Considered as the most beautiful pilgrimage site for the Jains, the Dilwara Temple is located amidst the lush green Aravalli hills of Mount Abu in Rajasthan. It was designed by Vastupal Tejpal and built by Vimal Shah between the 11th and 13th century respectively. The temple is renowned for the opulent use of marble and intricate carvings on every nook and corner. Intricate designs and patterns carved on roofs, walls, archways and pillars are the examples of exquisite craftsmanship.
The Dilwara Temple was built-in between the 11th and 13th centuries AD by Chaulukya dynasty, they are Jain temples and are simple and general looking from outside but its extravagant doors of entrance talk about its architectural superiority. It is surrounded by green hills and a temple complex by high walls. All of its ceilings, doorways, pillars, and panels have minutely carved ornamental details which show its architectural uniqueness. It is also important to notice that at that time there was no convenience to transport such big blocks of marble at a 1200 meters height. Elephants were used to transport marble on their back from Arasoori hills at Ambaji to Mount Abu.
The Dilwara Temples is considered as the most beautiful Jain pilgrimage sites in the world for spectacularly incorporating the use of marble in its making. The Dilwara Temples is situated amidst the forested hills. Although it looks very simple from the outside, theinside of the temples would leave you awe-struck with its intricately carved designs on pillars, ceilings, entryways and panels, the sumptuous temple radiates the Jain values of honesty and simplicity. The architecture is inspired by the nagara style and is a collection of ancient manuscripts. The Dilwara Temples consist of five temples of the same size, and all of them are single-storied. The main attraction of the temple is 'Ranga Mandapa' which is a dome-shaped ceiling. It has a chandelier like structure in the middle of the roof, and sixteen idols of Vidyadevi, goddess of knowledge, made of stone surrounds it.
THE TEMPLE COMPLEX
- Vimal Vasahi Temple â€“ The Vimal Vasahi Temple is the most famous and oldest amongst all the temples. It is dedicated to Lord Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankar Lord. The temple was built by Vimal Shah, who was the Solanki Maharaja of Gujarat in 1021. The temple is an exquisite site to behold with its richly carved ceilings, roofs, doors and mandaps. The immaculate patterns of petals, flowers, lotuses, murals and scenes from mythology are simply awe-inspiring.
- Luna Vasahi Temple â€“ The Luna Vasahi Temple is dedicated to Lord Neminath, the 22nd Jain Tirthankara Lord. It was built in 1230 by two Porwad brothers namely Vastupal and Tejpal, both ministers of Virdhaval, in the memory of their brother Luna.It is the second prominent temple.
- Pittalhar Temple â€“ The third temple was built by Bhima Seth and is dedicated to Lord Rishabdeo, the first Jain Tirthankara Lord. A huge statue of Lord Adinath made of five metals and brass is installed in the temple. This temple also has Garbhagraha, Gudh Mandap and a Navchowki.
- Parshwanatha Temple â€“ The temple is a three-storeyed building and the tallest of all the temples, it was built by Mandlik as a dedication to Lord Parshavanath, the 23rd Jain Tirthankar Lord in 1459. The walls have remarkable carvings on grey sandstone which are quite fascinating.
- Mahavir Swami Temple â€“ The Mahavir Swami Temple is dedicated to Lord Mahavir, the 24th Jain Tirthankara Lord, this temple is comparatively smaller than the others. It was built in 1582.
TIPS FOR VISITING
- Taking a bath before performing a puja for the idols is mandatory at Dilwara Temples. For this purpose, the facility for bathing is available inside the premises.
- Cameras, mobile phones, belts, etc. are not allowed inside the temple. However, you can take your wallet along with you. There are lockers in the temple to keep your belongings safe.
- Women are not allowed to wear shorts or skirts above their knees. Men are also advised not to wear shorts.
- Guides are available to take you around for free. So, you don't have to hire one from outside the temple.
