PRESIDING DEITY AND LOCATION :
Sri Adishvar Bhagwan in white color, seated in a lotus posture, f height 1.5 meters in a shrine in the lap of mountain 1220 meters above sea-level. (Shve).
ANTIQUITY AND SALIENT FEATURES :
It is believed that Sri Bharat Chakravarthy after building a temple here, had got ceremonially installed idols of Sri Adinath Bhagwan. In Jain scriptures, this place is called Arbudachal or Arbudgiri. There is a reference available that from times imerorial. Countless Jain saint groups came here on a pilgrimage to the Jain temples. Besides, it is also said that the last Tirthankar of the present half cycle of time Sri Mahavir Swami had set his feet on Arbudbhumi. After him, numerous Jain Acharya had visited this holy shrine of Abu for pilgrimage to the Jain temples, Besides, it is also said that the last Tirthankar of the present half cycle of time Sri Mahavir Swami had set his feet on Arbudbhumi. After him, numerous Jain Acharya had visited this holy shrine of Abu for pilgrimage and had practiced extreme austerities such as Sri Awayamprabhsuriji on 475 B.C. Sri Suhastisuriji in 236 B.C> in the 1st century A.D. Sri Padliptasuriji, during 203 to 225 A.D. Sri Devguptasuriji in 937 A.D. Sri Udyotansuriji, during 1606 to 1674 A.D. Sri Anandghanji and in Vikram year 1981 Yogiraj Sri Vijayshantisurishvarji etc.,
This shrine has been referred to in a composition entitled “Bruhad Kalpasutra” by Shrutkevali (perfectly enlightened in all scriptures) Sri Bhadrabahuswami. In the present the most ancient temple that was built here is one by minister Sri Vimalshal during Vikram 11 century. No information about Jain temples prior to this period is now available. It is possible they may have been destroyed or buried under the debris due to severe earthquakes. Due to the invacation of Sri Vimashah, the ancient idol of Sri Adinath Bhagwan was discovered here from under the earth near a champak tree. The idol is believed to be 2500 years old which bears evidence to the fact of existence of Jain temples here in past ages.
In Vikram year 1088 Sri Vimalshah at an expense of 186 million Rupees got this temple built and then got it ceremonially consecrated at the hands of Acharya Sri Dharmaghoshsuriji. The temples is called “Vimalvasahi”. A reference is available to the effect that one of his successors Sri Pruthvipal got renovation carried out on the temple during Vikram year 1204-1206. Later in Vikram year 1368 when damage was caused to the temple by Allauddin Khilji. Sri Dhansinh and Mahansinh and their children who were in turn sons of Sheth Gosan and Bhimana-two brothers belonging to Sri Mandor- got it repaired and after renovations once again got the temple ceremonially consecrated at the hands of Sri Gnanchandrasuriji on Jyest Krishna 9 in Vikram year 1378.
In Vikramyear 1287, on Chaitra Krishna 3, Sri Vastupal Tejpal at an expense of 136 million rupees built a temple just opposite to “Sri Vimalvasahi” got it ceremonially consecrated at the hands of Nagendra Gachchha Acharya Sri Vijaysensurihi. This temple is called “Lavanyavasahi”. Even here, the damage of an extensive nature was caused by Allauddin Khilhi in Vikram year 1368 which was repaired and renovated after ten years by Shresthi Sri Pethadshah, son of chandrasinh. Besides, Minister Sunder and Gada of Sultan Mohamad Begada of Ahemdabad built here in Vikram year 1525 a temple called “Pittalhar”. There is one more temple called “Khartarvasahi” which is known as the temple of artisians.
Sri Vimalshah was the minister and army commander of that chief of warrious,well known archer and powerful ruler of Gujarat, Bhimdev. He had married Sridatta, the daughter of an affluent Shreshthi of Patan. During the later years of his life he lived as governor of the city of Chandravati.His wife was an intelligent devout Jain householder. When the erudite scholar Acharya Sri Dharmaghoshsuriji visited Chandravati, he inspired Sri Vimalshah by religious discourses to resurrect the ancient shrine of Arbudachal as an act atonement and repentance for several deeds of omission and commission he may have done inwars on battlefields. After consultations with king Bhimdev, Sri Vimalshah therefore selected this land or building a temple complex but local Brahmins put up a strong opposition for constructing a Jain temple on that land demanding proof of existence there of an earlier Jain temple. Sri Vimalshah could have used this authority and done whatever he wished to do by the had always advocated that only such things be done as would satisfy the king’s subjects and keep them happy. He therefore entered on fast for three days and invoked Sri AMbikadevi who gave him an indication of the existence of an ancient idol in black color of Sri Adhishvar Prabhy near a Champak tree on the land in question. A search was made thereafter and on digging at the indicated spot, a large size magnificent idol was discovered which is to be seen in “Vimalvasahi” temple complex. This idol is also called the idol of Sri Munisuvratswami. Vimalshah immediately started construction of the temple after paying for the land in rectangular shaped gold-mohors spread over the whole area cornered by the temple. The rectangularly shaped gold mohors were purposely minted so that when spread they would unlike round gold mohors, cover the whole place not leaving anyspace in between and thus fully compensate the owners of land. Thus he build the complex at the staggering total expense of 186 million of Rupees. The project took 14 years for its completion and involved 1500 artisians with 1200 labourers. Stones were brought on elephants from Arasad hills near village of AMbaji. After the completion of the whole temple complex, its ceremonial consecration took plave in Vikram year 1088 at the hands of Acharya Sri Dharmaghosh-surivarji. The temple complex then started to be called “Vimalvasahi” .
