7 Amazing Facts About Dilwara Temple

7 Amazing Facts About Dilwara Temple

7 Amazing Facts About Dilwara Temple

Photo by Christopher Walker, CC BY 2.0

Rajasthan, the land of the desert also hosts a formidable place for mountain lovers – Mount Abu. A hill station graced by the Aravalli’s, Mount Abu is the crown jewel of this desert state.

Due to its rich heritage and tradition the city has a strong presence in the cultural map of India. Dilwara Temple is the blue print of this culture – depicted in its sculpture and architecture.

This ensemble temple is a sacred Jain shrine dedicated to the Jain gurus known as “Tirthankara’s”. The detailed sculptures and the opulent white marble carvings are class apart.

In the temple premises one will find a congregation of 5 Jain temples dedicated to 5 different Jain gurus.

The oldest one Vimal Vasahi is dedicated to Adinatha.  Pithalhar is for Risabha, Luna Vasahi for Neminatha, Mahavir Swami for Mahavir and the last one Parsvanatha is for Parshva.

Though much is known about this Chalukya dynasty wonder, there are many alluring facts waiting to be discovered.

Today we are shedding light on some of these facts.

  • The Temple Predates the Mount Abu Hill Station

The temple at present depicts a serene atmosphere. An architectural masterpiece set on the background of rustic hills and green carpet. However, that wasn’t the case from the start. Prior to the construction of the temple, the area was a barren land. The hill station was yet to be born. All it had was an inaccessible remotely located hilly terrain.  In such difficult conditions Vastupal Tejpal started building this temple. The oldest temple, Vimal Vasahi was built as early as 1031 A.D., by the then Solanki minister Vimal Shah. The latter ones came about from 11th -13th century under the patronage of various rulers.

  • The Temple Was Carved Out of White Marble Stone Carried from The Arasoori Hills

Similar to other temples the building blocks of Dilwara temple has a remarkable lineage. Unlike other temples, it is made up of a particular kind of rock collected from a certain location. The rulers of the period, used the white marble stones predominant in Arasoori Hill in Ambaji. Dilwara temple is a must visit place for those visiting Mount Abu, as the temple is just at a distance of 23kms.

  • The Temple Has a Unique Ambience

Not only is the temple magnificent but also its surrounding. The temple has exotic gateways and arcs near the entrance. The luscious mango trees and woody hills make quite a formidable set up. White walls of great heights protect the temple from all sides. These walls dazzle in sunlight. This creates a contrasting view of a white stone temple standing tall amidst blue sky, green field and pale brown mountains. To explore the temple and surroundings, it is better to come up with one whole day. You can also do a night stay at any of the best resorts in Mount Abu.

  • The Payment for The Artisans Were Measured by A Handful of Dust

We have all heard stories of the hands of the artisan of the famous Taj Mahal being chopped off after the construction was completed. Here you have a different story. The dilwara temple boasts of detailed carvings like the lotus pendant and the concentric ring ceiling which adorn the inner sanctum Vimal Vasahi. The carvings make us wonder about the expertise of the artisans of that time. Now, these artisans were quite fortunate to find such a patronizing ruler who encouraged and inspired them to curve out as much as they can. In order to do so, the king paid them as per the quantity of dust collected from the stone carvings. Thus, greater carvings lead to greater dust and accordingly the payment. That’s why you come across such detailed work.

  • The Temple Has Survived a Long History of Aggression

Similar to all other architecture of historical importance, Dilwara temple too has seen its share of invasion and aggression. However, it has undergone restoration quite a number of times, some of which are going on till date. In 1311, the temple was invaded by the then Delhi sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji of the Khilji dynasty. 2 artisans from Mandore, Lalag and Bijag did the restoration at that time. Again in 1906 and 1950-1965, another fresh set of repairing were done. Lallubhai Jaichand completed the first set of restorations and the latter was done by Anandji Kalyanji.

  • It Is Far Away from The Town Centre

The hill station didn’t grow up surrounding the temple. Rather, the temple is located outside the main area of action. The temple site is at a distance 2 and half kilometres from the hill station. This maintains the serene and tranquil atmosphere prevailing there.

  • It Houses a Storehouse of Ancient Manuscripts

Though a sacred place primarily used for religious purposes yet it has a storehouse inside. Here one can get rare ancient manuscripts of a bygone era. Thus, Dilwara temple holds a significant influence on scholarly activities.

So now you know. Don’t just read them. Experience them.  Look out for them on your upcoming visit to Mount Abu. Explore more than what meets the eye!


Author’s Bio:

A traveller on a cultural exploration, Rohit relishes the bygone era. He traces the roots of Indian culture through its sculpture and architecture. To know more about his experiences, visit TransIndiaTravels.com

Image Credit:- Christopher Walker // (cc BY 2.0)

Image Reference: https://hif.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/file:Worshippers_leaving_the_temple_in_Ranakpur.jpg

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