Two Beautiful Stamps Issued On Jain Temples
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Posted by: Pooja Jain
Indian Postal Department has issued two beautiful stamps on World famous Jain Temples of RANAKPUR and DILWARA on 14th Oct. 2009. These both multi-colored stamps depicts images of the Temples along with the unique architectures of these Temples. Miniature Sheet, First Day Cover and Information brochure of these Stamps have also been issued. Both the stamps are of the denomination of Rs. 5/- each. The First Day Cover and the Brochure are priced at Rs 2 each. Security Printing Press, Hyderabad printed 0.4 million stamps by wet offset process in the sheets of 24 and 0.4 million Miniature Sheet have been printed. These are available for sale at the Philatelic Bureaus of all the G.P.O. as well as big Post Offices of India.
Click below to view images of
Ranakpur Temple Stamp
Dilwara Temple Stamp
Ranakpur is a village located in Desuri Tehsil near Sadri town in the Pali District of Rajasthan in western India. It is located between Jodhpur and Udaipur, in a valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. The Ranakpur Jain Temples command huge respect from the Jain community worldwide. Built during the rule of Rana Kumbha, these temples have included Ranakpur in the list of five main pilgrim destinations of Jains in India. History has it that Rana Kumbha donated a vast stretch of land to Dhanna Shah so as to enable him to realize his dream of building a great temple. Today, these temples attract thousands of visitors every year from across the country and abroad.
Temples of Ranakpur present a distinct style of their own. The ceilings of the temples are adorned with foliate scrollwork and geometric patterns. The top and bottom part of the domes are joined by Brackets with figures of deities on them.
The most important amongst all the temples within the complex is the Chaumukha Temple. Dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath, it is a four faced temple which has a basement of 48000 sq feet. The temple boasts of four subsidiary shrines, 24 pillared halls and 80 domes standing on the support of nearly 400 columns (the total number of columns in the temple complex, however, is much larger, around 1444). Each of the columns is richly carved and interestingly no two columns present the same design. Moreover, the columns change colour from golden to pale blue with the passage of every hour during the day. So much for the artistic brilliance of the workmen! The temple is shaped like a Nalinigulm Vimana or heavenly aircraft that the Shah had seen in his dreams. The construction of the temple is extremely complex with four separate entrances leading to chambers inside. The chambers finally lead to the main hall which houses the image of Adinath
encircled by several smaller shrines and domes. Another range of cells with individual roofs surround these shrines and domes yet again. Perhaps, the complexity of the structure was reason why the temple took around 65 years to complete.
DILWARA JAIN TEMPLE
Dilwara Jain temples are known world over for its extraordinary architecture and marvelous marble stone carvings, some experts also consider it architecturally superior to the Taj Mahal. It seems fairly basic temple from outside but every cloud has a silver lining, the temple interior showcases the extraordinary work of human craftsmanship at its best. These temples were built between 11th to 13th century AD, The beautiful lush green hills surrounding the temple gives a very pleasant feeling. The ornamental details of marble stone carvings is phenomenal and unmatched, The minutely carved ceilings and the pillars are just amazing. All this was done at a time when no transport or roads were available at a height of 1200+ Mtrs in Mount Abu, Huge blocks of marble stones were transported on elephant backs from the Arasoori Hills at Ambaji to this remote hilly region of Mount Abu. Dilwara temples is also a popular Jain pilgrimage attraction.
Of the five shrines in this group, four are architecturally significant. They are built with white marble stones. Each has a walled courtyard. In the centre of the courtyard is the shrine with the image of the deity, Rishabhdev. Around the large courtyard, there are numerous small shrines, each housing a beautiful image of the Tirthankaras with a series of elegantly carved pillars from the entrance to the courtyard. The ministers of the Solanki rulers of Gujarat had constructed all these temples during 11th and 13th centuries A.D.
Vimal Vasahi is the oldest temple, which has been dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankara. Vimal Shah, minister of the then Solanki ruler of Gujarat, built it in the year 1031 A.D. The special feature of this temple is it’s ceiling which is circular in eleven richly carved concentric rings. The central ceiling of the temple is adorned with magnificent carving and it culminates into an ornamented central pendant. The pendant of the dome tapers down forming a drop or point, like a lotus flower. This is an astonishing piece of work. It symbolizes the divine grace coming down to fulfill human aspirations. Figures of 16 Vidya Devis (goddesses of knowledge) are carved on the ceiling.
The other Dilwara temples are the Luna Vasahi, Vastupala and Tejapala, named after the ministers of the then Vaghela ruler of Gujarat who built them in 1230 A.D. Inspite of being plain and austere on the outside, the interiors of all these temples are covered with delicate carvings. Its most notable feature is that the brilliant intricacy and delicacy of the marble carving is so fine that in places the marble becomes almost transparent.
Dilwara temples are one of the best examples of craftsmanship, the genius of carving out so brilliant and intricate a shape out of a block of stone, such that it almost comes to life! The temple is a tourist’s paradise and a meditative sanctum for the devotees.