Ranakpur Jain Temple – A Complete Guide

Ranakpur Jain Temple – Amazing Facts And Mysteries

The Ranakpur Jain temple in Ranakpur near Sadri, in Rajasthan, is known for its grand pillars, this is a complete guide to Ranakpur Jain Temple.

Ranakpur Jain Temple

The Ranakpur Jain Temple in Rajasthan, India, is a Shvetambara Jain Temple, an ode in marble to the artistic, architectural, and engineering genius of its builders. It is one of the most beautiful Jain temples in India and is dedicated to Adinatha or Rishabha, the first Jain Tirthankara. The Ranakpur Jain Temple is a glorious icon of Jainism which is one of the oldest religions of India.

Today Jainism as a religion is practiced across India but is more predominant in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Karnataka. Some of the famous Jain temples in these states apart from the Ranakpur Jain Temples Rajasthan are the ancient Jain temples of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, the Dilwara Temples in Mount Abu, Shravanabelagola and the Varanga Jain Temple in Karnataka, and Palitana near Bhavnagar and the Girnar temples near Junagadh in Gujarat.

Ranakpur Jain Temple

The Ranakpur Jain temple in Ranakpur near Sadri, in Rajasthan, is known for its grand pillars and stunning architecture, this is a complete guide to Ranakpur Jain Temple.

A Complete Guide To Ranakpur Jain Temple

Ranakpur Jain Temple - Main Entrance
Ranakpur Jain Temple – Main Entrance

This is a complete guide to visiting the Ranakpur Jain Temples, which is one of the five major pilgrimages of the Jains. Here you shall find information about the Ranakpur Jain Temple History, architecture, legends, and practical information for your own visit to the beautiful Ranakpur Jain Temple. This is based on our own visit and experience of the Ranakpur Jain Temple, Sadri.

About Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan

Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan
View From Parsvanatha Temple

The Ranakpur Jain temple is situated in Ranakpur, Rajasthan, India. It is a beautiful structure in white marble on the banks of the Maghai river. It is also known as, “The White Temple of Ranakpur,” and is a visual delight, set against the backdrop of the Aravalli Hills. The Ranakpur Jain temples dates back to the 15th Century, to the times of Rana Kumbha, the ruler of the Mewar Kingdom. The name of the temple and village is derived from Rana Kumbha’s name as he was a patron of the temple and supported its construction.

The main temple is known as Chaumukha Temple and is dedicated to Tirthankara Adinatha who is believed to be the first Tirthankar of the present half-cycle or ‘avasarpini‘ according to Jain cosmology. Adinatha is also known as Rishabanatha.

Ranakpur Jain Temple Pillars
A Pillared Corridor

The Ranakpur Jain Temple in the village of Ranakpur near Sadri town in Pali District, Rajasthan, India is one of the Oldest Jain Temple In India and the structure consists of 1,444 Pillars, 29 Halls, 80 Domes, And 426 Columns. It is an important pilgrim destination in the Jain religious circuit and also a beautiful tourist attraction near the city of Udaipur in Rajasthan. Ranakpur Jain Temple Distance From Udaipur is about 93 kilometres only.

Ranakpur Jain Temple Quick Facts

  • The location of the Ranakpur Jain Temple is Ranakpur Village, Desuri Tehsil, Pali District, Rajasthan, India, the temple is located on the banks of the River Maghai
  • The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built by Dharna Seth, a Jain businessman
  • The chief architect of Ranakpur Jain Temple was Depa Shilpi
  • The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built in 1437 CE, according to the official website of Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, the temple was consecrated in the year Vikram Samvat 1496
  • The principal deity of the Ranakpur Jain Temple is Adinatha or Rishabhnatha, the first Jain Tirthankara
  • The Ranakpur Jain Temple is built over an area of 48.000 sq feet
  • The number of pillars at the Ranakpur Jain temple is 1444
  • There are 80 domes at the Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan
  • The total number of columns in the Ranakpur Jain Temple is 426 and there are 29 halls
  • Neminath temple and Parshawanath temple are the other temples within the Ranakpur Jain Temples complex
  • Ranakpur Jain Temple Timings are from 12 PM to 5 PM for tourists, the timings are different for devotees who wish to worship at the temple
  • There is no entry fee for the Ranakpur Jain Temple, however, there is a charge for each camera and mobile phone that you carry inside the temple
  • Audio Guides are available at a fee of INR200, which is optional for Indian tourists and compulsory for foreign tourists
  • Photography is allowed free of cost outside the temple while there is a charge for photography inside the temple, photography of idols is prohibited
  • The time required to see the Ranakpur Jain temple is about 2 to 3 hours based on your interest
  • The dress code for Ranakpur Jain temple should be appropriate as befits a place of worship, shorts, mini-skirts or other revealing clothes are not allowed, cloth for covering is available at the office counter if required

