April 13, 2022

Ellora with Anirudh Kanisetti

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This week, The Musafir Stories speaks with a returning guest, Anirudh Kanisetti, as we discuss Ellora and his debut book, Lords of the Deccan!

Today's destination: Ellora, Maharashtra

Nearest Airport: Aurangabad Airport, IXU

Nearest Railway Station: Aurangabad Railway station, AWB

Prerequisites - N/A

Packing - Pack light, carry extra liquids as it can get hot during the day

Time of the year - Year round, except summers

Length of the itinerary: 3-5 days


Itinerary Highlights:

  • Anirudh starts by explaining the orientation of the Deccan region, surrounded by the Vindhyas to the north, Western and eastern ghats to the west and east respectively and the Tamil country to the south.
  • Anirudh also talks about the historical significance of the palace, a brief history of the rulers over time as well as the natural history of the Deccan
  • We narrow down on the Ellora cave temples, a set of over a hundred cave temples that date back to the 7th century built by Buddhists, Hindus and Jain patrons. 34 of those temples are now open to the public and offer a view into the architectural and engineering brilliance of that time.
  • We discuss about the dominant Rashtrakuta empire who ruled the sub-continent during this time, were believed to be vassals/feudatories of the Chalukyan dynasty and had humble beginnings.
  • Anirudh speaks about the magnificent Cave 16 or Kailashnath temple, believed to be inspired by the Kailash mountain, the abode of Lord Shiva.
  • We speak about the backstory of how the temple is believed to have been constructed from a monolith and is the largest such structure during its time.
  • The temple was constructed by excavating 2 million cubic feet of basalt rock, probably formed during the cretaceous era which led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • Anirudh gives wonderful descriptions of the architecture of the temple, some prominent sculptures as well as the sheer engineering and architectural brilliance of the builders.
  • We cap off the episode by discussing other important temples of the complex, including Buddist and Jain caves/temples.



Link to Anirudh’s book, Lords of the Deccan :https://www.amazon.in/LORDS-DECCAN-Southern-Chalukyas-Cholas/dp/9391165052

Link to Anirudh’s podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/3gyenNhpv2JIvu5nTccaFr

Link to Anirudh’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anirbuddha/

Link to Anirudh’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/AKanisetti


Photo by Setu Chhaya on Unsplash

Battle music: Sota War (https://freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/sounds/258207/ ) by YleArkisto (https://freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/ ) is licensed under CC by 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ )


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