Ranakpur Jain Temple - Rajasthan



Location :

 Video - In and Around Ranakpur Jain Temple
Ranakpur in the state of Rajasthan is one of the five most important pilgrimage sites of Jainism. Ranakpur is tucked away in a remote valley in the Aravali range. It is situated around 60 km north of Udaipur in Pali district and boasts of one of the largest and most important Jain Temples in the country. The place is well connected through a road network to other places in the region. Renowned for its fabulous architectural style, Ranakpur temple is situated in Ranakpur village that falls under Pali district of Rajasthan.

For the followers of Jainism, Ranakpur temples are of great importance, as they make one of the five major pilgrimage sites. One can easily reach Ranakpur Temple from anywhere in Rajasthan. However, the nearest airport and railway station is made by the city of Udaipur. Acclaimed worldwide for its brilliant architecture, Ranakpur Temple is the largest and the most significant temples of the Jains.
It has been considered as home to an exceptionally beautiful temple complex in the Aravali ranges and a must visit for the tourists coming to the temple. Ranakpur Temple is a beautiful structure carved in stone.

The climate of Ranakpur is very much tropical with the mercury climbing up to a maximum of around 42°C and a minimum of around 22°C. Winters are only a little colder with a maximum of around 20°C and a minimum of around 11°C. The annual total rainfall is around 55 centimeters. Winter months (October-March) are the best timing to visit this temple.

Significance of the temple
Ranakpur is named after Rana Kumbha whom Dharna Sah, a Jain businessman approached when he had got the vision of his great temple to ask for the land for its construction. Renowned for the marvelously carved Jain temples in amber stone, Ranakpur is one of the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. Situated at a distance of around 60 km from Udaipur, these temples were constructed in the AD 1439.

Ranakpur Temple is been built by Seth Dharna Shah, who was a prominent Jain businessman, with the help of Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. The king helped the Seth on a condition that the temples would be named after him and accordingly the temples were tabbed after many years even Sited in a solitary valley on the western part of the Aravalli Hills, the temples are undoubtedly laudable for their wonderful architecture. The huge structure of the temple is entirely raised in light color marble. One of the largest subterranean vaults makes the base of this colossal temple sprawling in an area of 48000 sq ft.

The vast temple complex comprises Chaumukha Temple, Parsavanath Temple, Amba Mata Temple and Surya Temple. Chaumukha Temple is the most prominent amongst all of them. The term 'Chaumukha' means four-faced. Lord Adinath (the first Jain 'Tirthankara') is the main presiding deity of Chaumukha Temple. The complex structure of the temple has four separate entrance doors to penetrate in the chambers. These chambers lead to the main hall or 'Grabh-Griha', where the idol of Lord Adinath is placed.

The four-faced image of the Lord is facing all the four directions. This image suggests the pursuit of Tirthankara's for the four directions and eventually the cosmos. The idol of the Lord is encircled by many other smaller shrines and domes. Again, one more array of cells with detached roofs surrounds these small shrines and domes. The five spires raise high in the sky and not less than 20 cupolas elevate from the roof the main pillared hall. There is a shrine under each spire and the largest spire houses the image of the Lord Adinath. The ceilings are decorated with pliable scrollwork and geometric designs.

This magnum opus of architecture possesses around 1400 intricately carved pillars. The temple comprises 24 pillared halls in the company of 80 domes, which are sustained by 400 columns. A series of brackets makes a connection between the upper and lower parts of the domes. These brackets have sculptures of deities on their surface. Apart for this, the sight of carved nymphs at the height of 45 feet catches the main attraction. It is startling to know that every single pillar is carved gracefully and not one pillar resembles the other.

The 'mandap' or the prayer hall boasts of two colossal bells that weigh 108 kg each. Chaumukha Temple is shaped in the form of 'Nalinigulm Vimana' (heavenly aircraft). This beautiful shape and structure provide a celestial appearance to the temple. Perhaps, the temple took more or less 65 years due to the convolution of its structure. Besides Chaumukha Temple, Parsavnath Temple is another attraction of Ranakpur. This temple was constructed in the mid 15th century and known for its carved windows. In the vicinity of this temple, there are two other temples. These temples are dedicated to Lord Neminath (the 22nd Tirthankara) and Lord Surya Narayan (Sun God).

The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built during the reign of the liberal and gifted Rajput monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. The basement is of 48,000 sq. feet area that covers the whole complex. There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty-four pillared halls and domes supported by over four hundred columns.

The total number of columns is 1,444 all of which are intricately carved with no two being alike. The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an interesting sight. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 108 kg whose sound echoes in the entire complex. The main temple is a Chaumukh or a four-faced temple dedicated to Adinath.

Nearby tourist places to Ranakpur Jain Temple



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.

How to Reach the Temple
  • Through Airways: to reach the temple The nearest airport is Udaipur 60 km south of Ranakpur. There are regular flights to Delhi, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Jodhpur, and Mumbai from Udaipur.

  • Through Railways: The nearest major railway station is Udaipur. There are trains for Delhi, Chittaurgarh, Ajmer, and Jaipur from this station. The nearest railway station from Ranakpur is Phalna but most of the tourists prefer going to Udaipur to catch a train as it offers more choice.

  • Through Roadways: There are frequent express buses from Udaipur that take around three hours to reach Ranakpur. State transport corporation buses as well as private buses connect Udaipur to other cities in the region. Major destinations that are connected to Udaipur are Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota, Jodhpur, Chittaurgarh, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Mt Abu.