Ranakpur Jain Temple Quick Facts
Ranakpur Jain Temple Quick Facts

Ranakpur Jain Temple History | Legends of Ranakpur Jain Temple

Ranakpur Jain Temple Mystery
Beautiful Carving at Ranakpur Jain Temple

The Ranakpur Jain Temple History is primarily garnered from the inscriptions at the temple and a copper plate engraving dating back to the 15th century. Some information about the consecration of the temple and various rites performed at the temple is gleaned from an ancient Jain text in Sanskrit called Soma-Sabhagya Kavya.

The book, “History of Indian and Eastern Architecture,” by a British writer called James Fergusson, first published in 1876, gives glimpses of the grand temple from an architectural perspective. James Fergusson was a British architectural historian who has documented the architecture of Indian temples extensively.

In his book, James Fergusson refers to the Ranakpur Jain Temple, as, “The Temple of Sadri.” He describes it thus:

“The principal temple here was erected by Khumbo Rana of Oudeypore. He seems to have been a zealous promoter of the Jaina religion. Among others, he built the temple of Sadri, situated in a lonely and desolate glen, running into the western slope of the Aravalli, below his favorite fort of Komulmeer. Notwithstanding long neglect, it is still nearly perfect, and is the most complicated and extensive Jaina temple I have myself ever had an opportunity of inspecting.”

There is ambiguity about the exact year when the temple was completed with different sources giving different years. However, what is known is that the main structure was inaugurated and the temple consecrated, while the embellishment and further construction of the temple went on for about half a century or more.

The Vision of Dharna Shah

Ranakpur Jain Temple Mystery-Dharna Shah
Small Image of Dharna Shah in the Dharna Vihar

Dharna Shah was a devout Jain businessman from the Porwal community. He worked in the court of the then ruler of Mewar, Rana Kumbha  On account of his hard work and commitment, Dharnashah had grown to be a minister in Rana Kumbha’s court. Dharna Shah had a spiritual bent of mind and was deeply influenced by the Jain Acharya Somasundara Suri who was his spiritual guide.

Dharna Shah had visited the holy place of Pilgrimage for Jains in the Shatrunjaya hills near Palitana in Bhavnagar District of Gujarat. The hill is sacred as the first Tirthankara of Jainism, Rishabhanatha gave his first sermon under a Rayan tree (Manilkara hexandra) here. Dharna Shah was so impressed by the serene sanctity of the temples of the Shatrujaya hills that he resolved to build a grand temple to Rishabanatha, a temple that would remain unsurpassed in its beauty and magnificence, forever.

As if on cue, he had a dream in which he saw a vision of Chakreshwari Mata, the Yakshini or guardian Goddess of the first Tirthankara, Rishabhanatha. The Goddess showed him the beautiful form of a mythical celestial air-borne vehicle known as  Nalinigulma Vimana, a flying palace of sorts, belonging to the 12th heaven, according to Jain cosmology.

In the mind of Dharna Shah, the Ranakpur Jain Temple with all its grandeur had already taken birth. It now only remained for some gifted architect and a team of skilled workers to give that dream a concrete shape. Dharna Sheth in his quest for building a grand temple to Rishabanatha invited numerous architects, artists, and sculptors and explained to them what he visualized. They in turn interpreted his vision and submitted their plans and designs for the proposed temple. But, alas, none of these came even close to the grandeur that Dharna Shah envisaged.

Ranakpur Jain Temple - A Complete Guide
A small image of Depa Shilpi inside Chaumukha Temple

It was then, that destiny, sent a sculptor named Depaka (Depa) from a nearby village called Mundara to Dharna Shah. Depaka, also known as Depa or Shilpi Depa, was passionate about his work. He presented his plan, and Dharna Shah was elated. He had found the man who would help him shape his dream into reality. Depaka was choosy about his work and worked only with people who shared the same passion as him. He was impressed by Sanghvi Dharnashah’s devout nature and honesty and hence agreed to work on the grand temple.

