Temples and other places of worship are great places to visit when one is in need of solitude or peace. Their calming air and comforting environment help in attaining the inner peace we all so desire in this modern world. Stepping out of our daily roles for a bit every now and then can do wonders for our health. One such amazing place of worship is the Ranakpur Jain Temple. One of the most aesthetically pleasing temples, it is truly a feast for the eyes and solace to the heart. If you require some divine comfort and inspiration, or a much needed break, then the Ranakpur Jain Temple is indeed a place you must visit. To know more about the jain temple of Ranakpur, read along.
History of Ranakpur Jain Temple
This incredible temple was built in dedication to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha, the first Tirthankara and founder of the Ikshvaku dynasty. Built by a local merchant named Darna Shah, he was inspired to build this temple after he received a celestial revelation in his dream. After much deliberation and consideration, he chose a local architect called Deepak to design the whole structure. King Rana Kumbha of Mewar generously delegated a huge chunk of land for the construction of Ranakpur Temple. Furthermore, as per the king’s order the village of Ranakpur near Sadri town was built around the jain temple. The construction that began in 14th century, ended in the latter part of the 15th century. It has been found in certain records that the construction of Ranakpur Temple involved more than 2700 workers.
Religious Significance of the Ranakpur Jain Temple
Supported by over 1444 pillars, each of the Ranakpur Jain Temple pillars are intricately crafted to depict numerous stories and no two pillars are similar. Among the numerous carvings, the most significant remains the one of Lord Parshavanth. The carvings beautifully depict the story of Lord Parshavanth and Lord Nagas. The temple has many attractions, with sections and sub-sections having their own delicate features. The main attraction is the Chaumukha Adinath idol, a four-faced intricate structure. Ranakpur temple, apart from being one of the largest jain temples also occupies its place among the five most significant Jain temples in India.
Architecture of the Ranakpur Temple
Apart from Ranakpur Temple’s significance as a religious structure, the temple is also an architectural marvel. Mentioned among the nominees for 7 Wonders of the World, the temple truly stands out among the rest. Having four really complex doorways and structure, nearly all of its surface has been intricately carved with great detail. No matter which doorway you enter from, all paths lead to the main shrine and hall, where a tall idol of Lord Adinath presides.
Made out of light colored marble, it has over three stories and has been constructed in the architectural style of Maru-Gujara. The Ranakpur Jain temple has over 29 halls and 80 domes, along with 5 shikaras. An architectural wonder, it has been constructed in a way that makes it possible for air to circulate freely throughout the structure, creating a cool and tranquil environment.
The Jain temple of Ranakpur has been built in the form of Nalini-Gulma Vimana, which is a heavenly chariot that Darna Shah dreamt about. Furthermore, what has perplexed the historians and architects is that the temple does not require any artificial lightening, but instead is lit up by sunlight and natural light.
Location and Accessibility
Situated in the village of Ranakpur, the Ranakpur temple is truly a treat for the eyes. The village lies between the cities of Jodhpur and Udaipur and is easily accessible by road. One can easily take a flight to the Udaipur Airport, and then travel to Ranakpur which is about two hours away. One can also travel by train. The nearest station, Falna, is situated at about 36 kilometers from the Ranakpur. The village is easy to reach with well-built roads and has numerous resorts and hotels for one to stay in.
Things to remember when visiting the Ranakpur Jain Temple
When visiting the Ranakpur temple one must be aware of certain rules and conduct of the place. As per the latest update, the temple is open for visitation from 12 PM till 5 PM. All visitors are required to wear full length clothing which covers the body, ie, shorts, skirts, sleeveless shirts & tank tops are not allowed. Similarly, no article of leather is allowed inside the temple. In addition, tickets have to be purchased for the use of camera’s inside the temple.
Best time to Visit the Ranakpur temple
Traditionally, the winter months of October to February are the best time for tourists to visit Rajasthan owing to the hotter summer months. This is a good time to visit the Ranakpur Jain Temple as well. However, the geographic location of the valley of Ranakpur makes it an unusually green destination. The monsoon months of July & August highlight the vegetation in this forest area making it a great time to experience the beauty of Ranakpur.
Sightseeing options near the temple
Ranakpur is a wonderful little town, that is known for many other things apart from the Jain temple of Ranakpur. Located in Rajasthan and in close vicinity of Jodhpur and Udaipur, numerous Rajasthani handicrafts can be found here. One can choose from countless souvenirs and handmade goods.
Apart from shopping, there are several temples and shrines located nearby. Located in the nearby sanctuary of Kumbhalgarh, the Muchhal Mahavir temple is an excellent structure and place of worship built in dedication to Lord Mahavir. There is another excellent Pali temple located that pays homage to Lord Surya. The Surya Narayan temple has a delicately carved structure featuring the sun god riding a magnificent chariot of seven horses.
Other sight-seeing options near the Ranakpur temple are the Parshuram Mahadev Temple located in Pali district of Desuri. Situated in Falna, the Golden Temple is also a wonderful option. If you are planning for a longer visit, then a good option would be for you to travel to the serene hill station of Mount Abu, for a perfect holiday getaway.
Hotels near the Ranakpur Jain Temple
Being a popular tourist and pilgrimage destination, the village of Ranakpur has many stay options and hotels in close proximity to the Ranakpur Jain Temple. The forest reserve has many hotels suited for every budget. Laced with modern amenities, the location has countless resorts as well. You can check out hotels and resorts, like Mana Hotels, the Lal Bagh Ranakpur Nature Resort, Pride Resort and Convention Centre, Ranakpur Safari resort, Fateh Bagh Ranakpur Hotel, Maharani Bagh Orchard Retreat, and many more.
Food options near the Ranakpur Jain Temple
The bhojnalay at the Ranakpur Jain temple provides excellent quality Jain food and dishes at affordable prices. The meals are served earlier than usual with the dinner being served before sunset.
There are a few other tea stalls & dhaba’s just outside the main gate of the temple complex where you can enjoy a snack.
For even more food options, the hotels & resorts of Ranakpur will spoil you for choice.
The Ranakpur Jain temple is a wonderful place to visit, if you are in dire need of some divine inspiration. Situated in the aesthetically pleasing forest area of Ranakpur, amongst the lap of nature, the place offers more than just inner peace and spirituality. The place has something or the other for all five senses, offering complete satisfaction for the visitors. If you, too, are sick of the modern lifestyle and are craving for some splendid holiday time, visiting the Ranakpur Jain temple might be your best bet.