Dilwarra, the noted Jain Temples, on the almost inaccessible Mt. Abu, India
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of the Dilwara Jain Temples on Mount Abu in Rajasthan, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. The five principal Jain temples at Dilwara on Mount Abu were built between the 11th and 15th centuries, dating from the Solanki period and are a famous site of pilgrimage. The oldest temple, the Adinatha or Vimala Vasahi Temple dedicated to Adinatha, the first Tirthankara (Jain saint), was founded in 1032 by Vimala, a minister under Bhima I, the Solanki ruler of Gujarat. The temples are built entirely of white marble and are known for their extraordinarily richly carved interiors. This is one of a series of 100 photographs, designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect. The series was sold together with a book of descriptions and a map with precise locations to enable the 'traveller' to imagine that he was touring around India. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century and revolutionised photography. They cut down exposure time and thus allowed for some movement in the image without blurring as subjects were not required to sit for long periods to produce sharp results.