History and Culture

Dilwara Jain Temples: Visions To Cherish

Source: William Carpenter

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.

Mount Abu Online

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.

Source: Wikipedia
Places to Visit

Delwara- The ‘Town of The Gods’ Near Udaipur

Do you know why Delwara is known as the ‘Town of the Gods’?

Not just the city of lakes is beautiful but also its surrounding area is awestriking. Located just 26 KM away from Udaipur is a small town named Delwara (not to be confused with Dilwara Temples of Mt. Abu). Delwara is quite famous because of the architecture of the monuments and buildings there but majorly it is known for being named as the ‘Town of The Gods’. Let us read why the place is known with such an unusual name.

Delwara is known as the ‘Town of The Gods’ simply because of the fact that the place has a high density of temples. It is evident that the town contains almost 2 to 3 temples in every street. Originally, it is said that Delwara had as many as a thousand temples out of which 400 were Jain Temples. Due to the same, Delwara was once known as ‘Devkul Paton Nagri’ which means the town of the gods.

There are various temples which still exist in Delwara in good condition, and are in fact great places to visit in Delwara near Udaipur.

Some of the sacred place in Delwara are enlisted below:

Palera Talab:

This Talab (small lake or pond) was built in AD 1800 by Rani Sajjan Kumari in the fond memory of her husband, the Jhala prince Mansingh, who died at a very young age. It is after his name, that the lake is also known as Mansarovar Sagar and is the major source of water of the town.

Statue of King Man Singh III:

Another thing made for the king Mansingh is this beauteous white marble statue, standing 2 meters high, in the center of Sajjan Vatika opposite the Bhagwan Vaikunthnathji temple.

Parshvanath Bhagwan Temple (Jain Derasar):

This temple is dedicated to Bhagwan Parshwanath, the 23rd Tirthankara of the Jains. One amazing feature of this temple is a chamber about 5 meters underground, which houses 13 stunning idols of Jain Tirthankaras.  The main temple has a gratifyingly carved idol of Bhagwan Parshwanath made in black marble.

Trimukhi Bawdi/Vav:

The name of this stepwell is due to the fact that it has triple entrances. It was built by the Shrimali Brahmins for performing the traditional rituals related to the temples of Vaikunthnathji and Hanumanji which are situated nearby the Vav.

Indra Kund:

Source: Trip Advisor

Indra Kund is one of the major attractions in the Delwara and was built by the king Rana Bairisalji. The kund was blessed in AD 1856 and a month-long festivity was held to the mark the blessing. The kund has stunning examples of stone carving and has a depth of 15 meters.

Shiva temple:

The temple is located close by to the Indra kund is also known as Kundeshvar Mahadev. This Shiva temple was built before the Indra kund and was under the local ruler’s terrain.  The temple has a lingam encircled by three faces of Lord Shiva covered by a cobra, the idols of his companion Parvati and the bull Nandi which was his vehicle.

Lakshmi Narayan Mandir:

According to a folktale, an idol from Dwarka flew on its own from and landed at the mandir. The shrine is said to have built here. The builder of the temple was a devotee of the lord, his was known as Shri Padmaji and has statue installed in the premises of the mandir. This temple is temple belongs to the Teli community; Shri Padmaji was also a Teli.

Other than these temples some other prominent names are:

Kasheshvar Mahadev:

It stands on a platform 16 steps high and was restored by the King of Delwara Raghodev II in the year 1927.

Kheda Mata Mandir, Bhil-Vas:

This temple is a sacred place for the Gametis which is a sub-caste of the Bhil community.

Rishabhdev Bhagwan Temple (Jain Derasar):

The temple is built in white marble and has 149 pillars and 52 shrines. The main shrine is dedicated Bhagwan Adinath, the first Tirthankara.

Source: Raas Devigarh

Another noteworthy place is the heritage hotel Raas Devigarh palace, which is the prime attraction other the temples here. Devigarh was once the residence of the kings of Delwara, from mid-18th century till mid-20th century. Delwara, the ‘Town of The Gods’, no wonder is a beautiful destination near Udaipur which is not much explored by the travelers coming to the city of lakes.

How to reach Delwara: 

You can take a public transport such as a bus from Udaipur or if you have your own vehicle, Delwara is approximately a 35-Minutes (26 KM) drive from Udaipur via NH58.

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