(Last Updated on : 31/03/2012)
Temple sculpture of Rajasthan
are found in the temples of ancient and medieval times in Bharatpur, Abaneri, Baroli, Ramgarh, Nagda, Ajmer
, Mandore, Osiytan, Jaisalmer
, and Udaipur
. Rajput architecture and sculpture have also been fused in these temple walls. It was not before the 8th century that the temple sculpture of Rajasthan flourished. The Rajput kings were practised religious tolerance. As a result a number of Jain temples are simultaneously found with the Hindu temples.
The features of Rajput sculptures have been greatly influenced by the Mughal sculptures and architectures. Hence the building materials are quite similar. Marble was widely used for construction of temples. As far as the Jain temples are concerned here, too, white marble was used as it is considered pristine. One of the finest specimens of Jain temples
in Rajasthan is the Dilwara Jain Temple
. The sculpture of Dilwara Jain Temple is famous for its elaborate details.
A row of figures embellishes the Surya temple, Jhalarapatan, in southern Rajasthan. The stone carvers of this region produced some of the finest temples dedicated to Devi, Shiva, Vishnu, and the Sun God, adorning the buildings with delicately carved figures of human and celestial beings. Elephants also form a part of a sculptured panel from a Jain temple, Sat Bis Deorhi, in Chittorgarh. Hindu and Jain temples, Victory towers and the palace coexist within the sprawling fort of Chittorgarh.
Various panels within the temple display figures of men, women, and animals in high relief. The majestic figures of elephants are found almost everywhere. Jain temples are infused with sculptures. The stone is moulded, chiselled, scooped out and then developed. This way each grain becomes a part of the grand design of the temple. Pillars have been carved differently so there is no one that is similar to another; each of these is alive with images of gods and goddesses, musicians and dancers. The best examples of Jain temples in Rajasthan are at Mount Abu and Ranakpur. Ranakpur consists of a fortified complex of temples that arose in Mewar. At the heart of the complex is the temple of Adinath, one of the largest, most extensive and characterised by excess and profusion of sculpture. The 144 pillars are sculptured with arabesques, motifs and statues carved almost in the round. In the centre is the sanctum with the four-faced image.