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Rajasthan Tours Travel » Sacred
Places & Shrines » Ranakpur Jain
Ranakpur Jain Temple
Ranakpur, a small town in the interiors of Rajasthan is home to an
exceptionally beautiful temple complex. Nestled in the Aravalli ranges
this temple is also one of the five most important pilgrimage sites of
Jainism. According to history, Dharna Sah, a Jain business man approached
Rana Kumbha to ask for land to build this visionary temple. Since the
Jains held imporatant positions in Rajput courts, made their money through
trading and were influential money lenders to the royal house, it was
hardly surprising that the Ranas, in turn, were patrons of the Jains and
their quiet religious ways. So the Rana gifted this land to the Jains and
this temple was built in the 15th century. The temple was also christened
Ranakpur after Rana Kumbha, who generously donated the land.
In the heart of the remote and enchanting valley of the Aravalli mountain
range, skirting the rivulet Maghai, in solemn grandeur stands the The
Ranakpur Jain Temple also known as the Chaturmukh Jain Temple of
Rishabhadev. Three entrances lead to the temple via double storied portals
and pillared courts. Halls and courtyards surround the main shrine. The
Chaumukha is its principal deity in the main temple and has impressive
dimensions. There are four subsidiary shrines, Adinath in the north west,
Parshvanath in the north east, Ajitnath in the south-east and Lord Mahavir
Swami in the south west, twenty four pillared halls and magnificent domes
supported by over four hundred columns, spread over a 48,000 sq. feet
area. There are 1,444 columns in all, each of which is intricately carved
and no two are alike. The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in
various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an awe-inspiring sight.
Two ginormous bells each weighing a 108 kgs are situated in the assembly
hall and on being rung their sounds echo across the entire valley.
The entire temple area is enclosed within a wall. The main 'Chamukha'
temple is dedicated to the trithankara Rishabdeoji and a four-faced image
is enshrined in the inner sanctum, open on all four sides. A corridor
around the shrine has niches for the tirthankara images and each niche has
its spire or shikhar. Little bells are festooned atop each shikar and
their jingling in the breeze creates celestial music. A small shrine
dedicated to Prashvanath faces the main temple. It has a black image of
the tirthankara in the inner sanctum. This three-storeyed marble edifice
placed on a lofty plinth and enveloped in the solitude of the surrounding
forest, is a majestic monument of aesthetic architecture, bathed in
The three other Jain temples in the same complex, including a temple of
the Sun God, are all well worth a visit. One kilometer away from the
temple complex is the temple of Amba Mata.
It is said that the construction of the temple, which had begun in 1446
(roughly 600 years ago) took more than fifty years to complete and an
estimated ninety-nine lakh rupees were spent on the entire project.
The weather is usually very hot in summers with the mercury touching 42
degrees C whereas winters are amicable. From July to mid September, it
rains in this area and it is very humid out here.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit these temples are from September to March.
Ranakpur is tucked away in a remote valley in the Aravali range. It is
situated around 60 km north of Udaipur in Pali district. It is a nice
diversion between Jodhpur and Udaipur.The place is well connected through
a road network to other places in the region.
Road : From Udaipur there are four deluxe buses daily.
One can also hire a cab from Udaipur.
Rail : The nearest railway station at Udaipur is
directly linked by rail with major cities such as Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer,
Chittaurgarh and Udaipur.
Air : The nearest airport is Dabok Airport, Udaipur(110