When inspiration strikes, the artists swear to their art, that every inch of their creation will manifold history. Dilwara Jain Temples are such examples. It’s unique in every sense of the word. It first came into construction somewhere in the 11th century and after ages of diligent construction, destruction, and reconstruction, five such temples came into existence. Each with its own set of antiquities is molded out of milky marble.
While the formation of these temples was in action, the Chalukya Dynasty was in power. What went down in the centuries that saw the plight of these monuments, is intense history. The year 1311 saw the darkest unfolding. Allaudin Khilji laid destruction on all five temples and left them mangled in ruins. All that eloquence now resounded in pieces. Then amidst the 14th century, began the reconstruction. Donations and reparations came from many devotees from all over India. One of the people who contributed to repairs were, Bijag and Lalag from Mandore. Currently, the temples are administered by the Seth Kalyanji Parmanand Ji Pedi.
Now, to write about its intricate interiors, every inch of all five temples is etched with unique carvings. Little details are as great as a legend. India’s artistry is well reflected in the Dilwara Temples. All the craftsmanship scribed on the wall is always telling a story in these great temples. The manuscripts were written with a chisel on marble.
The first temple, The Vimal Vasahi Temple
This Vimal Vasahi is dedicated to the Tirthankara, Adinatha Ji. This one was sculpted entirely out of white marble. Even more detailed statues of the other Tirthankaras are present here. From the ceiling to pillars and grand doors, nothing resembles the definition of the plain. It was built in 1032 by Vimal Shah, the Chalukya King of Gujarat.
The second temple, The Luna Vasahi Temple
The Luna Vasahi is dedicated to The Tirthankara Neminath Ji. The beauty inside Luna Vasahi even surpasses that of Vimal Vasahi. The space inside welcomes sunlight so delightfully that it highlights even the most minute explanation of the temple. The Hathi Shala here is what is called magnificent. This temple also showcases the most delicate stone-cutting there could be. It was built in 1230 by Porwad Brothers; Vastupal and Tejpal, ministers of Virdhawal.
The third temple, The Pittalhar Temple
It is in the name; a colossal statue of the first Tirthankara, RishabhDev Ji, is crafted with five different kinds of metal. The metal used among the five others in the highest quantity is Brass, hence the name Pittalhar, as Pittal is a Hindi translation of brass. With 107 images instilled inside this temple, it stands tall with its individualism. Built by Bhima Shah, Minister of Sultan Begada. The construction of the temple dates between 1316-1432 AD.
The fourth temple, Shri Parsvanatha Temple
It’s believed that masons urged to put in use, the remaining bricks from the previous three temples, as this was the fourth temple in order of dates. It’s a three-story grand religious building. Standing as the tallest one in all of the five temples, grey sandstone can be seen in the building. Sangvi Mandlik and his family took under the construction of this one in the year 1458-59.
The fifth temple, Lord Mahavira Temple
Decorated with a number of beautiful paintings, it’s the smallest of the five temples. It’s adorned with gorgeousness. Although smaller in size, its craftsmanship is relatively modern with new elements. It was built in the year 1582.
The timings for the Dilwara temples are; the temples open for the public from 12 pm and close at 5 pm. These Svetambara Jain temples are situated 2 and a half km away from the Hill station, Mount Abu, Sirohi District of Rajasthan.