A Halt at The Ranakpur Jain Temple
On our Udaipur to Jodhpur stretch of the Rajasthan road trip, Ranakpur (94 KMS from Udaipur) was a halt that had to be made. P had been here earlier; there was no way N could not see the marvel that the Jain Temple was.
A photo-log from our visit to the Ranakpur Jain Temple.
Ranakpur is a village with greenery & water bodies in an otherwise largely arid Rajasthan. It is often ignored by sightseers, sandwiched as it is between Jodhpur and Udaipur. But Ranakpur holds dear its heritage & history.
The small village is known for its Jain temples dedicated to different Tirthankaras. The temples were built under the patronage of Rana Kumbha (of the Kumbhalgarh fame). Their history – Dharna Shah, a local Jain businessman, dreamed of paying homage to Lord Adinatha by building a temple in His honor. This is a common backstory of many Indian monuments. That a king or a noble dreamed of a god/ guru who either asked for a temple to be built or who pointed to the place where an idol could be found etc.
The temple complex is a large one with multiple temples inside. Each beautiful… But the main one is the Adinatha Temple. The first word that pops into our heads on seeing the temple is – Majestic!
The Adinatha Temple is huge. ~1450 marble pillars are needed to support its structure. At the entrance, an akichaka is carved into the ceiling. It is a man with five bodies representing fire, water, heaven, earth, and air. The akichaka guards the temple.
The temple is, undoubtedly, beautiful from the outside. But it is the inside beauty that amazes us. Marvelous is an understatement for the architecture. The clean, cool & quiet Ranakpur Jain Temple is a break from the overwhelming chaos that life otherwise is.
When you visit Ranakpur,
- Spend a night at Ranakpur if you really want to do justice to the large temple complex.
- Alternatively, stay at Kumbhalgarh. Cover Ranakpur from there as well as visit the Kumbhalgarh Fort & Wildlife Sanctuary. (We would really like to see its wolves!)
- Ranakpur is a popular day trip from Udaipur.
- There is a huge parking lot in the temple complex.
- Leather products are forbidden inside the temple.
- Legs must be covered when visiting the temple. Long pants are available on rent at the ticket counter in case you are wearing shorts, skirts etc. (This rule is relaxed for children.)
- Like we always recommend taking a guide when visiting Indian monuments, same goes for the Ranakpur Jain Temple. The guide will be able to point out unique bits. You can take an audio guide too.
- If you need to do photography inside, you must purchase a ticket separately for that.
- An on-premises canteen offers affordable Jain food.
- There is a market too in Ranakpur, where one can buy curios and souvenirs.
- October to March is the right time to visit. The rest of the year, the Sun will roast you alive!
- If you intend to have lunch at Ranakpur, head to Fateh Bagh. The heritage hotel has beautiful gardens & interiors and is usually sparsely occupied. And the vintage car!!