Jain Temple- Ranakpur
About 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 of 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 and
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.
The Jain Temples
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
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 to complete.
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
Quiet 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.
Falna, 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.