Ranakpur Jain Temple, Ranakpur Overview
Ranakpur Jain Temple complex is one of the largest Jain temples in the country and is of immense religious significance to the Jain devotees. The complex is spread over a vast expanse of an area covering about 4,500 sq. yards and constitutes 29 halls. It is an architectural marvel and also finds its place among the 77 wonders of the world. The brilliant structure and design of the temple reflect the rich culture of the bygone era and hence, is of great interest to tourists and pilgrims across the globe.
The temple was constructed during the reign of the generous ruler, Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. It is devoted to the first Jain Tirthankar, Lord Adinath and comprises four major shrines. A wealthy and popular merchant named Dharna Shah proposed the idea of building this structure. The architecture of Ranakpur Temple is inspired by the architectural style of Mirpur Jain Temple situated in Mirpur town of Rajasthan.
The most fascinating feature of this shrine is its ‘chaumukha’ design, which literally means four faces. This design is beautifully carved out of single marble rock with great detail. The pillars of the temple also change its color as the day passes. Moreover, no two pillars have similar carvings. The two large bells in the prayer hall that resonates with a harmonious sound as they are stroked. Rich in tranquility, spirituality, and architecture, this place is a must-visit for those seeking spiritual connectivity.
More on Ranakpur Jain TempleHistory of Ranakpur Jain Temple
The rulers of the Mewar Dynasty had always promoted Jainism. It was under the reign of Rana Kumbha, who was one of the rulers of the Mewar Dynasty, this temple was constructed. Seth Dharna Shah, who was a resident of Porwal from Ghanerao, was the wealthiest and popular merchant during the rule of Maharaja Rana Kumbha. He dreamt about building this shrine and paying reverence to Lord Adinath and Lord Rishabhanatha. He devised a blueprint of the holy place and discussed it with Rana Kumbha.
The King was greatly impressed by the idea and the devotion and generously offered support to the merchant to construct the temple by providing capital and land. Rana Kumbha agreed, but on the condition that the shrine should be named after him. Consequently, the temple positioned on the banks of the Maghai River came to be known as Ranakpur.
The temple was completed in 1458 and it was undertaken by the architect named Deepaka. The time has been harsh on this structure, however, timely renovation and repairs have preserved its historical essence. Recently few ‘devakulikas’ and ‘mandaps’ have also been constructed in the complex. The maintenance and administrative work of the temple is carried by the Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi Trust.
Architecture of Ranakpur Jain Temple
The Ranakpur Jain Temple complex constitutes several shrines namely the Parsavanath Temple, the Chaumukha Temple, the Surya Temple, and the Amba Mata Temple. The primary shrine of the complex is the Chaumukha Temple, which is a four-faced temple devoted to Lord Adinath, who is the first Jain Tirthankara.
Occupying an area of about 48,000 sq. feet, this shrine has 80 domes and 29 halls which is supported with 1,444 pillars. The most interesting feature of this temple is the carvings on the pillars. Intricate carvings of dancing goddesses are seen on the pillars and no two pillars have similar carving.
There are four entrances in the temple that lead to the central hall where the four-faced, ‘chaumukha’, statue of Lord Adinath is installed. The four-faced statue of Lord Adinath symbolizes the Tirthankara’s conquest of the four cardinal directions. You can witness a precise geometric and scrollwork patterns on the ceilings. The brackets connecting the top of the domes to the floor are adorned with figurines of gods and goddesses.
The architecture and stone carvings is inspired by the ancient Mirpur Jain Temple that is situated at Mirpur region in Rajasthan. The temple’s foundation is made of three levels so that several pavilions can be accommodated on the base itself. There are also beautiful towers near the pavilions. The prayer hall of the temple, also known as the mandapa, comprises of two huge bells that weigh 108 kilograms each. The Temple of Parsavanath is another temple that is worth visiting. The temple complex is well-known for its etched windows that are adorned with Jain figures and is also known as Patriyon Ka Mandir.
Tips for Visiting Ranakpur Jain Temple
1. Mobile phones and cameras are allowed inside the temple complex after pay a
2. Only Jains are permitted to worship inside the temple. The rest of the public is only allowed to watch the ritual and click photos.
How to Reach Ranakpur Jain Temple
The Ranakpur Jain Temple is situated on the Girnar Hill, in close proximity to Sadri Town of Pali district of Ranakpur. The temple is situated at a distance of 90 kilometers from the city of Udaipur. It takes approximately four hours via road to reach the temple from Udaipur.