Check-out the difficult road up to Mt. Abu. The kids in the back of the bus had to stop at a safe spot for some fresh air and knee stretching. No one was physically sick but pretty close and even the monkeys on the guardrail waiting for food tossed from the cars weren’t enough distraction to overcome the climbing twists and curves.
We reached the temple complex high on the mountain. It is a site of 5 white marble temples with the major one being dedicated to Vasahi in honor of the first Jain tirthankara, Adinath. The building dates back to 1031.
Immediately, we were struck by the incredible intricate, and delicate carvings on the doorways, archways, pillars, and ceilings that are simple and complex at the same time and appear in places to be thin, even translucent.
The Jains are a presence in Gujurat and Rajasthan. As a rule, they are highly educated and often business owners who are quite successful. They could not become soldiers so the business or academic world would fit better with their beliefs. The mill owners of Amdavad who engaged Le Corbusier to design and build the Mill Owners Building were Jains.
I love this ceiling which appears to be an upside down chandelier.
As we walked around, David pointed out that each pillar is similar yet different from the next. He said that the stone carvers were given a pillar to decorate around the central theme, but they were given the freedom and trust to carve it using their own ideas and design. This was, also, the practice in the creation of Gothic Cathedrals in Europe. I could just imagine how proud the artist craftsmen would be taking their family in to show and explain “their pillar. . . . with their work and with their decorations !”
Is it a wonder that this is one of India’s most spectacular sacred architecture sites?
This Is Incredible India!
Love to hear your thoughts. . . .
Images from Google Public Domain