Culture – Raavan Lifting Kailash

The concept of “Raavan lifting Kailash” is given a significant position in the Indian Culture, especially the Indian architecture. Though it is predominantly a concept of Shaivism, it can also be found in Vaishnavism. For example, the Chennakesava Temple of Belur (Hoysala architecture) , though a Vaishnava temple, depicts Raavan lifting Kailash on one of its walls.

Raavan Lifting Kailash – Ellora Caves


  • It is a symbol of the power of Bhakti, that a devotee gets an enormous strength to lift the Kailash and balance it on his head.
  • At the same time, it also signifies that “Pride” shatters Bhakti and will suitably be punished by the Lord, which is symbolised by Lord Shiva pressing Raavana below the mount Kailash.
  • It also signifies that it is the self surrendering Bhakti that would liberate an individual from his sufferings.

We will now see where all can we see this.


  • Kailashanatha cave temple, Ellora
  • Raavan ki Khai, Ellora
  • Kailashanatha temple, Kanchi
  • Chennakesava temple, Belur
  • Elephanta caves

It can also be found in various dance forms like Bharathanatyam, Kathakali, Kuchipudi etc.


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