The Kailasa temple is an ancient Hindu temple made out of rock. The reason it gets featured as a weekly wonder is because of its bizarre construction. Its structural design and complexity, is something that even today we would struggle to accomplish.
Looking at historical buildings and constructions is something that even non historical writers should be doing. History is rife with anomalies and inconsistencies, which even with a hint of imagination can send you off in bizarre directions.
The Kailasa temple is shrouded in mystery.
Usually buildings are constructed from the ground up. The first brick is laid on top of foundations and then you continue placing them on top of each other until you reach the highest floor where you stop and attach a roof. This is how we build, in every country, in every continent across the world.
But the Kailasa wasn’t built like that.
The Kailasa was built top down. Yeah. Seriously. They carved from the top of a mountain down towards the Earth. I can barely get my head around that, I can’t comprehend the foresight needed to understand structurally how to build top to bottom. This means over 400,000 tonnes of rock had to be scooped out to leave the carvings. This would have taken years and years and years to do without advanced technology.
Yet the building was constructed in just 18 years.
In the video below, the man speaking does the simple math, and breaks it down to how much rock would need to be removed. Based on people working every day for 12 hours a day without breaks. That equates to: 22,000 tonnes a year, 60 tonnes a day, 5 tonnes an hour… umm……
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no architect, I am just presenting the information I have found, so if you are an architectural genius, feel free to disagree, these aren’t my arguments.
The video also brings up other interesting facts – a king tried to destroy the temple, 1000 of his people tried to destroy the temple, they worked for 3 years and barely scratched the sculptures. Interestingly architects seem to think 3 types of chisel were used to create it. If chisels were used to create it, then why couldn’t the same chisels be used to destroy it…? Just asking.
Even more interesting is the point that, to create a structure like this, is more difficult and would require a higher sophistication of structural engineering than building from the bottom up. Yeah, to create a building like this, requires more brain power, techniques and engineering feats than how we build today. So why, if we built like this before, do we not build like this today?
That, is an interesting question. It’s almost like we lost the technology. Vanished into thin air. *shrug*
Watch this video – it’s 9 minutes 20 so won’t take up much of your time.
Where do you get your inspiration? Let me know in the comments.
I bang on about these weekly wonders as a huge source of inspiration. For me, I have to look for the weird in the world, anything out of the ordinary immediately sparks of a flurry of ideas.
I wanted to think about the ‘why’ behind these posts.
I write them because I used to get stuck just looking at things I know about and already understand.
Don’t get me wrong, I still find beauty in the curves of the waves on an angry ocean or the plush greens of forests. But they help me describe things in my stories and help me get depth to my imagery and visuals.
What they don’t do, is spark ideas, or twists. By that I mean, thinking about this building makes my mind race all over the place. I wondered about a race of beings that only eat buildings. Snaffling the roof first and then gobbling the building whole – a bit like scooby doo and his sarnies. Wait what? How did I get from an ancient temple, to scooby doo… do you see my point?
Or what about another race of beings that flies over the planet using a beam to drop buildings in place, carving buildings out of thin air, to help save species, the ultimate green utopia – a building made of everything and nothing. What if they had an ulterior motive…I’m not saying these two ideas are amazing and perfect for a story, but I am saying they aren’t what I’d normally think of.
Whilst I love forests and oceans for the quality of metaphors they help me get, they don’t (for me) give me that something extra, the twists the uniqueness to stories.
When was the last time you investigated something different? Did it give you ideas? Where do you get that little bit extra from that makes your story special?
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