The Jain temples at Dilwara, near Mount Abu are considered to be masterpieces of temple architecture.
The Vimalvashi temple was built by the commander Vimalshah on the order of King Bhimdev in 1031 A.D. It took around 1,500 workers, several years to build. There are forty eight pillars, sixteen pillars have the images of females figures in dancing poses. The rang mandap is a beautiful piece of architecture.
The images that can be seen are Saraswati, Lakshmi as well as scenes from the princely courts of Ayodhya and Takshashila. Navchauki is a platform divided into nine parts. The artistic roots are decorated with elephants and goddesses.
Apart from these, the temples dedicated to Rishabhdev, Parshvanath and Lord Mahavir are also classical examples of art.
Mount Abu, where the Dilwara temples are located, is referred to as Arbudgiri in ancient Hindu and Jain scriptures and is the only hill-station in Rajasthan as well as a very important Jain pilgrimage center.
The period from AD 800 to 1200 was one of great social awakening and religious fervor among the people of this region. Jainism (an ancient Indian religion that originated in 600 BC) found its firm foundation in Rajasthan. With matrimonial alliances between Mughal and Rajput rulers and a liberal policy towards Hindus adopted by the great Mughal Akbar, this was a period of tranquillity in most parts of Rajasthan. Old Hindu shrines were renovated and new ones including the temples of Ranakpur and Dilwara were built during this period.
Lunvasahi temple has the image of the Jain tirthankara Neminath. Sculptures in stone, elaborate carvings, beautiful pillars, dome shaped roofs give a majestic and surreal look to the temple. There are sixteen images of the goddess of knowdege and also carved are glimpses from Lord Krishnas life. The footsteps of Dada Sahab and the kirti Stambha are also worth a mention.
HOW TO REACH DILWARA TEMPLES
The nearest airport
to Mount Abu is Udaipur (185 km) from where one can hire a taxi or take a bus. The nearest railway station is Abu Road 29 km away.
Abu Road is connected to both Ahmedabad and Jodhpur. Ahmedabad is 222 km via Palanpur. Jodhpur is 264 km via Pali and Sirhoi, taxis are easily available from these places for going to Abu. The Rajasthan Tourism Development Council also conducts tours to the interesting spots in Mount Abu.