The Sculpture of Elephanta caves


The Rashtrakuta were great builders

The greatest ruler of this dynasty was Govinda III who defeated the Pallavas of Kanchi and saved his territory from the invasion of the Pratiharas. While he was busy in battle against the Pratiharas of Kanauj, the Cholas, the Pandyas, and the Pallavas formed a joint front to overthrow the Rashtrakutas. But even the united front of these powers could not succeed in their mission. Govinda III was succeeded by his son Amoghavarsha I. He was one of the most famous kings of the Rashtrakuta line. He had a very long reign of 63 years from AD 814 to 877. an Arab merchant, Sulaiman, states that he was regarded as one of the four great monarchs of the world. He was very rich and maintained a regularly paid standing ary. He was a great patron of art and literature.

The power which came into prominence after the fall of the Chalukyas of Badami in the Deccan was that of the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta who maintained their control over this region from AD. 753 to 973. the Rashtrakuta kingdom was founded by Dantidurga who was succeeded by his uncle Krishna I, who built the famous Kailasa Temple at Ellora.

The Rashtrakuta were great builders. The world famous Kailasa Temple at Ellora is a marvellous specimen of Rashtrakuta architecture. It is a rock – cut temple and has typical south Indian style shikhara. It was built by Krishna I. The rock – cut caves in the hillsides around the central shrine contain large halls with marvellously carved pillars. On the Elephanta islands near Mumbai there are some remarkable rock – cut cave temples built by the Rashtrakutas. These temples contain a number of large images of Shiva Nataraja, Parvati and Brahma and a trimurti or `three images in one' showing the faces of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva on three sides of the same head.

Rashtrakuta empire



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