Ranakpur Jain Temple

The Jain community and their temple building activities were always patronized by the ruling Mewar dynasty. Dhanna Shah, the founder of the temples at Ranakpur, had approached Rana Kumbha to ask for some land to build a temple. The Rana gladly agreed on Ranakpur Jain Templeone condition that the temple should bear his name. Hence the temple site on the banks of the river Maghai came to be known as Ranakpur and is one of the five main holy places of the Jains. The temples are over 500 years old but well preserved. It is really hard to decide who surpasses the other in beauty – the temples or the town. No other place in Rajasthan has the same ambience and setting as that of Ranakpur whose beauty has been emphasized by its isolation.
The temples in Ranakpur are quite unique in style and design. The ceilings of the temples are carved with fine, lace-like foliate scrollwork and geometric patterns. The domes are carved in concentric bands and the brackets connecting the base of the dome with the top are covered with figures of deities.
The 15th century Adishwar temple or the Chaumaukha temple built by Sheth Dhanna Shah is a fine structure. It is in the form of a Nalinigulm Vimana (heavenly aircraft) that Shah had seen in his dream. Designed by Dipa Shilpi it took 65 years (1367-1432) to erect and is the largest and most complex Jain temple in India. It also boasts of being one of the five most important holy shrines of the Jains.
The temple has 29 halls, 80 domes and the pavilions include 1444 pillars, each of them so intricately and artistically carved that they’ll leave a lasting impression on you. The figures of dancing goddesses, beautifully engraved on these pillars are an absolute architectural wonder. The best feature about these pillars is that no two pillars are alike in design and sculptures. Not only the pillars but almost every surface is carved with great intricacy. As you go from one chamber to another you’ll realize that it does not conform to the traditional longitudinal plan as of Indian temples but follows a cruciformed one. This plan has four separate entrances, one on each side. Each of these then lead through a series of columned halls to a central arena and the sanctum which has the four faced white marble image of Lord Adinath. The first Jain saint Adinathji or Rishabhadev is surrounded by several other smaller shrines and domes. These are in turn surrounded by a Bhamati or range of cells for images, each of which has a roof of its own. Architects are of the opinion that this is probably one of the most complicated and extensive Jain temples in India and also the most complete for Jain sectarian rituals. The temple covers almost 48,000 sq ft with 29 halls and is also said to have 84 underground cells.

Reaching Ranakpur Jain Temple-
By Air : Nearest airport is Udaipur
By Rail : Ajmer to Mt. Abu route, 39 kms. from Phalna. From Udaipur it takes 5 hours by bus.
By Road : From Udaipur (98 km)

© 2014 Siddartha Vacations Pvt.Ltd. Designed & Developed by Innate Solution