Dilwara Temples of Rajasthan are popular for their beautiful artistic work. Located near Mount Abu in Rajasthan, Dilwara Temple is easily accessible from any town or city of Rajasthan. Mount Abu is a beautiful and one & only hill station of Rajasthan. Several train services are available by Indian Railways for Mount-Abu from different cities. Dilwara Temple lies at a distance of 2.5 kms from Mount Abu. From Mount Abu railway station, many bus services and taxis are available for Dilwara Temple.
Dilwara Temple forms a famous pilgrimage of the followers of Jainism. The striking use of marble, in the construction of this temple, is truly worth-admiring. However, the simple architecture of the temple, reminds one of the virtues of Jainism. Set amidst the picturesque hills, Dilwara temples are said to have built during the 11th and 13th century. In the huge temple complex, there are five shrines that are dedicated to Lord Adinath, Lord Rishabhdeo, Lord Neminath, Lord Mahavir Swami and Lord Parshvanath respectively.
Dilwara Temples are considered to be an example of perfect architecture, in terms of Jain Temples. The intricately carved ceilings, entryways, pillars and panels highlight the aesthetic appeal of this temple. For its mastery over architecture, Dilwara Temple is sometimes regarded as one of the most stunning pilgrimage sites of Jains. The temples of Vimal Vasahi and Luna Vasahi get the maximum attention due to their sheer size and grandeur.
Vimal Vasahi Temple
Out of the five temples, the first temple is Vimal Vasahi Temple that is dedicated to Lord Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankar Lord. In 1021, Vimal Vasahi Temple was built by Vimal Shah, the Solanki Maharaja of Gujarat. Encircled by a passageway, the temple is erected in an open square. This temple is adorned with carved passages, columns, arches and doorways. The ceilings of this temple are festooned with patterns of petals, flowers, lotus-buds and murals depicting scenes from the mythology.
There is a huge hall, which is known as Rang Mandap. This hall looks marvelous with its 12 ornamented pillars and beautifully carved out arches in the midst of a spectacular central dome. The temple also comprises an assortment of nine rectangular ceilings that is commonly recognized as Navchowki. Gudh Mandap is the main hall, where the idol of Lord Adinath is placed. Another feature is 'Hathishala' (Elephant Cell) that portrays a lane of sculpted elephants.
Luna Vasahi Temple
This is the second most important temple amongst the temples of Dilwara. Built in 1230, Luna Vasahi Temple is dedicated to Lord Neminath, the 22nd Jain Tirthankara Lord. The main hall of the temple is known as Rang Mandap. This hall comprises a central dome with a carved pendant. Here, not less than 72 figures of Tirthankars are positioned in a circular band.
Made on the same structural pattern, Luna Vasahi Temple also has a Hathishala with 10 marble elephants. Again, Navchowki holds nine delicately carved ceilings with intricate marble work. The main hall or Gudh Mandap has the idol of Lord Neminath that is carved out of black marble. On the left side of the temple, there is a big pillar made out of black stone by the name of 'Kirti Stambha'.
Pittalhar Temple is dedicated to Lord Rishabdeo, the first Jain Tirthankara Lord. Built by Bhima Seth, the temple comprises a huge image of Lord Rishabhdeo. This image is made of five metals and brass (pital) forms the major part of composition. Due to this fact, this came to be known as 'Pittalhar'. Once again, the temple contains a Garbhagraha, Gudh Mandap (main hall) and a Navchowki.
In 1459, Parshavanath Temple was built by Mandlik. This three-storied building is dedicated to Lord Parshavanath, the 23rd Jain Tirthankar Lord. This has the tallest shrine at Dilwara. At the ground floor, there are four big halls on all the four sides of the chamber. The exterior walls are imprinted with striking sculptures carved out in gray sandstone.
Mahavir Swami Temple
Mahavir Swami Temple is the small structure that is dedicated to Lord Mahavir, the 24th Jain Tirthankara Lord. Built in 1582, this temple showcases several pictures on the ceilings of its portico.
Every year, thousands of devotees come to visit this pilgrimage of religious importance. This ancient temple attracts tourists as well, with its magnetic lure. Dilwara Temples truly present a sight to behold and to praise the artistic beauty of their magnificent structure.
Location : Near Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Built in : During 11th - 13th century
Dedicated to : Adinath, Rishabh Dev, Neminath, Mahavir Swami, Parshvanath
Significance : Famous pilgrimage of the Jains