Soon, the land for the temple was identified and procured through the patronage of Rana Kumbha, the ruler of Mewar, and the construction of what would be one of the most beautiful Jain temples started in right earnest, near the slopes of the Aravalli hills. More than 2,500 artisans worked on the temple under the direction of Depaka Shilpi to give shape to the vision of Dharna Shah.

According to the official website of the  Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, the organization that has been managing the temple from the early 20th century and is credited with its restoration, the temple was consecrated in the year Vikram Samvat 1496. It is believed that at this time work on the temple was still going on, however, the main structures had been completed. Dharna Shah had grown old and wanted to see the realization of his dream before he departed the world.

Ratna Shah-Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan
Image of Ratna Shah in Nalinigulma

The grand temple was consecrated by Shri Somasundarsuri. The installation ceremony was a grand affair with a team of more than 500 priests conducting the ceremonial rites. Dharna Shah also commemorated the event by undertaking many charity works including the digging of wells, and lakes to provide relief to the parched and dry region. It is believed that the construction of the temple continued even after his death. His brother Ratnashah made many enhancements and artistic embellishments before the temple was finally completed.

Ranakpur Jain Temple – From Glory To Obscurity

Ranakpur Jain Temple Timings
Meghnad Mandap inside Nalinigulma

After its completion, the Ranakpur Jain Temple towered as a grand testimony to the dreams and endeavours of four visionaries and hordes of other artists and workers. They were Dharna Shah, Depaka Shilpi, Sri Somasundarsuri, and Rana Kumbha. The grand structure, of course, could not have been built without the sweat and toil of thousands of workers. The temple shone like a beacon and drew devotees in hordes to its fold, they prayed, worshipped and gazed in wonder at the white temple of Ranakpur, that shone and glittered like a pearl in the midst of emerald forests.

But destiny had other plans for the temple. After two centuries of it being built, during the 17th century, the advancing forces of the Mughal King Aurangzeb ransacked the temple and wreaked havoc in Ranakpur. The temple priests hid the idols of the deities in underground cellars, that had been built for such an eventuality, and fled for their lives.

There is a small figurine of the Mughal Emperor Akbar carved on one of the pillars inside the temple. It is believed that Akbar visited the Ranakpur Jain Temple in the middle of the 16th century. Akbar was deeply impressed with Jainism and its tenets and he had great respect for Acharya Harivijay Suri on whom he had conferred the title of Jagatguru. During his visit to the Ranakpur Jain temple, Akbar was so mesmerized by the beauty of the temple, that he had an inscription made that read, “no one shall be allowed to destroy this jewel of architecture.”

In a strange irony of history, this, “jewel of architecture”, was ransacked and plundered by the forces of his own grandson Aurangzeb in the 17th century.

Northern Entrance of Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan
The Northern entrance to the Chaumukha temple

After the mayhem, the temple slowly sank into obscurity. The grand temple that had once echoed with the sweet notes of religious hymns and the sonorous peal of bells, was now enveloped in a sepulchral silence

It was overgrown by thick bushes and became the haunt of bats and reptiles, and other undesirable elements, pigeons roosted there and dirtied the portals of the sacred temple. Miscreants started using the area for their nefarious activities, and people stopped visiting the temple as the area became dangerous. The air which was once filled with the divine fragrance of incense was now pervaded with the stench of bird droppings and other filth. The temple became so desolate, devotees stopped visiting as the area was perceived as dangerous owing to the presence of wild animals and anti-social elements of society.

So after about 200 years of glory, the grand temple of Ranakpur slipped into oblivion and was lost to the world, much like the great temples of Siem Reap in Cambodia.

The Restoration And Revival of The Ranakpur Jain Temple

Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan-Ranga Mandapa
Priests outside the western Ranga Mandapa

The grand temple that was the shining star of Jainism lay hidden to the world from the 17th century till the early 20th century. The Seth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi played a pivotal role in reclaiming the temple from nature and restoring it to its past glory. Over a period of 11 years in the first half of the 20th century, the temple was restored, and finally, in the year 1953, the temple once again resonated with the footsteps of devotees and the chanting of sacred hymns. A ceremony to mark the restoration of the temple was held in 1953, which was attended by about a lakh of eager devotees.

