Dilwara Temples, Mt Abu.
Photographer: Bourne and Shepherd
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph showing the Dilwara temples at Mt. Abu in Rajasthan, taken by Bourne and Shepherd in the 1870s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. General view of temples, with Parasvanatha in the foreground. This photograph, taken by Colin Murray during a photographic tour of Western India in 1872-73, also appears in James Burgess, 'Photographs of Architecture and Scenery in Gujarat and Rajputana' (Bourne and Shepherd, 1874): see Photo 970 (7).
The hill of Mt. Abu derives its name from a mythical serpent Arbuda, and has been known since ancient times. The area, rich in forests and lakes, became prominent from the about the 10th century when the Paramara kings built a fort here. During this period and in later centuries, Abu became a centre for Jainism. Beautiful marble Jaina shrines, dedicated to Jaina saints or Tirthankaras, were erected at Dilwara in Abu from 1032 to the mid-15th century. The Parasvanatha is the last of the Dilwara temples dating from 1459. It, like the other temples, has a chaturmukha or four-mouthed plan, with a porch and entrance on each of the four sides. The interior has ornate ceilings, but the superstructure is in poor condition.