The Jain sect is the one with the most religious restrictions. I wonder how they survive without the Onion, potatoes which form the staple diet for the majority of the Indians. I don’t pretty much agree to their living style but the Dilwara Temples keeps your eyes wide open and you are simply mesmerized. We formed a queue and were guided by a well-built, black, and stentorian with a black mustache. He had a very clear voice and gave us a very informative tour to first part of the temple.
The temple has around 140 gumbaj. They depict stunning use of marbles and never-to-be-seen carvings on them. I wonder whether any other Jain pilgrimage is as mesmerizing as the Dilwara temples. Besides, no two gumbaj have similar carvings. We get to see all kinds of carvings – Lord Krishna and Shesh Nag, Lord Ganesh, elephants, shells, dancing ladies….. The beauty lies in observing the fineness with which they are carved. There are marvelously carved ceilings, pillars and the minutely carved ornamental details. You are looking for a blunder but you find none. If you have visited the Abu but not Dilwara you have missed an undeclared wonder of the world.
There are five temples in all. Few of the gumbaj are recently carved. Something that caught my eye was a carving on a ceiling of a Goddess wearing necklace. The guide pointed to the carving and I could not take my eyes of it. The entire carving took 3-4 months to complete. The lines on the palm were visible to naked eyes from a good enough distance. The nails were minutely, brilliantly, magnificently carved. I saw the nail of the thumb and could not stop thinking about it since then. It was fineness at its epitome.
We were taken to the Devrani-Jethani, co-sisters, temple by an elderly Brahmin. The temple was built with a stiff competition of the co-sisters. Both the ladies spent 9 years, 900 thousand rupees to rebuilt it so as to make it better than the other. They bought money from their parent’s. Finally both were built with similar standards to keep the competition well-balanced. The difference is in the idols of Devrani and Jethani. The Devrani’s head is tilted as she is younger –a sign showing she is of lesser significance than the Jethani.
We walked through the temple watching the beauty and the magnificent sunlight falling on the pillars. One ceiling had a Kalpavruksha tree – the wish granting tree. Again it was carved on the marble. There were carved Jhumars, dancing ladies around it, elephants in one row, and horses on other. Every carving was different.
He then took us to another temple that had a huge idol of Lord Mahavir made of 800 Kg of Gold. I began to wonder when he started saying unbelievable stories. He said that there is no guard here as he dies in 3 months after he is posted. “After all God is there to protect us. How can we protect him?” He claimed that we could ask for anything and we would get that. He spoke prophetically and declared that all those who are longing to have children will be happy soon. Any person who enters the temple with the mindset of a thief the idol gets invisible for him. He claimed proudly that unlike other temples no terrorist can attack this place and that this is well protected, He protects it.
Then time came to return and we had to give Daksheena. An elderly man said later in the pujari’s absence “I want to enter the temple as a thief and lets see whether it gets invisible for me.”
Other said “It is not allowed to enter. It all depends on your belief.”
We left the place but I still see that Nail.