Dilwara Jain Jinalay located in Mount Abu are considered as one of the finest specimens of Jinalay architecture. Mount Abu is the only hill station of Rajasthan. In fact, the architectural style is so wonderful that some consider it superior to even the Taj Mahal. The Dilwara jinalayas of Mt. Abu are famous for their fine and beautiful carvings done in marble.
The Dilwara Jinalay complex consists of five individual Jinalayas
- Vimal Vasahi – dedicated to the 1st Jain Tirthankara, Adinath
- Luna Vasahi – dedicated to the 22nd Jain Tirthankara, Neminatha
- Pithalhar – dedicated to the 1st Jain Tirthankar, Rishabha
- Parshvanath – dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Parshva
- Mahavir Swami – dedicated to the last Jain Tirthankara, Mahavira
Vimal Vasahi Jinalay
Out of the five Jinalayas, the first Jinalay is Vimal Vasahi Jinalay that is dedicated to Lord Adinath. It was built in the year 1021. There is a huge hall, which is known as Rang Mandap. This hall looks marvelous with its 12 ornamented pillars and beautifully carved out arches in the midst of central dome. The Jinalay also comprises an assortment of nine rectangular ceilings that is commonly recognized as Navchowki. Gudh Mandap is the main hall, where the idol of Lord Adinath is placed. Another feature is ‘Hathishala’ (Elephant Cell) that portrays a lane of sculpted elephants.
Luna Vasahi Jinalay
This is the second most important Jinalay amongst the Jinalayas of Dilwara. Built in 1230, Luna Vasahi Jinalay is dedicated to Lord Neminath. The main hall of the Jinalay is known as Rang Mandap. This hall comprises a central dome with a carved pendant. Here are around 72 figures of Tirthankars are positioned in a circular band. The main hall or Gudh Mandap has the idol of Lord Neminath that is carved out of black marble. On the left side of the Jinalay, there is a big pillar made out of black stone by the name of ‘Kirti Stambha’.
Pittalhar Jinalay is dedicated to Lord Rishabdeo. This image is made of five metals and brass (pital) forms the major part of composition. Due to this fact, this came to be known as ‘Pittalhar’.
Parashvanath Jinalay was built in the year 1459. This three-storied building is dedicated to Lord Parshavanath. This has the tallest shrine at Dilwara.
Mahavir Swami Jinalay
Built in the year 1582, Mahavir Swami Jinalay is the small structure that is dedicated to Lord Mahavir in Dilwara.