Ranakpur Jain Temple Architecture | Ranakpur Jain Temple plan

Ranakpur Jain Temple Mystery
Rearview of Chaumukha temple in Ranakpur

The Ranakpur Jain temple Rajasthan is a celebration in marble of the artistic and architectural genius of its builders. The spectacular design and the attention to precision and intricate detailing leave one speechless when inside the grand temple. The temple is also known by different names like Dharana Vihar, Nalinigulm, Rishabhavihar, Trilokyadeepak, Tribhuvan Tilak, and Chaumukh Dharanvihar.

The Ranakpur Jain Temple campus consists of the main temple dedicated to the first Tirthankara Rishabhanatha and two smaller temples dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara Parshvanatha and the 22nd Tirthankara Neminatha. There is another ancient temple to the Sun God which is nearby and is often mistaken to be part of the same campus, but it is not the case.

The Exterior of Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan | Ranakpur Jain Temple Architectural Features

Ranakpur Jain Temple Architecture
Shikharas of the Devakulikas of Ranakpur main Temple

The general Ranakpur Jain Temple Architecture is somewhat similar to the 9th century Mirpur Jain Temple, in the Sirohi district of Rajasthan.

The main temple is spread over an area of 48,000 square feet and is built on an elevated platform which is known as Pithika or Jagati, a common element of Indian temple architecture. The temple has four entry doors, one each in all the cardinal directions. A flight of stairs leads from ground level to doors which are relatively small and narrow by design, for security reasons. The outer wall built across the perimeter of the temple is devoid of ornamentation, barring at the four entry doors in the cardinal directions.

Ranakpur Jain Temple
The Main or Western Entrance of Chaturmukha Dharana Vihara

The main entrance to the temple is on the western side. A flight of stairs leads to a 3-storeyed, “Balanaka“, or entrance hall. The entrance hall is topped by a dome on the top floor. From the outside, the temple walls are bare, and only when one looks upwards can one spot the multiple small shikharas of the Devakulikas which are 84 in number and are the smaller temples, that are cloistered across the inner perimeter of the temple.

Ranakpur Jain Temple-Shikhara
The Shikhara above the Garba Griha

In the center is the main Shikhara. The smaller shikharas rise like spires piercing the blue skies and flank the main shikhara that rises over the sanctum sanctorum. Partially visible from ground level are the multiple domes that crown the four Meghnad Mandapas or halls that are placed on the four sides of the sanctum sanctorum. Other domes are the roofs over the inner halls known as Ranga Mandapas that directly lead to the sanctum sanctorum.

Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajathan-Norther Side Entrance
An ornamental door on the northern side

We circled around the entire temple for better and different views, and to take a look at the entrance doors that have been built into the walls in all the cardinal directions. The doors and the Balanakas are identical to the ones at the main western door, though there is a difference in the number of stairs that reach the doors as the temple is built on an incline.

The Interiors of Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan

Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan-Entrance
Exquisite carving at the main entrance

As you climb up the steps towards the entry door of the Ranakpur Jain Temple, you get a taste of what to expect inside. The door is framed by exquisite carvings that are intricate in design and pleasing in aesthetics. At the top of the entrance, one can see the figures of two elephants, one behind the other, and above them are carved the figures of Dharna Shah and his wife as well as that of his brother Ratna Shah and his wife.

Western Meghnad Mandap-Ranakpur Jain Temple
Western Meghnad Mandap-Ranakpur Jain Temple

Once you cross the threshold of the main entrance you pass through a semi-dark hall to emerge into an unbelievable world which is sheer poetry in marble. One is stunned by the visual spectacle that unfolds. Exquisite pillars seem to be everywhere, each like a sweet musical note in marble. Every pillar is different from the other and aesthetically arranged.

Ranakpur Jain Temple Pillars
Ranakpur Jain Temple Pillars

There are 1444 pillars inside the temple, and one would expect that space would be choc-a-bloc with these pillars. However, the architectural expertise of the builders is such that there is no sense of overcrowding, the pillars are aesthetically arranged and so aligned that one can have an unobstructed view of the sanctum sanctorum from any position in the halls that surround it on all four sides.

The sanctum sanctorum or Garba Griha has four doors in all the cardinal directions. Immediately adjacent to it are the 4 Ranga Mandapas. When one enters the temple through any of the entrances, one first emerges into the Meghnad Mandapa that leads into the Ranga Mandapa which in turn leads to the door of the Garba Griha. However, entrance is through the main western entrance only.

