- Located 90 kms north west of Udaipur, 2 hour drive; regular buses and taxis available
- Built in 15th century
- Took 22 years to build
- Women of neighbouring village donated 90 ounces of gold for construction of the temple
- Chief donor: Mr Dharma Shah
- Chief Architect: Mr Deepaka
- Has 1444 pillars, 80 domes, 360 statues of Gods
- Each pillar different from the other
- Also known as 'Chaumukha' temple or four faced temple- one facing each direction East, West, North and South
- Open for public from 12 noon to 5 pm every day
- Entry Free for Indian nationals
- Camera/Cell phone fee: Rs 100
- No leather wallets, belts, bags allowed inside.
- Local priests coming down 18 generations, can guide the visitors if requested
- Audio guide also available
- Veg lunch in Temple prenises at Rs 50/-
- Resorts around Ranakpur for those wanting to stay overnight
- Temple dedicated to Lord Adinath the first Tirthankara
For those readers not familiar with Jainism here is a quick note courtsey Ami Bhat, a travel blogger. Her story 'Five reasons why you should visit Ranakpur' makes interesting reading. In Ami's words, "Jainism is quite similar to Buddhism. It talks of inner peace, non-violence, tolerance and renunciation. The scriptures and teaching of Jainism talk of how the various preachers attained their Nirvana and various stories from their lives. This is what is carved on to the ceilings and sculpted pillars of this Temple."
Here is what the priest explained about the temple and its history. Short 1:35 minute video for you:
Ranakpur temple had a tunnel as a safe escape route for the idols as well as the woshippers in times of an invasion. Perfect example of a Contingency Plan 600 years ago!The tunnel has since been closed. A short video clip for you.
The temple has two huge bells which are rung only during the time of 'Aarti' आरती. Interestingly one bell has been categorised as a male bell and the other female? What basis? Perhaps its size, tone, frequeny emitted etc. Never heard of temple or church bells being classified as male or female! Video clip for you.
The ceiling at the entrance is decorated with akichaka, a bearded man with five bodies representing fire, water, heaven, earth and air. It is an iconic carving of Ranakpur.
One last bit about Pillars of Ranakpur. There is an unfinished pillar in the temple. Why couldn't it be completed? Because of Rana Kumbha's 'ahankar' अहंकार meaning uncontrolled ego, arrogance and narcissism combined together. 'Ahankar' destroys logical reasoning and good governance. Short video clip:
Hope you enjoyed the marvel in marble-- as I prefer to call Ranakpur Temple.
Ghumakkad's next stop is an Island Palace in Pichola Lake. No, not the Lake Palace but another island close by called 'Jagmandir Island Palace'. Owned and managed by the Royal family of Udaipur, it is an exclusive venue for 'destination weddings'. We all spent an evening there. Preview picture for you.