This year in January, exhausted with the lockdowns and Covid gloominess, we finally mustered some courage to take a respite from the routine and drive away to some wilderness. We didn’t know the place that we chose with so much hesitation would give us such a pleasant surprise. Forcefully diverting our focus from Udaipur, as we were deciding to stay at Kumbhalgarh, some good soul knocked our head and we booked our stay at Ranakpur, 50 kms away from the fort. Who would knew this small quaint village in some oblivion part of Rajasthan housed a structure of unmatched elegance and filigreed symmetry. It was a Jain Temple. As Sudha Mahalingam says, carved in translucent marble and reflecting the dun hues of the surrounding desert, the Ranakpur temple is one of the finest Jain temples in Rajasthan’s shrine-studded landscape. It would be no exaggeration to say that the Ranakpur temple puts Pali, the district in which it is situated, on the pilgrim and tourist map. The Ranakpur Jain temple, a three-storied structure built in 1436, stands out from other temples in Rajasthan not for its grandeur but for its 1,444 luminescent marble pillars, each exquisitely and intricately carved from the base to the roof.
To add to the wonder, the temple is naturally lit and aired. We didn’t spot a single electric connection inside the temple premise.

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Sumana Khan, Content & Communications Specialist

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