Ranakpur Jain Temple Architecture
The beautiful ceiling of Meghnad mandapa

The ceiling of the main Ranga Mandapa is embellished with carvings of the Navagrahas and 16 Vidyadevis. The pillars that support the domes in the halls have carvings of the Ashta-Dikpala. These are seen on eight pillars and are the guardians of the eight directions.

Ranakpur Jain Temple Pillars-Dikpala
Carving of Dikpala on Pillar inside Chaumukha Temple

The Mandapas bask under the grandeur of exquisite ceilings with intricate carvings and motifs. These include elaborately carved chandeliers that hang from the ceiling. It is also believed that the entire dome can be dismantled and is actually made up of interlocking parts. The genius of the craftsmen and the imagination of the visionaries who gave shape to the temple is indeed unfathomable.

Ranakpur Jain Temple Architecture-Kalpavriksha
Depiction of Kalpavriksha

On the ceiling of the Meghnad Mandap on the western side can be seen the beautiful carving of the Kalpavriksha, which is a mythical wish-fulfilling tree. The carving is an intricate design of intersecting lattices.

The Sanctum Sanctorum of Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan

Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan-Ranga Mandapa
Mulnayak Garba Griha or Sanctum Sanctorum

The sanctum sanctorum or Garba Griha has a statue of Adinatha also known as Rishabhanatha, the first Jain Teerthankar. The temple is also known as Rishabhvihar as it is dedicated to Rishabnatha or Rishabhdev. The idol is made of white marble and measures 72 inches (6 Feet). White marble has been used with loving devotion to sculpt the image of Lord Adinatha in a Padmasana position. The image is four-sided and each of the doors of the Garbagriha in the four cardinal directions open to reveal the divine image of the first Jain Tirthankara.

Ranakpur Jain Temple Mystery-Bells
250 kg bells inside Ranakpur Jain temple

Two huge bells, each weighing 250 kilograms, hang on either side of the sanctum sanctorum. One of the bells is referred to as male while the other is female. The difference is based on the sounds that the bells produce. The female bell produces a softer note while the male bell produces a louder note. These bells are rung together at the time of arati and their pealing resonates across the temple premises and the sound is believed to carry to a distance of a few kilometers.

Ranakpur Jain Temple-Marudevi on elephant
Marudevi, Mother of Rishabhanatha on elephant

Outside the sanctum sanctorum, on three sides can be seen the stone sculpture of identical elephants. Astride the elephant is the Mahout and behind him is seated the figure of Marudevi, the mother of Rishabhanatha. It is believed that Marudevi went on an elephant to Shetrunji hills to see her son, and died on the back of the elephant on which she was seated and attained moksha.

13 Things Not To Miss At The Ranakpur Jain Temple

Ranakpur Jain Temple Pillars
Ranakpur Jain Temple Pillars
  • The Ranakpur Jain temple pillars are a masterpiece of architectural design, no pillar is alike and there are 1444 of them
  • An intriguing carving of a man with one head and 5 bodies can be seen at the entrance hall of  the temple, this is that of Kichaka who according to Jain Mythology was not killed by Bheema in the Mahabharata, but was punished and let off, he later became a Jain Monk, the figure of Kichaka is said to represent the 5 elements of nature
Exquisite Toran at Ranakpur Jain Temple
Exquisite Toran at Ranakpur Jain Temple
  • One of the most striking and magnificent features of the Ranakpur Jain temple, apart from the pillars are the beautiful Torans, these are highly ornamental decorations carved from single sandstone slabs, there are three of these which adorn the halls of the temple, it is believed that there were originally 108 of them, and the majority of them were destroyed by the marauding forces of Aurangzeb
  • Look out for a pillar in the western Meghnad Mandapa not far from the sanctum sanctorum on which is carved a small image of Dharna Shah, the man who visualized the temple, It is placed in such a way that the main idol inside the sanctum sanctorum can be clearly seen
  • On another pillar is a small carving of a man who it is believed is Depa or Depaka, the chief architect of the temple
Nandishwar Dweep at Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan
Nandishwar Dweep at Chaumukha Temple
  • The carving of Nandishwar Dweep in the form of a Yantra
  • A small statue of Ratna Shah, brother of Shreshti Dharna Shah, who completed the temple after his brother’s demise
Ranakpur Jain Temple Pillars
Ranakpur Jain Temple askew Pillar
  • In a perfect maze of 1,444 pillars, one pillar is deliberately askew, this is done intentionally to ward off the “evil eye”
Rayan Tree at Ranakpur Jain Temple
Rayan Tree at Ranakpur Jain Temple and Pagla
  • In the inner courtyard near the sanctum sanctorum, there is a Rayan Tree which is believed to be 400 years old, beneath the shade of this tree are the footsteps or pagala of Bhagwan Adinatha or Rishabhdev
Sahasrakut inside Rishabhvihar
Sahasrakut inside Rishabhvihar
  • Towards the northern side of the temple is a Sahasrakut with 1008 Jain deities
  • Marble carvings of the Shatrunjaya and Girnar Jain Tirthas or temples
Sahasrafana Parshwanatha. inside Ranakpur Jain Mandir
Sahasrafana Parshwanatha. inside Ranakpur Jain Mandir
  • Sahasrafana Parshwanath sculpture, carved from a single block of marble this depicts the 23rd Tirthankara Parshvanatha in Kayotsarga pose flanked by the guardian deities Padmavati and Dharnendra, the hood of the 1008- headed mythical serpent Sahasrafana forms a protective umbrella over Bhagavan Parshvanath, the intertwined tail of the serpent is so intricately carved that it is impossible to trace the end
  • Inside the temple, there is an incomplete pillar, it is believed that Rana Kumbha wanted a tall pillar in his name, during its construction when the workers returned every morning to resume their work, they would find it broken, and this went on for a few days, Rana Kumbha realized that this was a lesson for him to let go of his ego, and hence he left the tower as it was, incomplete

