Dilwara Jain Temples
At a distance of around two
and half kilometre from the sole hill station
of Rajasthan, Mount Abu, is a group of temples
famously known as the Dilwara temples or still
better, dream in marble. The temples trace
their origin during the 11-13th century period.
Nestled in the serene surroundings of mango
trees and wooded hills, the Dilwara Temples
are amongst the sacred pilgrimage site for
the followers of Jain community.
The architecture of the temples is reflective
of the Jain faith that encouraged simplicity.
Though, ornamental details dot every nook
and corner of the temple, yet its overall
appearance exude a remarkable simplicity.
The architectural style can be categorized
as the Nagara.
Dilwara Jain Temples
The Vimal Vashi Temple - Built by Vimal Shah,
a minister of
Raja Bhimdeo, in 1021, the Vimal Vashi Temple
glorifies the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath.
The temple stands in an open courtyard circumscribed
by corridors. These corridors have numerous
cells, each containing smaller idol of Tirthankara.
The highlight of this temple are the carvings
that adorn the corridors, pillars, arches,
mandaps as well as the ceilings. The ceiling
engravings, like designs of lotus-buds, petals,
flowers and scenes from Jain & Hindu mythology,
specially are extremely beautiful.
The grand hall known as the Rang Mandap has
12 richly ornated pillars, arches and a central
dome. The pillars of the hall have spectacular
carvings of female figurines playing musical
instruments and 16 Vidhyadevis or the goddesses
of knowledge, each one holding her own symbol.
The Navchowki is the assortment of 9 rectangular
ceilings while Gudh Mandap is a simple hall
with a magnificent doorway. The Mandap with
an idol of Adinath is meant for Aarti. Hastishala
is yet another attraction of the temple with
sculpture of elephants.
The Luna Vashi Temple
Dedicated to 22nd Jain Tirthankara, Shri Nemi
Nathji, the Luna Vashi temple has an interesting
anecdote attached to it. It is said that two
brothers Vastupal and Tejpal who built the
temple had plethora of wealth which they decided
to bury under a tree. However, while digging,
they came across more wealth. Anupama Devi,
wife of Teja Pala asked them to construct
temples from these wealth. Accordingly, the
two brothers built the Luna Vashi temple in
Mount Abu in memory of their late brother
Luna. Both the brothers encouraged the craftsmen
to improve on their carving and bring it to
near perfection. In return they offered gold
and silver weighing as much as the marble
The Lunavashi Temple, like the Vimal Vashi
Temple, has a main hall or Rang Mandap, Navchowki,
Gudh mandap and Hathishala. The Rang Mandap
has a central dome with a richly carved pendent;
two circular band with figures of 72 Jain
Tirthankaras and 360 Jain monks. The Hathishala
glows with 10 marble elephant statues while
the Navchowki boasts of some exquisite stone
cutting work. The Gudh Mandap has the statue
of the presiding deity of the temple, Neminathji.
Additionally, there is one more structure
in the Luna Vashi Temple, the Kirti Stambh.
The black marble tower was built by Rana Kumbha
This temple was constructed by Bhima Sha,
a minister of Sultan Begada of Ahmedabad.
The distinctiveness of the temple lies in
the impressive statue of Adinath which is
made of five metals. The primary metal used
in the construction of the statue is pital
or brass. It is from here that the temple
draws its name of Pittalhar. This temple too
consists of the garbhagriha, gudh mandap and
This temple is also known by the name of Khartar
Vashi temple. This three storeyed structure
is the tallest amongst all the shrines of
the Dilwara. Constructed by Mandlik and his
family in the 15th century, the temple has
four big mandaps bordering the sides of the
sanctum on the ground floor. The exterior
walls of the sanctum is rich with beautiful
sculptures Dikpals, Vidhyadevis, Yakshinis
and Shalabhanjikas. The finess of the carvings
here are comparable to those of Khajuraho
Mahaveer Swami Temple
The Mahaveer Swami Temple is the fifth most
important Dilwara Jain temple at Mount Abu.
The temple is dedicated to the 24th Jain Tirthankara
Lord Mahaveer and was constructed in the 16th
century. The highlight of the temple are the
paintings on the upper walls by an artist