Known for their architectural splendour and exquisite stone carvings, the Dilwara temples in Rajasthan are dedicated to Jain Tirthankars. Located about 2.5 km from Mount Abu, the temples were built in 11th and 13th centuries AD. The temples are an important Jain pilgrimage site built of white marble quarried from Ansori hills near Ambaji. The temples were built by the ministers of the Solanki rulers of Gujarat.
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The five shrines are dedicated to Adinath, Rishabhdev, Nemi Nathji, Mahavir Swami and Parshvanath. Each temple boasts of majestic entranceway, minutely carved ceilings, doorways and pillars. The architectural style exemplifies the Jain values of honesty and frugality. The temple dedicated to Rishabhdev is surrounded by a walled courtyard. There are numerous small shrines around the large courtyard, each having an image of the Tirthankars. Elegantly carved pillars support the mandap in front of the shrine.
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Vimal Vasahi is the oldest temple built by Vimal Shah, minister of Raja Bhimdeo in the year 1031 AD. It is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar, Adinath. The architectural splendour of the temple is best seen in its ceiling, which has a profusion of lotus-buds, petals, flowers and scenes from Jain and Hindu mythology. The temple is surrounded by a corridor, which has numerous cells containing smaller idols of the Tiranthakars. The richly carved corridors, pillars, arches, and porticoes are the other features of the temple. The other Dilwara temples are dedicated to Luna Vasahi, Pittalhar and Parshavnath. Mahavir Swami temple is dedicated to Shri Nemi Nathji, Shri Rishab Deo, Lord Parshavnath and Shri Mahavir Swamiji respectively. For the convenience of the pilgrims, facilities for bathing have been made which is mandatory before entering the temple.
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Accommodation is easily available near the temple complex. There are several luxury and budget hotels. One can also get accommodation even in Mount Abu, just 2.5 away. One can get authentic Gujarati and Rajasthani thalis. Restaurants also serve Punjabi and Chinese cuisine. Being a Jain pilgrimage, pure Veg and Jain restaurants are also available. The best time to visit Dilwara temples is between February and June or any time after the rains between September and December.
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