Mount Abu, Dt. Sirohi, Rajasthan
Date: 20 June, 2014
People travel hours from all over the world to view the Dilwara Jain Temples. From Delhi all it takes is a night journey on Rajdhani, (New Delhi Railway Station, 7:50 p.m.). We dropped at Abu Road station at about 6 in the morning and a taxi took us to Mount Abu, the closest town to the Dilwara temples.
After resting for a while which comprised a heavy brunch and a shower, we hired a bike and were on our way. The temples are a mere 2.5 kms from here and even in the middle of June, we were blessed with cool, breezy (even misty) weather.
After crossing an unassuming gate and some security procedures (no mobiles and sadly no camera) we were inside the temple complex. The temples are intricately carved and reflect the opulence of the era – 11th to 13 th century. The extremely ornamental carvings depict the Jain gurus, gods and goddesses, animals and humans, flowers and stars and various pleasant patterns. Each panel on the wall or inside the ceiling dome is different from each other and our jaws dropped at the meticulous detailing.
The movement of the dancers on the walls / ceilings seem to be frozen in stone. The compassion of a mother is aptly depicted on the face of a female deity looking at a child. There is so much more that we want to say – hanging necklaces, lifted toes with clear toe nails, swaying elephant trunks. It is difficult to imagine just how the sculptors succeeded in rendering such a soft appeal to the hard marble stone . The art works are like soft music with a calming rhythm that can’t but touch one’s senses.
However, after a while our eyes stopped registering. If one prefers minimalism, the detailing may seem a little tiresome and you start questioning the excesses and the connection with the concepts of austerity and frugality of Jain philosophy.
Nonetheless there they are, in all their brilliance, and are most definitely among the much cherished treasures of India.
Cameras are allowed in only one of the temples at the entrance and here are glimpses of a wee bit of the grandeur.