Temples Inside Ranakpur Jain Temple Complex | Other Temples In Ranakpur

There are a total of 3 Jain temples within the Ranakpur Jain temple complex. These are the main temple which is known as Chaumukha temple, or Rishabhdevvihar, or Nalini Gulma, or Dharana Vihar. The main temple is dedicated to the first Tirthankar Adinatha. There is another smaller temple dedicated to the 22nd Tirthankara, Neminath. The third temple is dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara, Parshvanath. It is believed that the two smaller temples were built by workers with surplus material from the construction of the main temple during their free time.

Neminath Temple Ranakpur

Neminath Temple Ranakpur India
Neminath Jain Temple

The Neminath Derasar or Neminath Jain temple stands a little distance away from the main temple and is dwarfed by its opulence. The Neminath temple is much smaller and simpler. It is built in the Nagara style of architecture. It has a small open courtyard supported by pillars. The courtyard leads to an inner chamber that opens onto the Garba Griha or Sanctum Sanctorum that has an idol of Neminath.

Click here for more details of the Neminath Jain Temple

Parshvanath Temple Ranakpur

Parshwanath Jain Temple Ranakpur
Parshwanath Jain Temple Ranakpur

The Parshwanath temple of Ranakpur is the closest to the main Ranakpur Jain temple. It is also built in the Nagara style of architecture. The outer walls of the temple have beautiful carvings of Gods, Goddesses, and mythical beings. The sanctum of the temple houses an image of Parshwanatha.

Click here for more details of the Parshwanath Jain Temple

Sun Temple Ranakpur

Ranakpur Sun Temple
Ranakpur Sun Temple

There is a temple to the Sun God, Suryadev, outside the periphery of the Ranakpur Jain temple premises. It may be noted that this temple is not part of the Jain temples and stands outside the campus of the Jain temples. It is a 600 years old temple which is known as, “Shri Surya Narayan Mandir.” The temple is managed by the Eklingji Trust, which is a trust of the royal family of Udaipur. The idol of the Sun God inside the sanctum sanctorum is believed to be about 1000 years old.

Click here for more details of the Sun Temple of Ranakpur.

You may also want to read about the Sun temple of Konark and the Sun temple of Katarmal.

12 Amazing Facts About Ranakpur Jain Temple | Ranakpur Jain Temple Mystery

Inner Courtyard of Ranakpur Jani Temple Rajasthan
Inner Courtyard of Ranakpur Jani Temple Rajasthan

The Ranakpur Jain temple spellbinds with its harmonious and ethereal beauty. At the same time, it is a masterpiece of architecture and engineering. There are many interesting facts about Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan that provide more reasons to visit the temple. Take a look at some of the facts that add to the Ranakpur Jain Temple Mystery.

