Ravana and Mount Kailash – a Recap

[This is the second of my Recap series. The first one was on Mahishasuramardini. This is a compilation of my earlier photoblogs.]


Ravana shaking Mount Kailash

After severe penances and conquests, Ravana became very strong and arrogant. He went to the Himalayas, defeated his half-brother, Kubera and usurped his Pushpaka Vimana . On his return, he was overflying Mt. Kailash. Nandi advised Ravana to circumambulate Kailash so as not to disturb Shiva and Parvati.

The arrogant Ravana said, “Who is Shiva?” and tried to shake the mountain. Though Parvati and her entourage were frightened, Shiva nonchalantly pinned down Ravana with his toes. Ravana wailed for mercy. Having humbled Ravana, Shiva released him. After this experience, Ravana became a great devotee of Shiva.

In another version, it is believed that Ravana’s mother, Kaikasi, herself a great devotee of Shiva, wanted to go to Mt.Kailash. Arrogant Ravan said that he could bring Kailash to her and attempted to lift it and transfix it in Lanka.

Epilogue: Ravana after becoming a devotee of Lord Shiva sang in His praise. Since he had no musical instruments to accompany his singing, some believe, he cut off one of his heads and an arm to make a stringed instrument with his thigh nerves. This is also believed to be the origin of musical instruments. In fact, an instrument called Ravanahatta (Ravan’s hand) is still in use in some parts of Rajasthan.


Ravana Shaking Kailash, a pillar in Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakkal.

Other sculptures: the other famous figure of Ravana and Mt. Kailash is in Ellora (Cave 16)

Ravana lifting Mt.Kailash

Ravana lifting Mt.Kailash. Ellora Cave 16

Another image of Raavana shaking Kailash

Another image of Raavana shaking Kailash. ellora

In Cambodia. on the pediment of Bantey Srei temple.


Ravana and Mt Kailash Bantei Srei, Cambodia

At Belur / Halebidu

Ravana at Halebidu

Ravana at Halebidu

Ravana trying to lift Kailash at Belur

Ravana trying to lift Kailash at Belur

Ravana shaking mount Kailasa

At Murudeshwar ina man-made cave.

Gopuram of Mallikeswarar temple, Mannady, Chennai

Gopuram of Mallikeswarar temple, Mannady, Chennai

There is also the image of Ravana and Shiva with mount Kailash on the vimana of Parasurameswara temple (7-8 C.CE)  at Bhubaneswar. I missed capturing this. However, I was glad to see a post by Bushavali N. This is a link to that image by Bhushavali  

and Link to her blog: http://travel.bhushavali.com/2017/10/lesser-known-bhubaneswar-temples-odisha-2.html

One thought on “Ravana and Mount Kailash – a Recap

  1. Pingback: Mathangeeswara – Another little known Pallava temple | Stone stories

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