Out of all the caves that we visited, Kailasanatha was the most overwhelming. It’s outside appearance was very deceiving, for it did not allow me to properly gauge the size. Unlike most of the other caves that we visited, Kailasanatha was more of a wide open space and was not what came to mind when I thought of a cave. Furthermore, after seeing the large amount of people that were present there at once, I can only imagine that it must have been a very busy place of worship in comparison to the other caves of Ellora and the Elephanta caves. What first caught my attention at Kailasanatha was the large detailed figures of Hindu gods, but ultimately, I found the smaller carvings most interesting. I remember standing in awe as Professor Kaimal told the story depicted in one of the freezes as after a friend and I completely misinterpreted it. It was amazing how such a small part of the cave could tell such a detailed story. This visit made me wonder just what I should be taking away from these temple visits and if it would even be possible during my short stay in India.
Another important takeaway that I got from this temple visit is that the celebrity life is not the life for me. Though it would have been ideal to walk about the cave in peace, we were constantly stopped by children, couples, and families requesting to take a photo with us. I did not realize until that day how much we stood out as foreigners. I had to keep reminding myself that not everyone is from a country where people are expected to look different, so their actions were pretty reasonable. Also, these encounters were some of the best opportunities for me to freely socialize with Indian citizens in an environment where it was acceptable to discuss our differences.