Ranakpur Jain Temples
Ranakpur Jain Temples
The Ranakpur Jain Temples command huge respect
from the Jain community worldwide. Built during
the rule of Rana Kumbha, these temples have
included Ranakpur in the list of five main
pilgrim destinations of Jains in India. History
has it that Rana Kumbha donated a vast stretch
land to Dhanna Shah so as to enable him to
realize his dream of building a great temple.
Today, these temples attract thousands of
visitors every year from across the country
The location of Ranakpur, in the tranquil
valley of the Aravalli range, 90 km from Udaipur,
has also been responsible in attracting a
whole lot of visitors to the city.
In general, the Jain temples of Ranakpur present
a distinct style of their own. The ceilings
of the temples are adorned with foliate scrollwork
and geometric patterns. The top and bottom
part of the domes are joined by Brackets with
figures of deities on them.
The most important amongst all the temples
within the complex is the Chaumukha Temple.
Dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath,
it is a four faced temple which has a basement
of 48000 sq feet. The temple boasts of four
subsidiary shrines, 24 pillared halls and
80 domes standing on the support of nearly
400 columns (the total number of columns in
the temple complex, however, is much larger,
around 1444). Each of the columns is richly
carved and interestingly no two columns present
the same design. Moreover, the columns change
colour from golden to pale blue with the passage
of every hour during the day. So much for
the artistic brilliance of the workmen! The
temple is shaped like a Nalinigulm Vimana
or heavenly aircraft that the Shah had seen
in his dreams.
The construction of the temple is extremely
complex with four separate entrances leading
to chambers inside. The chambers finally lead
to the main hall which houses the image of
Adinath encircled by several smaller shrines
and domes. Another range of cells with individual
roofs surround these shrines and domes yet
again. Perhaps, the complexity of the structure
was reason why the temple took around 65 years
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.
The climate of Ranakpur is tropical with the
mercury climbing up to a maximum of around
42°C and a minimum of around 22°C.
Winters are only a little colder with a maximum
of around 20°C and a minimum of around
11°C. The annual total rainfall is around
55 centimeters. Winter months (October-March)
are the best for visiting this place.
Kumbhalgarh is a historical site around 30
km northeast of Ranakpur. It is the most important
fort in the Mewar region after Chittaurgarh.
The other important place to visit in Kumbhalgarh
is a wildlife sanctuary known for its wolves.
Sadri, eight km away, is famous for some beautiful
temples and an old dargah of Khudabaksh Baba.
The Varahavtar temple and the Chintamani Parsvanath
temple are the oldest of the temples situated
Temples at Desuri
Desuri TemplesThree temples, dedicated to
Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman and Navi Mata are
among some noteworthy temples at Desuri around
16 km from Ranakpur. An old mosque situated
here is also worth a visit. A temple dedicated
to Parsuram Mahadeo, nestled in the hills,
is also close by.
Another nearby place, Ghanerao, abounds in
Hindu temples. Most notable is the temple
of Gajanand with a life-size statue of the
goddesses Riddhi and Siddhi. The statue in
the main shrine is guarded by idols of Hanuman
and Bhairon on either side.
Muchhal Mahavir TempleThe Muchhal Mahavir
temple is situated about five km from Ghanerao
in the Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary. Its distinctive
feature is the statue of Lord Mahavira with
a mustache. The two statues of elephants guarding
the gateways are splendid examples of temple
decoration. In the vicinity are the Garasia
tribal villages famous for their colorful