Ranakpur Jain Temple

ranakpur-jain-temple

Name        : Ranakpur Jain Pilgrimage

Situated   : 90 kms from Udaipur

Built year : 15th century

Entry fee  : Free

Ranakpur is located in the mountain ranges of Pali district, 23 kms. away from the Phalna railway station. Ranakpur is reached after passing lush green valleys and streams and the heart capturing views drive away any fatigue of the journey. The Ranakpur Jain Temple were built during the reign of the liberal and gifted monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. An enormous basement covers 48,000 sq. feet area. There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty four pillared halls and eligibly domes supported by over four hundred columns.

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. Located in village of Ranakpur near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan, Ranakpur temple lies at a distance of 95 kms in the north of Udaipur city. The temple is easily accessible from the city of Udaipur as regular buses are easily available. Built in the 15th century, Ranakpur temples are known for being the largest and most important temples of the Jain cult.

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.

In the complex, there are several temples including Chaumukha temple, Parsavanath temple, Amba Mata Temple and Surya Temple. Amongst all of them, Chaumukha Temple is the most important and as the term Chaumukha suggests, this temple is four-faced. Chaumukha temple is dedicated to Lord Adinath, who is the first ‘Tirthankara’ of the Jains. 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.

The four faced image also symbolizes the Tirthankara’s quest for the four directions and ultimately the cosmos. The image is surrounded by many small shrines and domes. One more range of cells with separate roofs encircles these shrines and domes all over again. The five spires elevate above the walls and around 20 cupolas rise from roof of the pillared hall. Each spire houses a shrine and the largest shrine is the important one that addresses the central altar. The temple ceilings are festooned with foliate scrollwork and geometric patterns.

The temple is a masterpiece of architecture and boasts of not less than four additional shrines. It has 24 pillared halls with 80 domes that are supported by 400 columns. The upper and lower parts of the domes are linked by brackets that have deities’ sculptures. Above all, you would be amazed to see at a height of 45 feet engraved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures. Each column is intricately carved and it is surprising to know that no two columns have the similar design.

Apart from this, another stunning act about these columns is that they change their color from golden to pale blue after every hour during the day. In the mandap (prayer hall), the two big bells of 108 kg each produce a harmonious sound on the movement. Chaumukha temple is formed like a Nalinigulm Vimana (heavenly aircraft) and provides this whole structure a celestial appearance. Conceivably, it is due to the intricacy of the structure that the temple took approximately 65 years to complete.

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