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.
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. The annual total rainfall is
around 55 centimeters. Winter months (October-March) are the best
for visiting this place.
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.
SITES TO VISIT
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.
Kumbhalgarh is a historical site around 30 km northeast of Ranakpur.
It is the most important fort in the Mewar region after Chittaurgarh.
The other important place to visit in Kumbhalgarh is a wildlife
sanctuary known for its wolves.
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
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.
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
HOW TO REACH
The nearest airport is Udaipur 60 km south of Ranakpur. There
are regular flights to Delhi, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Jodhpur, and
Mumbai from Udaipur.
The nearest major railway station is Udaipur. There are trains
for Delhi, Chittaurgarh, Ajmer, and Jaipur from this station.
The nearest railway station from Ranakpur is Phalna but most of
the tourists prefer going to Udaipur to catch a train as it offers
There are frequent express buses from Udaipur that take around
three hours to reach Ranakpur. State transport corporation buses
as well as private buses connect Udaipur to other cities in the
region. Major destinations that are connected to Udaipur are Jaipur,
Ajmer, Kota/Bundi, Jodhpur, Chittaurgarh, Ahmedabad, Vadodara,
Mumbai, Delhi, Indore, and Mt Abu.