Lesser known tourist places in Rajasthan – Ranakpur Temple

Ranakpur Temple – Home of the Jains

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  • Abhay Saxena

Ranakpur is a small village in south Rajasthan, located in Pali district at a distance of 91 km north-west from Udaipur. It is famous for one of the most spectacular Jain temples in India. The Ranakpur Temple is an absolute wonder in white marble dedicated to Adinath, the founder of Jainism. The entire structure is supported by exquisitely carved 1444 pillars. If you observe these pillars carefully, you will find that no two pillars bear the same design. It is also said that it is impossible to count all these pillars. The temple has 80 distinctive domes, five spires and an array of 29 halls. Also, all the statues face one or the other statue. It is said that the temple has been constructed as a four faced (chaumukhi) celestial vehicle, with a stunning ceiling design bearing symbol “Om”, a half moon and a human figure having one head and five bodies, representing the control of all five senses as the highest form of devotional practice.

Ranakpur Temple was constructed in 1439 AD by an architect named Deepaka under the direction of a Jain devotee, Dharanka, during the reign of Rana Kumbha. The construction was completed in 1458 AD. The followers of all religions are welcomed inside the temple but the visitors have to leave all their belongings made of leather, outside the premises. For those, who have an interest in Jain philosophy and mysticism and for those who love to delve deep into the grandeur of temple architecture, Ranakpur is the destination.

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