  1. The Ranakpur Jain Temple is known for its magnificent pillars, it is said that there are 1,444 marble pillars, but it is impossible to count the pillars
  2. Each pillar inside the Ranakpur Jain Temple is different in design from the other, no two pillars are the same in the 1,444 carved pillars of Ranakpur Jain Temple
  3. A beautiful carving inside the Ranakpur Jain Temple made of a single rock has a 1008 headed snake and the intricate carving of the tail is such that its end cannot be traced
  4. The Ranakpur Jain Temple’s architecture and design is such that the light falling on the pillars of the mandapa at different times, render them with different colors that range from golden to pale blue
  5. The construction of the Ranakpur Jain Temple took more than 50 years to be completed
  6. Two bells weighing 250 kgs each produce very harmonious and sweet notes inside the Ranakpur Jain Temple, one of them is categorized as, “Male.” and the other as, “Female,” based on the intensity of the sound they produce
  7. The entire temple stands on the pillars and there are no walls inside the temple
  8. Descendants of the first priest worship the deity, descendants of the original architect help in maintaining the temple, descendants of Dharna Shah have the privilege of hoisting the flag atop the temple during special festivals
  9. The temple lay abandoned and desolate after two centuries of being built, it was plundered and then later vandalized by the armies of Aurangzeb
  10. There is a statue of Akbar in the Ranakpur Jain temple that commemorates his visit
  11. The temple was built at a cost of  99,90,000 Rs., a colossal amount of money in those times
  12. It is fascinating to note that there are no lights inside the huge temple , during the daytime, the architectural genius of its builders has ensured natural light streams in, and during the night, oil lamps are lit

Main Festivals & Occasions At Ranakpur Jain Temple

Pagla inside Chaumukha Temple
Pagla inside Chaumukha Temple

The main festivals and other important occasions that are celebrated at the Ranakpur Jain temple are as under:

  1. Anniversary of the consecration of the main deity or Mulnayak of the temple
  2. Akshaya Trithiya
  3. The Janma Kalyanaka of the Mulnayak or main deity(Bhagwan Rishabhnatha)
  4. The Nirvan Kalyanaka of the Mulnayak or main deity (Bhagwan Rishabhnatha)
  5. Mahavir Jayanthi
  6. Two annual fairs are held at the Ranakpur Jain Temple

Tips For Visiting Ranakpur Jain Temple

Ranakpur Jain Temple timings

  1. The Ranakpur Jain Temple is a live temple where worship is performed daily and hence the sanctity of the temple has to be maintained
  2. Visitors wearing revealing dresses like mini-skirts, shorts, etc., are not allowed entry into the temple, garments for properly covering the body are available at the office if needed
  3. Audio Guide facility is available, we recommend availing of the same, as otherwise, you may miss an important feature of the temple
  4. Entry of ladies inside the temple during menstruation is prohibited
  5. If you are availing of the services of an audio guide, you would be required to deposit your original identity document like your Passport, etc., at the office
  6. Entry into the temple will be allowed for tourists only at 12 PM, you can utilize the time before that by looking at the temple exterior

Ranakpur Jain Temple in Rajasthan – FAQ

Ranakpur Jain Temple Timings

Who Built Ranakpur Jain Temple?
The Ranakpur Jain temple in Rajasthan was built by Darna Shah a Jain businessman.

What is the Mystery Behind Ranakpur Jain Temple Pillars?
There are 1,444 pillars and no two pillars are alike in design, also the pillars are not countable.

What are the festivals celebrated in the Ranakpur Jain temple?
The main festivals celebrated at the temple are the anniversary of the consecration of the Mulnayak or deity, his birth anniversary, and the day of his Nirvana.

What is the place of worship of Jains called?
Jain Temple – Derasar is the place of worship for Jains.

Why Ranakpur temple is famous?
The Ranakpur Jain temple is an important place of pilgrimage for followers of Jainism. It is famous for its beautiful architecture and carvings.

Where is Ranakpur situated?
Ranakpur is situated near Sadri in the Pali district of Rajasthan, India.

Who is the father of Adinatha?
The first Jain Tirthankara was Adinatha, also known as Rishabhanatha. His father was King Nabhi who according to Jain belief was the 14th or last Kulakara of Avasarpini. Adinatha’s mother was Marudevi.

How many pillars are there in the Ranakpur Jain temple?
There are 1444 pillars inside the Ranakpur Jain temple.

Who made Ranakpur Jain temple? | who built the Ranakpur Jain temple?

The Ranakpur Jain temple was built by Shresthi Dharna Shah who was a Jain businessman and a minister in the court of Rana Kumbha of Mewar.

Who was the chief architect of the Ranakpur Jain Temple?
The chief architect of the temple was Depaka or Depa Shilpi.