TIMINGS & ENTRY FEE
The timings for Jains at the Dilwara Temples are from between 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM, whereas, for non-Jains, the timings are from between 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM. The entry is free of charges for all.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The climate remains idyllic for most the part of the year in Dilwara Temples as Mount Abu is on a hill. It is suggested to visit the temples during winters. The temperature during winters reaches around 10 degrees, in monsoons, the temperatures fall between 17 to 24 degrees, and in summers it stays below 30 degrees Celsius.
- Palace Hotel (Bikaner House) â€“ An exquisitely quaint heritage property, the Palace Hotel is a sight to behold. Every nook and corner of the hotel is picturesque and conveys a story. Equipped with all modern amenities, the hotel gives you a vintage vibe.
- Wordsworth Lodge â€“ Located in Mount Abu, Wordsworth Lodge is a small dainty hotel that stands amidst green forest and mountains. The rooms are very clean and cosy and serves as the perfect place for your repose.
- Hotel Hillock â€“ Rendering a spectacular view of the greenery of the Aravalli Range, Hotel Hillock is an unparalleled stay in Mount Abu. The ambience of the place is peaceful and nice, and the hospitality is amazing.
- Hotel Aradhana Mount Abu â€“ Perched on Mount Abu, Hotel Aradhana is just 2 km away from Nakki Lake. It is a 3-star hotel and offers a peaceful stay.
- Kesar Bhawan Palace â€“ The heritage structure that was once the palace of a king, Kesar Bhawan is the most romantic small hotel in Mount Abu and is the perfect getaway for you with your loved ones.
- Dawat Restaurant â€“ When in Dawat Restaurant in Mount Abu, you are definitely in for a treat. The restaurant has a variety of scrumptious vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. However, the Rajasthani thali has garnered quite a popularity here. This particularly thali is a must try. It will surely leave you craving for more.
- Mulberry Tree Restaurant â€“ Located in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, Mulberry Tree Restaurant is famous for its Dal Makhani and other Indian non-vegetarian cuisines.
- Arbuda Restaurant â€“ A multi-cuisine restaurant that offers scrumptious meals. The Arbuda Restaurant is the perfect place for people who are looking for pure-veg restaurants in Mount Abu.
- Jodhpur Bhojanalaya â€“ Jodhpur Bhojanalaya is the place for you to be at if you are looking for authentic Rajasthani food. They are quite renowned and serves delicious meals.
NEARBY PLACES TO VISIT
- Nakki Lake â€“ Locally known as Nakki Jheel, Nakki lake is located in the Aravalli ranges in Mount Abu. The lake is truly a paradise for nature lovers. It is the first man-made lake in India with a depth of around 11,000 metres and a width of a quarter of a mile and is surrounded by lush greenery and mountains.
- Guru Shikhar â€“ The highest peak of the Aravalli Range, the Guru Shikhar lies about 15 kms from Mount Abu. The place offers a breath-taking view of the Aravalli range and the hill station of Mount Abu.
- Toad Rock â€“ Known as the mascot of Mount Abu, Toad Rock is a colossal piece of rock looks like a toad. The top of the rock provides a panoramic view of the lush greenery around.
- Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary â€“ Situated on the top of the Aravalli ranges, the Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary provides an exquisite view of its surrounding. The sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna with more than 112 plant families and numerous animals such as Indian leopard, sloth bear, Sambar deer, wild boar and chinkara etc.
HOW TO REACH DILWARA TEMPLES
- The distance between Mount Abu and Dilwara Temple is just 2.5 Km. If you have your own vehicle, you can easily reach the temple either by Delwara Road or Pilgrim Road. Buses are not available on this route, However, taxis or autorickshaws are available.
- By Air: The nearest airport is in Udaipur, which is approx. 170 kms away from here. If you are taking a flight to Udaipur, you can take a cab from the airport to Mount Abu city. You can also take a train to Abu Road station, or a bus from Udaipur city.