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Rajasthan - The Jain Pilgrimage of Ranakpur - A Traveller's Guide
One of the most popular Jain pilgrimages of India, Ranakpur, is flanked on the western hilly slope of Aravalli hill. The history of this holy spot dates back to 12th -15th century.
Ranakpur, the largest of all the 5 important Jain pilgrimage spots of India is pulling huge crowds every year. The architectural sumptuousness of the hallowed temples of Ranakpur impresses the batch of spiritual Jain crowds. The spectacle and grandeur of the Jain temples, made up artistically with white marbles, are compared with that of the Dilwara temple complex. The sculptural splendor of the Dilwara temple, however, is more attractive and appealing.
The temple complex, comprising of 29 contiguous temples, enjoys a serene atmosphere. Devout devotees take pleasure in the divine tranquility. Surrounded by a 200 feet tall fortification, the enthralling temple complex is covering a rambling 3720 square km of land.
The prime and foremost enticement of the Jain temple complex is the sanctified Adinath temple, erected by Dharan Shah. The consecrated temple was established spending a hefty amount of 99 Lakhs in 1438 on the land which was donated by Rana Kumbha. As the name suggests, the holy temple was dedicated to the pious 1st Jain Tirthankar, Adinath. The artistic thinking and adroit designing of these temples are laudable. The crafty and astute architectures are creatively depicted on four of the grand gateways.
The astounding architectures displayed on the 1444 pillars of the Adinath temple are impressive. These adjoining pillars bear the weight of 67 domes, shikhara, turrets and cupolas of the imposing temple. Each and every pillar of the temple significantly demonstrates different architectural forms.
The second pillar, positioned in the second row, right at the entrance of the Adinath temple, showcases the portraits of the Jain Tirthankar Adinath and the creator of the temple. The carving of an architect with a hammer and chisel is on display on the first pillar in the third row, positioned at the right hand side of the temple.
The Neminath and Parsvanath temples are there on the premise of the temple complex as well.
The allurement of the adjoining Surya temple, erected long back in 15th century, pulls huge Hindu crowds as well.
About 1 km away from the Surya temple, the Amba Mata temple, is an additional attraction for the hordes of temple lovers and spiritual people.
Visit the woodlands of Ranakpur to witness the grandeur of the grand Aravalli range. Jumping monkeys, colorful peacocks and wandering birds are drawing attention of the nature lovers here. The spectacular peacocks often exhibit their colorful plumage and entertain tourists. It’s truly a class-apart sight.
Tourists who are carrying leather products along with them have to leave those before entering into the Jain temples.
To enjoy the pretty forest, you can stay at the Forest Rest House of Ranakpur.
How to reach: Ranakpur, about 90 km away from Udaipur, is well connected to Udaipur, Jodhpur, Falna, Sheoganj, Taleti, Abu Road, Jaipur, Delhi, Kumbhalgarh and Ahmadabad by bus. Tourists who want to visit Ranakpur by train, have to avail a train that runs on Ajmer- Falna railway track and get down at Falna, which is just 29 km away from Ranakpur.
Where to stay: Hotel Shilpi, Maharaja Heritage Resort, Hotel Prakash Ramaban, Hotel Khalsa Palace, Hotel Woodlands, Fateh Bagh and Jain dharmsalas. Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.