Jain Architecture Essay

Published: 2020-02-25 16:11:21
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Category: Jainism

Type of paper: Essay

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Summary Jainism is a religion, based on non violence and self control of the human senses. It has its origins in India. Jains are idol worshippers, and a temple is a place where this worship is carried out. Jain places of worship in India are unique in many respects. Temple cities are built atop hills at a considerable height from the sea level. Palitana, Delvada and Sametshikhar are classic examples of cluster of temples built on the top of hills. These were built during the times when the only technology available was hand work.

Ranakpur and Shramanbelgoda are other classic examples of architectural masterpieces emerging out of devotion to idol worship. A photographic exhibition on these five sites is proposed. It will try to explain the uniqueness of temples at each of the sites. It would be an effort to demonstrate to the world, the marvelous results faith can bring. Attention would also be paid to the extensive use of marble as a material of faith ( the idols) construction ( the structures) and decoration ( the pillars and the domes) of Jain temples.

The team will visit each of the sites and shoot the required still pictures. Specialists on each of sites will be personally interviewed to understand the architecture of each site as a form of art. So far, much work is not done on documentation of Jain architecture. Nor is there any authentic analysis available to see them as a form of art. For examples the basic geometric principles of Jain temples are hardly documented. The final form of the exhibition will be a series of still photographs, sketches or drawings or maps supplemented by text.

This will make a comprehensive presentation of Jain temples as a form of art. Scope: The scope of this exhibition is to communicate the uniqueness of Jain architecture, mainly the five most popular sites in India, namely, Sametshikhar, Palitana, Delvada, Ranakpur and Shramanbelgoda. The medium used is still photography, supported by drawings, sketches and written text. All the photographs will be shot on 35 mm format. All the information will be displayed on panel size 4 ft X 3 ft. Each site will be allotted 10 panels, making it 50 panels in total.

Each temple site will be documented as an independent module, to facilitate erection at any place in future. Leaving proper space between two modules will ensure a smooth human flow, while the exhibition is on. The exhibition is not to be viewed from a religious or a philosophical point of views, but as a form of art. It will expose the onlooker to how Jains incorporated the element of art into their places of worship. All the five sites chosen for this exhibition are in India. Sametshikhar, in the state of Bihar, can be compared to Mecca of Jains.

This is the place where most of the 24 tirthankars of Jains, attained their nirvan- freedom from the cycle of rebirth. Temples are built on the top of an array of hills as a mark of respect to each of them. Palitana, in the state of Gujarat, is a city of temples on the top of a hill, where the first tirthankar, prayed. Delvada, at Mt. Abu in Rajasthan is well known for its intricate hand carving of large marble columns and the domes. Ranakpur, at the foot of Aravalli hills in Rajasthan, is again a rare piece of architectural marvel.

It is a four sided temple, with 1,444 hand carved marble columns, in its interior. No art symbols on any of the columns are duplicated. The ceilings and the domes are also carved with symbols representing Jain beliefs. Shramanbelgoda, in the state of Karnataka in South India, is not a closed temple, but a single, huge idol of Bahubali. This idol is believed to be carved out of single piece marble. Temple complex at Palitana ( clipart ) ( ref. No. 1 ) Close up view of column carving at Delavada Dome carving at Delavada ( clipart ) ( clipart) ( ref.No. 2) ( Ref. No. 3 ).

Temple complex- Delwada ( clipart) ( Ref. No. 4) Temple complex Ranakpur ( Clipart) ( Ref. No. 5) Few of the 1444 pillars at Ranakpur ( Clipart)(ref6) Dome carving at Ranakpur(Clipart) ( Ref 7) Pillar carvings Ranakpur ( Clipart ) ( re no. 8) Idol of Bahubali, Sramanbelgoda ( Clipart )(ref 7) A team consisting of experts in still photography, freehand sketching, documentation will be visiting these sites personally in India. They will also interview and talk to people who are experts on each of the sites.

The same team on return, will edit the visual and the text material and prepare the final panels. This team will also be present at the site wherever this exhibition is held, to personally brief the visitors on the subject. This exhibition must happen, because of the uniqueness of its subject. Perhaps there is no such collective documentation existing, as yet. It would surely enlighten the onlooker.

Works-cited page 1. Clipart , Clip Arts from Jain temples/Pilgrimage places, Retrieved on 1 May 07 from: < http://www. jainworld. org/pictures/temples >.

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