[Interior of a Jain temple at Dilwara, Abu.] 17445
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of a Jain Temple at Dilwara in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1900s. The photograph is from an album containing views of various locations in India, formerly in the collection of Horatio Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and Broome, (1850-1916), who was Commander in Chief of India between 1902 and 1909.
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 view shows the columned hall or mandapa containing the temple shrine with a large corbelled dome in the foreground with a pendant lotus flower. The ceiling carved in concentric tiers symbolises the Jain view of the universe as a series of cosmic cycles. The architecture is entirely covered with intricate carvings of figures in niches, friezes and scrollwork.