Vimal Vasahi Temple
History of Vimal Vasahi Temple
Constructed by Vimal Shah in 1031 AD, who was the minister and commander in chief of the great Solanki ruler of Gujarat – Bhimdev I, Vimal Vasahi Temple is a must visit over here. According to the legend, it is believed that Vimal Shah was very penitent and spent most of his life at Chandravati, located near Abu road. To clear his sins committed at various battle fields and with blessings from deity Ambika and inspiration from a Jain Acharaya, Vimal Shah built this temple in Mount Abu. It is believed that it took 1200 laborers, 1500 artisans and a time span of fourteen years to create this stunning piece of architecture.
Structure of Vimal Vasahi Temple
Spread over 90 feet wide and 140 feet long, Vimal Vasahi Temple has one of the most brilliant architectures in the state. Situated on an open courtyard and surrounded by numerous smaller cells, each containing idols of Tirthankaras, this temple has a number of features that will completely mesmerize you. The entrance of each cell in the temple is marked by double carved roofs that are shielded by a double arcade of pillars. Moreover, each of them is numbered and the name of the idols in the cell is also written.
As soon as you enter the temple, the ostentatious marble structure and the delicate carvings on the ceiling, pillars and domes of the temple, will transfer you to another realm. Most of the paintings in the temple are designs of lotus buds, flower petals, geometrical sketches and scenes from Jain mythology. But above all, the striking idol of Lord Adinath is what will catch your attention and awe. This stunning metallic idol is made out of brass and gold, which is also the main attraction of the temple.
As you further explore the temple, you will also find various images of different deities. Vimal Vasahi Temple also consists of various richly carved corridors, arches, pillars, sanctums and mandaps.
The Rang Mandap is one of the most popular features of the temple. It is a grand hall surrounded by twelve beautifully decorated pillars and arches with an eye-catching dome in the middle. Each pillar in the Rang Mandap depicts paintings of female figurines with musical instruments and of goddesses of knowledge or 16 Vidhyadevis, each holding a symbol, believed to be the memorial of Brahma Kumaris.
Gudh Mandap is another popular attraction in the temple. It is a heavily decorated doorway, which was installed to pay homage to the deity over here – Lord Rishabh Dev or also known as Lord Adinath. He was the first Jain Tirthankar. It was a simple gesture, built to pay respect to the Lord.
Another popular attraction of the temple that one must visit is the Navchowki. It is an assortment of 9 rectangular ceilings, with intricate carvings and designs, which were built to compliment the ornate pillars surrounding it. The Hastishala or the Elephant Cell is another beautiful feature of the temple. It was built by Prithvipal, a descendant of Vimal Shah, in 1147 – 49 AD and features a line of sculptured elephants.
How To Reach Vimal Vasahi Temple
The best way to reach the temple is to catch a bus, taxi or an auto-rickshaw from Mount Abu.