• Luxury Rajasthan Holiday - Ranakpur is surrounded by amazing landscapes
  • Luxury Rajasthan Holiday - Ranakpur feels like the land where time stood still
  • Luxury Rajasthan Holiday - Ranakpur is famous for its Jain Temple complex
  • Luxury Rajasthan Holiday - Ranakpur is surrounded by agriculture
  • Luxury Rajasthan Holiday - Ranakpur celebrates many Hindu festivals with colour

Ranakpur

Ranakpur sits on the main road from Jodhpur to Udaipur and is easily dismissed as just another village along the way. Not so for the followers of the Jain branch of Hinduism – Ranakpur is one of the five most important Jain sites in the world and home to a collection of the most stunning temples in India – if not the world. The most famous amongst them is the Chaumukha Temple with its 29 halls, 80 domes and a staggering 1,444 carved pillars, no two of which are identical! Started in the 15th century and in spite of 50 years of construction, the temple complex still remains unfinished.



Taking the time to explore the local area is also well worth it and reveals more about life in rural India. As you head up from the plains in to the mountains there are numerous vantage points offering simply stunning views, the colours of the landscape changing from the dusty ochres, in to all the shades of green you can imagine. Stray off the main road you are transported in to a different world – small pockets of farming communities, still using traditional methods in completely unspoiled surroundings.



For wildlife enthusiasts the leopard sanctuary will definitely be of interest (although it's not always open!) and even if you're just driving through, you can't miss the bands of black face monkies posted along the road, and the occasional loner contemplating life sitting on a boulder.

More from Ranakpur

Rural Ranakpur

Ranakpur is best known for the marble Jain temple which is covered both inside and out by elaborate carvings. The temple contains 1444 pillars, each one individually carved and decorated and the monks who conduct tours are quick to point out that one in particular was carved crooked so it would be imperfect like man. Designed to have four faces to symbolise Tirthankara's conquest of the four compass points and thus the cosmos, each element of this temple has a numerical significance to the the Jain religion. The finest carving is at the top of the steps as you enter the temple, a large roundel of the tree of life in the ceiling, carved from a single piece of marble. According to our monk guide, if you stand underneath and face the idol and prayer, your wish will come true. We're still waiting for our wish, but this is a utterly beautiful carving. Photography is allowed within the temple, although not of the idols though if you choose to have a guide, he will tell you what you can and can't take pictures of.

Ranakpur - Jain temple complex

Ranakpur is best known for the marble Jain temple which is covered both inside and out by elaborate carvings. The temple contains 1444 pillars, each one individually carved and decorated and the monks who conduct tours are quick to point out that one in particular was carved crooked so it would be imperfect like man. Designed to have four faces to symbolise Tirthankara's conquest of the four compass points and thus the cosmos, each element of this temple has a numerical significance to the the Jain religion. The finest carving is at the top of the steps as you enter the temple, a large roundel of the tree of life in the ceiling, carved from a single piece of marble. According to our monk guide, if you stand underneath and face the idol and prayer, your wish will come true. We're still waiting for our wish, but this is a utterly beautiful carving. Photography is allowed within the temple, although not of the idols though if you choose to have a guide, he will tell you what you can and can't take pictures of.

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Kumbhalgarh fort was built during the 15th century and expanded in the 18th century and stands over 1800m above sea level. It contains over 350 temples, 300 of which are Jain temples. Climbing up the steep zig zagging path to the palace at the top of the hill is worthwhile for the spectacular uninterrupted panoramic views of the surrounding Aravalli hills. You also get the best view of the 36km fort walls winding around the hill from here.

 

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