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Vimal Vasahi Temple, Dilwara

Vimal Vasahi Temple Overview

Vimal Shah, the minister of Raja Bhimdeo (a local Rajput ruler), built the Vimal Vashi temple in AD 1021. The temple is 98 feet long and 42 feet wide and is surrounded by a high wall with 52 cells, or devkulikas, each of which is surrounded by an arcade of carved pillars. In the main shrine is a majestic image of Adinath cast in gold-brass alloy. The temple consists of an open portico and a vestibule formed by a single grouping of pillars. The octagonal dome of the shrine is formed by eleven concentric rings containing patterns of endless variety and is upheld by eight carved columns. The richly carved corridors, pillars, arches, and mandaps or porticoes are bewildering. On the ceiling are engraved rich and elaborate designs of lotus-buds, petals, flowers, geometrical designs and scenes illustrating incidents from the Jain and Hindu mythologies. The Navchowki is a collection of nine rectangular ceilings, each one containing beautiful carvings of different designs supported on ornate pillars. The Gudh mandap is a simple hall once you step inside its heavily decorated doorway. Installed here is the idol of Adi Nath or Lord Rishabdev, as he is also known. The mandap is meant for 'Arti' to the deity. The Hastishala (Elephant Cell) was constructed by Prithvipal, a descendant of Vimal Shah in 1147-49 A.D and features a row of elephants in sculpture. The Gateway The entrance to the temple is from the east through a domed porch which leads to a six-pillared pavilion with a three-tiered smosan (a conventional representation of the holy mountain of the Jains) in the center. The smosan is surrounded by 10 statues including that of the founder Vimala and his family, each seated on a beautiful elephant chiseled out of a single block of white marble, about four feet high. These representations are now badly defaced, having been destroyed by plundering zealots.

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