Ranakpur Jain Temple- A photo tour
I love visiting temples, and those who have been following me for a while know that I cannot resist visiting a beautiful temple wherever it may be.
The Ranakpur Jain temple is one of the most beautiful that I have seen. The temple boasts of intricate carvings on marble, and some of its most intricate work have been done on single slabs of marble. It truly is a delight, or even just awe inspiring to walk through this temple.
To better understand all the carvings, you can rent an audio guide from outside the temple. I would highly recommend that. My journey through those beautiful interiors was so immersive because of the audio guide, without which I would have just seen, and not understood.
The Ranakpur Jain temple is also known as Chaturmukha Dharana Vihara was built in the 15th century is dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha. The temple is built in marble, and has awe inspiring intricate carvings. You can see the temple quickly, or get audio guides at an additional cost and explore and understand the carvings of the temple. It is definitely worth a visit. It was my first visit to a jain temple, and this was an absolute beauty to look at!
Below are images taken from outside the temple.
I spent maybe around an hour here, and that's because we were being hurried by the driver of our hired car, but I could easily spend a couple of hours with the guide, and camera in hand, to really explore the temple and its architecture!
-Women have to cover their shoulders and their ankles. (I had a shawl with which I covered my shoulders, but my skirt was calf length, and the women at the door tried really hard to pull the skirt down for it to reach my ankles. They only stopped because I told them the hooks on it might break with all that tugging, and that the skirt is not going to come down!)
-Footwear is not allowed inside the temple, they have to be left outside.
To know more bout the journey from Udaipur to Ranakpur, how to book the trip etc, check our my blogpost on the same.
Read my guide to Udaipur
Also, go on a photo tour of Udaipur's City Palace!
The temple is one of the largest Jain temples in India, and is considered one of the holiest in the country.
To get an idea of how big the temple is:
The marble structure is built over 48000sq ft; it has 1444 marble pillars, 29 halls, 80 domes, & 426 columns!
There is one incomplete pillar which over the years they have tried to complete, but people say that every time that it is built, it falls to the ground the next morning!
Below are some of the beautiful pillars of the temple. Apparently, no two pillars are the same in the entire temple! I wish I had known that when I was there, I would have paid closer attention to them! ( Or maybe they mentioned it in the audio guide, and I completely missed it-I can't be sure.)
Below is the carved idol of Parshvanatha that the temple is famous for. It is carved on a single slab of marble. It has 1008 serpent heads carved above the head of the central figure. On either side of Parshvanatha are images of chauri bearers, carved next to them are half human half snake images in the male and female form.
The ceilings of the temple are absolutely stunning as well, so don't forget to look up when you are here so you can be amazed at the intricate detailing above you!