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Pilgrimage in India »» Religion in India»» Jain Pilgrimage

Dilwara Temple, Rajasthan, India

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Location: Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India.
Best time to Visit: October to March
Significance: The five legendary marble temples are the sacred pilgrimage of the Jains.

Dilwara temple at Mount Abu in Rajasthan is without doubt an example of Indian sculpture at its very best. The temple is situated in the hill station of Mount Abu. It is impossible to deny the artistic beauty of Dilwara Temple. This rock temple is richly ornated by fantastic sculptures. Dilwara temple is a poetry in rocks and the carved pillars and intricately sculptured ceilings are a treat to watch. This is one of the finest specimens of temple architecture at its zenith.
The temple is built in the Nagar style of temple architecture that showcases some of the best Indian sculpture. This beautiful Jain temple is also described as a storehouse of ancient manuscripts and treatise that clearly indicates the impact of Shaivism and Jainism on the society during that period.

Dilwara Temples

Vimal Vasahi Temple

This temple carved entirely out of white marble was built in 1021 AD by Vimal Shah, a minister of Raja Bhimdeo. The temple is dedicated to the 1st Jain Tirthankara (teacher or guide) Adi Nath.
The temple stands in an open courtyard surrounded by a corridor. The Rang mandap is a grand hall supported by 12 decorated pillars and nicely carved out arches with a breathtaking central dome. On the pillars are carved female figurines playing musical instruments and 16 Vidhyadevis or the goddesses of knowledge each one holding her own symbol.

The Navchowki is a collection of nine rectangular ceilings, each one containing beautiful carvings of different designs supported on ornate pillars.

The Gudh mandap is a simple hall once you step inside its heavily decorated doorway. Installed here is the idol of Adi Nath or Lord Rishabdev, as he is also known. The mandap is meant for 'Arti' to the deity.

Luna Vasahi (Shri Nemi Nathji temple)

The Luna Vashi temple is dedicated to the 22nd Tirthankara Shri Nemi Nathji. This magnificent temple was built in 1230 AD by two brothers - Vastupal and Tejpal - both ministers of a local ruler. The temple built in memory of their late brother Luna was designed after the Vimal Vashi temple. The main hall or Rang mandap features a central dome from which hangs a big ornamental pendent featuring elaborate carving.
The Hathis or elephant cell features 10 beautiful marble elephants neatly polished and realistically modelled.
The Navchowki features some of the most magnificent and delicate marble stone cutting work of the temple. The Gudh mandap features a black marble idol of the 22nd Jain Tirthankara Neminath.

Pittalhar temple

This temple was build by Bhima Shah, a minister of Sultan Begada of Ahmedabd. A massive metal statue of Rishab Dev (Adinath), cast in five metals is installed in the temple. The main metal used in this statue is 'Pital' (brass), hence the name 'Pittalhar'. The Shrine consists of a main Garbhagraha, Gudh mandap and Navchowki.

Parshavanath temple

This temple, dedicated to Lord Parshavnath was built by Mandlik and his family in 1458-59 A.D. It consists of a three storied building, the tallest of all the shrines at Dilwara. On all the four faces of the sanctum on the ground floor are four big mandaps. The outer walls of the sanctum comprise of beautiful sculptures in gray sandstone, depicting Dikpals, Vidhyadevis, Yakshinis, Shalabhanjikas and other decorative sculptures comparable to the ones in Khajuraho and Konark.

Mahaveer Swami temple

This is a small structure constructed in 1582 A.D. and dedicated to the 24th Jain Tirthankara, Lord Mahaveer. There are pictures on the upper walls of the porch painted in 1764 A.D. by the artists of Sirohi.

How to Reach Palitana

• Air: The nearest airport is Udaipur, which is connected to several cities by regular flights.

Rail: Abu Road is the closest railhead for Mt Abu. Direct trains run from Abu Road to Ajmer, Jodhpur and Agra. The railhead is on the meter-gauge line between Delhi and Ahmedabad.

Road: Mt. Abu is 185 km from Udaipur. It takes seven hours to reach Udaipur by buses.

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Dilwara Temple

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