Ranakpur is a small town in Rajasthan. It is one of the five most important pilgrimage sites of Jainism It is very popular among tourists. Despite being cut off from other tourist destinations in Rajasthan, Ranakpur is a major pilgrim destination in the state. It is tucked away in a remote valley in the Aravali mountain range and is situated around 96 km north of Udaipur in the Pali district.
Description & History
Rajasthan is one of the most colorful & wonderful places in India, it is famous for its rich and prolific art treasures. Some of its architectural monuments are considered among the best in the world. Ranakpur Temples are acclaimed world-wide for their intricate and superb architectural style. These temples form one of the five major pilgrimages of the Jains. It is located in Ranakpur village in Rajasthan in the west of India, The Ranakpur Jain Temples command huge respect from the Jain community worldwide. Today, these temples attract thousands of visitors every year from across the country and abroad.
The temple is said to have been built by Seth Dharna Sah (a Jain businessman) with the aid of Rana Kumbha, who ruled Mewar in the 15th century. Ranakpur got its name after the name of the Rajput Monarch and likewise the temples. The temple complex is positioned in an isolated valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. The Jain Temples of Ranakpur are certainly creditable for their splendid architecture. This temple is wholly constructed in light colored marble and comprises a basement covering an area of 48000 sq feet. There are more than 1400 exquisitely carved pillars that support the temple.
There are several temples including Chaumukha temple, Parsavanath temple, Amba Mata Temple and Surya Temple in the complex. The most important amongst all the temples within the complex is the Chaumukha or a four-faced temple, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath. The Temple structure is highly compound having four different doorways to get into the chambers. These chambers ultimately take you to the main hall where the image of Adinath is positioned.
Places to visit near Ranakpur
Kumbhalgarh is the most important fort in the Mewar region after Chittaurgarh , it is around 30 km northeast of Ranakpur. The other important place to visit in Kumbhalgarh is a wildlife sanctuary known for its wolves.
The 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 costumes.
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 here.
Three 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.
Best time to Visit
The best time to visiting this place is October – March . 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.
Where to stay
There are many places in Ranakpur that provide quality accommodation. Heritage hotels are the best bet in this region, if one is interested in enjoying the royal hospitality and charm of the bygone era. Facilities in the major hotels are good and worth the money spent.
How to reach
BY Air – The nearest airport is Udaipur . There are regular flights from Delhi, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Jodhpur, and Mumbai.
BY Rail – The nearest important railway station is Udaipur. There are trains from Delhi, Chittaurgarh, Ajmer, and Jaipur for this station.
BY Road – There are frequent express buses from Udaipur that take around three hours to reach Ranakpur. Major city that are connected to Udaipur are Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota, Bundi, Jodhpur, Chittaurgarh, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Mumbai, Delhi, Indore, and Mt Abu.