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 Dilwara Jain Temples Mount Abu



 Dilwara Jain Temples are situated in Dilwara village 3 km from Mount Abu, the famous and beautiful hill station of Rajasthan. Dilwara is adorned with beautiful Jain shrines and considered to be one of the wonders of the world. The temples are constructed in 11th and 12th century A.D. are completely made of marble. The Dilwara temples are a composite cluster of 5 temples. Archaeological evidence suggests that Mahavira himself visited the site, making it especially sacred to the Jains as a tirtha. As a temple city it ranks among the finest ones of the Jains.

  There are 5 temples in all, each with its own unique identity. Each is named after the small village in which it is located. These are:

1. Vimal Vasahi (Shri Adi Nathji temple) dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar lord Rishabh    2. Luna Vasahi (Shri Neminathji temple) dedicated to the 22nd Jain Tirthankar lord Neminatha    3. Pithalhar (Shri Rishabha Devji temple) dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar  lord Rishabh.   4. Khartar Vasahi (Shri Parshva Nathji temple) dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankar lord Parshva.   5  Mahavir Swami (Shri Mahavir Swamiji temple) dedicated to the last Jain Tirthankar lord Mahavira   The most famous of these are the Vimal Vasahi and Luna Vasahi temples

  All these shrines belong to different centuries. The first two are build wholly of white marble, have got exuberant carvings and ornamentation work on the walls, doors, pillars, mandaps, torans, ceilings etc. .The designs depict life stories of Jain Tirthankars, scenes of Gods and  Goddesses of Jain mythology.

     Entrance of Dilwara temple

The Vimal Vasahi temple

  The Vimal Vasahi temple (12th century AD), was built by Vimal Shah, the minister of Bhima Dev I, Solanki ruler of Gujarat. He built the temple at a cost of Rs 18.53 crore. It took 14 years to build this temple by 1,500 artisans and 1,200 labourers. Vimal Vasahi has a gudha mandap, navchoki, rang mandap, and a circumambulatory corridor having 57 cells. In each cell, images of one or the other Jain tirthankara is installed. This temple is essentially rectangular in plan and is oriented on the East-West axis with the main shrine facing East. The two pillared halls, the sabha mandap and the navchoki, precede a third mandap without pillars. This unit comprises the central core, which is ubiquitous in Hindu temple architecture after the Gupta period. One of the descendants of Vimal Shah named Prithvipal carried out certain constructions and repairs in 1147-49 AD and to commemorate the glory of his family erected a hasti shala in front of this temple.

 The whole shrine covers an area of 140 ft. long and 90 ft. broad. As we enter the temple we get a glimpse of the grandeur of sculptured marble, exquisite carvings of ceilings, domes, pillars and arches of the temple which is beyond anyone's expectations. It has a sanctum, a Gudha Mandap, Navchowki, Rang Mandap and a circumambulatory corridor having 57 cells. In each cell , image of one or the other Jain Tirthankar is installed. In front of every cell, double carved roofs are screened by double arcade of pillars. Cell numbers are marked and the name of the idol installed in it is also written.  The cells comprise of ornamented lotus buds, birds, playing of musical instruments, pancha kalyanak scenes (auspicious events in the life of Jain tirthankaras), elephants, horses, images of Gajalakshmi and Shankeshwari, Ambika Devi, representations of Lord Krishna subduing the Kaliya Naga, Krishna and his brother Baladeva and friends playing with a ball, Krishna on Sheshayana, sixteen armed Goddess Vidya Devi, Saraswati, Indra, Agni, Yama, Varuna, Vayu, Kubera, tirthankaras surrounded by flying demi gods riding swans, peacocks, horses, beautiful big sculptures of the sixteen armed goddess Shitalmata, unique relief of the many armed Narasimha tearing the belly of Hiranya Kashipu are very intricate and subtle in their treatment of expressions.


     Postal stamp on temple

    Indian Postal Department has issued two beautiful stamps on World famous Jain Temples of Dilwara on 14th Oct. 2009. The multicolored stamp depicts images of the Temples along with the unique architectures of the Temple . Miniature Sheet, First Day Cover and Information brochure of the Stamp have also been issued. The stamp of the denomination of Rs. 5/-

 Rang Mandap: A grand Hall supported by 12 decorated pillars and nicely carved out arches with a central dome in the most exquisite design. The ranga mandap is the most impressive structure supported by twelve decorated pillars and nicely carved out arches with a central dome in the most ethereal design, luxuriant in ornamentation and punctilious details having eleven concentric rings of elephants, horsemen, ducks, swans and a group of ornamental pendants of fine carving hanging down in the centre. The variety of sculpted panels is simply mind boggling covering every inch of marble. The dancing sculptures on the pillars are the most attractive part of the sculptural treatment. They vary in sizes accordingly. There are both male and female dancing sculptures. You can also see designs with heavy ornamentation work. On the pillars are placed the female figures playing musical instruments and 16 Vidhyadevis - the goddesses of knowledge - each one having her own symbol.

 Navchowki: It comprises of the nine rectangular ceilings, each one containing beautiful carvings of different designs supported on the ornate pillars.

  Gudh-Mandap: Inside the profusely decorated doorway, is installed principal deity Bhagwan Rishbha , the first Jain Tirthankar. Gudh-Mandap is simple, meant for obeisance and 'Arti' to the deity.

 Hastishala ( (Elephant Cell):  Hastishala was  constructed by Prithvipal, a decedent of Vimal Shah in 1147-49 A.D. In the front entrance statue of Vimal Shah originally carved in marble is seen, the statute was mutilated and was repaired by plaster. A Smavasaran, circular in shape, is also noteworthy

    Jain Sarswati

   Jain Swarswati in Dilwara Jain temple


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