Ranakpur – The Jain Temples in Aravali
Ranakpur in the state of Rajasthan is one of the five most important pilgrimage sites of Jainism. It is home to an exceptionally beautiful temple complex in the Aravali ranges and a must visit for the tourists coming to this region.
Ranakpur is tucked away in a remote valley in the Aravali range. It is situated around 60 km north of Udaipur in Pali district and boasts of one of the largest and most important Jain Temples in the country. The place is well connected through a road network to other places in the region.
Ranakpur is named after Rana Kumbha whom Dharna Sah, a Jain businessman, approached when he had the vision of his great temple to ask for the land for its construction. Renowned for some marvelously carved Jain temples in amber stone, Ranakpur is one of the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. Situated at a distance of around 60 km from Udaipur, these temples were constructed in the AD 1439.
Pilgrimages Attractions of Ranakpur
The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built during the reign of the liberal and gifted Rajput monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. The basement is of 48,000 sq. feet area that covers the whole complex. There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty-four pillared halls and domes supported by over four hundred columns. The total number of columns is 1,444 all of which are intricately carved with no two being alike. The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an interesting sight. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 108 kg whose sound echoes in the entire complex. The main temple is a Chaumukh or a four-faced temple dedicated to Adinath.
The three other Jain temples in the same complex, including a temple of the Sun God, are all well worth a visit. One kilometer away from the temple complex is the temple of Amba Mata.
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.
Temples at Desuri
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.
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