The builders of “Lavanyavasahi”, the two brothers Sri Vastupal and Tejpal who were ministers to the king of Gujarat Raja Sri Viradhaval made Gujarat strong, powerful and unshakeable by their courage and statesmanship when it was weak and tottering. Their fame had considerably spread among the rulers of that time. Both brothers were brave and generous. Vastupal himself was a great poet and had gained 24 titles one of which was “Saraswati Dharma Putra” (adopted son of the goddess of Learning). They had spent croresof Rupees after repairs and renovations of the temple Shatrunjaya Hills and Mount Girnar. Besides many such acts of glorification of Jain religion including taking out congregations of Jain religion including takingout congregations of Jain householders on pilgrimages, even larer sums were spent by them for general social and philanthropic objectives covering all subjects of the state. They did not favour any class or creed. They paid handsome donations of lakhs of Rupees for hundred of Non-Jain temples at various places and mosques too. They constructed many Vavs, Wells, Tanks, Pinjarapoles etc.,
For the spiritual benefit of Lavanyasinh, son of Tejpal, these two brothers, obtaining permission from Abu’s Parmar king Sri Somsinh who was a feudatory of king Bhimdev of Solanki dynasty of Gujarat and spending 136 million of Rupees built another temple complex opposite “Vimalvasahi” and named it as “Lavayavasahi” which was ceremonially consecrated on Chaitra Krishna 3 in Vikram year 1287 at the hands of Nagendra Gachchha Acharya Sri Vijaysensuriji. The display of art in this complex too is great significance in the art world. It need not be emphasized that the chief architect of this temple was a skilled artist of his times. Not unlike vimalvasahi, here too there is always an incessant crowd of devotees.
The natural beauty of the area is profound. The sculpture and architecture of the temples are beyond description. Ceitlings,corridors,doors, pillars, arches, mandaps and walls of “Vimalvasahi” complex of temples all are full of artistic carvings of figures and patterns which surpass one another. The work is both delicate and intricate, minute and fine. Describing only the central pendant in the sikhar of the temple, colonel Tod the famous historian that, “it is a perfect gem with its cylindrical form and about three feet length which where it drops from the ceiling appears like a cluster of half-disclosed lotus whose cups are so transparent and so accurately brough that it fixes the eyes in admiration”. The eminent archaeologist Ferfusson equally appropriately says that “it hands from the center more like a luster of crystal deops that a solidmass of marble and it finished with a delicacy of details and appropriateness of ornament which is probably unsurpassed by any similar example to be found anywhere else”.
This temple complex of “Lavanyavasahi” has 52 small surrounding single room shrines as against 59 of “Vimalvasahi” complex. The figurines in the niches of Derani and Jethani (wife of younger brother and the wife of elder brother) all there appear to be a speciality.
A little further away, there is a Digamber Jain temple also. On the road to Sun-set Point in Mount Abu there has been recently constructed a guru Mandir of Yogiraj Sri Vijayshantisurishvarji.
APPROACH – ROUTE :
The nearby railway station of Abu Road is 30 Kms away where taxis and buses are available. From Abu Road the mountenous climbing road begins reaching finally Mount Abu. Elwada or Dilwara is 3 Kms away from Mount Abu where taxis and buses are available to go there. The bus stand of Delwada is 200 meters away from the temple. There is a tar road upto the end and buses and cars can go there.
AMENITIES FOR JAIN PILGRIMS :
For lodging there is a dhanramshala near the temple and newly constructed 28 blocks with all facilities for meals. There is a big Upashraya with Library facilities for study of Sadhu-Sadhvies. For tourists many hotels with meals facilities are also available at Mount Abu and few at Delvada also.
Note : For tourists visiting the temple time is from 12 noon to 6 pm in the evening. Other places worth seeing as tourists attractions are Nakhi Lake Sun-set Point, Gaumukh and Vashishtha Ashram.
MANAGED BY :
Sri Kalyanji Parmanandji Pedhi
Delwada Jain Mandir
P.O. Mount Abu – 307 501
Dist : Sirohi, Rajasthan
Tel : 02974 – 38424 / 37324
Main Office : Sunarwada, Sirohi (Raj)
Tel : 02972 - 32525