Ranakpur Jain Temple
Renowned for some marvelously carved Jain temples in amber stone, Ranakpur is one of the five holy places of Jain community in India.
Located between Udaipur and Jodhpur, travelling to Ranakapur is a treat in itself. It sits in a lush valley surrounded by steep mountains and rushing waterfalls. Built in late 15 century AD, this beautiful complex has the most exquisitely carved temples to be found in this region.
Architecture and Attraction of Ranakpur Jain Temple
Dating back to the 15th century, the Jain temples of Ranakpur were constructed by Rana Kumbha. Enclosing the temples from all the sides is a strong wall. The entire temple area is enclosed within a wall.
The main temple is the Chamukha temple, dedicated to the Tirthankara Rishabdeoji. This temple has contains a four-faced statue of Rishabdeoji in its inner sanctum. Also, enclosed in the temples are four subsidiary shrines, 24 pillared-halls and 8 domes supported by over 400 columns. The most fascinating feature of the temples is its columns.
There are 1,444 intricately carved columns, of which not even two are the same. The shrine also has a corridor around it, containing niches for tirthankara images, each having its own spire. In the temple, are images of Adinath (north west), Parshvanath (north east), Ajitnath (south-east) and Lord Mahavir Swami (south west). The assembly hall contains two big bells weighing around 108kg.
Also, at a height of 45 feet, there are artistically carved images of nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures. Facing the main temple is a small shrine dedicated to Prashvanath. In the inner sanctum of this shrine, is a black image of the Prashvanath. Ranakpur complex is one of the biggest and most important Jain temples in India.
Two other temple worth visiting in the complex are the ones dedicated to Parsavanath and Surya God. The former is also known as the Patriyon Ka Mandir and is renowned for its pierced windows studded with Jain figures and pictures of attendants of maidens. The Surya Narayan Temple has an exquisite idol of Sun God in his chariot which is drawn by seven horses. There is another temple dedicated to Amba Mata.
Jain Temples Nearby Ranakpur
Quite a few Jain Temples in the close vicinity of Ranakpur have also gained the respect of the followers of the faith. The Muchhal Mahavir temple in the Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary is famous for its statue of Lord Mahavira with a moustache. Also, the two statues of elephants protecting the gateways have a special charming appeal about them.
Phalna, a nearby town has the Jain Golden Temple. Its significance lies in the fact that it was the first temple to be built by the people of the Jain community. During its construction, 90 kg of gold was donated by the Jain women of Falna itself for the embellishment of the idol as well as the temple on the whole.
How to get at Ranakpur Jain Temple
Ranakpur Jain temples are situated in the mountain ranges of Pali district. They are approximately 23 km from the Phalna railway station.
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