How far is Ranakpur from Udaipur?
Udaipur To Ranakpur Distance is about 93 kilometers.

How far is Ranakpur from kumbhalgarh?
The Kumbhalgarh to Ranakpur distance is about 50 kilometers.

How To Reach Ranakpur Jain Temple

The Ranakpur Jain temple is located in the village of Ranakpur near the town of Sadri, in the Pali district of Rajasthan in India.

Ranakpur Jain Temple Map

Ranakpur Jain Temple Map
Ranakpur Jain Temple Map      PC: Abhijeet Shinde, Architect at Poorna architects
  • Click here for Ranakpur Jain Temple Location.
  • Udaipur To Ranakpur Distance – Udaipur To Ranakpur Route Map.
  • Kumbhalgarh To Ranakpur Distance – Kumbhalgarh To Ranakpur Route Map.
  • Jaipur To Ranakpur Distance – Jaipur To Ranakpur Route Map.
  • Mount Abu To Ranakpur Distance – Mount Abu To Ranakpur Route Map.
  • Ranakpur To Udaipur distance is about 93 kilometers
  • Ranakpur To Kumbhalgarh distance is about 50 kilometers
  • Jaipur to Ranakpur distance is about 357 kilometers

Ranakpur Jain Temple Address

The Ranakpur Jain temple address is Desuri, Ranakpur Rd, Sadri, Rajasthan 306702

Ranakpur Jain Temple Contact Number

The Ranakpur Jain Temple Contact Number is 086964 53616

Reaching Ranakpur By Air

The nearest airport to Ranakpur is in Udaipur. The Maharana Pratap Airport Udaipur is at a distance of about 113 kilometers from Ranakpur. Udaipur is well connected to major cities of India by air. One can fly to Udaipur and travel by road to Ranakpur.

Reaching Ranakpur By Train

The nearest railhead to Ranakpur is Falna Railway Station at a distance of about 33 kilometers. Falna is located on the Jaipur-Ahmedad Line and is part of the Ajmer Division of the North Western Railway Zone of India. More than 80 trains halt at Falna. Some of the major trains include the Chennai-Jodhpur Superfast Express, Ranakpur Express, Jammu Tawi-Bandra Terminus Express, Ashram Express, and many others. For details and train booking please do check out the IRCTC website.

Reaching Ranakpur By Bus

Ranakpur is well connected by road to all major towns and cities of Rajasthan and India. Public buses ply between Udaipur and Ranakpur as well as between Falna and Ranakpur. One can also hire a cab from Udaipur or Falna to reach Ranakpur.

If you are thinking of visiting Ranakpur to experience firsthand the marbled splendor of its Jain Temple, you can book a cheap flight right here through the links below:

TripAdvisor or Agoda or CheapAir or Cleartrip or Makemytrip or Priceline. You can also travel by road to Puri by self-drive car or cab or bus.

Where To Eat In Ranakpur

Ranakpur is a small place and it is advisable to have your breakfast at the hotel you are staying at before proceeding to the Ranakpur Jain Temple. The temple has a small restaurant where light snacks and cold drinks and beverages are available. Free lunch is served at the Bhojanalay by the temple authorities in the afternoon.

Other Ranakpur Tourist Attractions

Ranakpur is synonymous with its grand temple, but there are a few other attractions in the vicinity that one can visit while at Ranakpur. These are listed below:

If you want to plan a trip to Ranakpur or other places in Rajasthan, you can book tour packages online.

You can plan your Ranakpur itinerary and book your  Rajasthan trips, right here.  So go ahead and book online places to see in Ranakpur and Attractions in Udaipur and Rajasthan and cover attractions and popular activities in Udaipur and Ranakpur.

Click here to know more and book Ranakpur Best Attractions in and around Udaipur

Where To Stay In Ranakpur | Ranakpur Hotels | Ranakpur Jain Temple stay

Ranakpur Hotel
Ranakpur Hill Resort

Ranakpur offers many choices of accommodation from luxury resorts to budget hotels. One of the nice and quirky places to stay is the Ranakpur Hill Resort. There is accommodation available at the temple complex itself. These include different Dharmashalas or Inns. Please contact the Temple office for Ranakpur Jain Dharamshala booking.

You can book any Ranakpur Resort, hotel, or hotel in Udaipur or anywhere in India, right here. through TripAdvisor or Cleartrip or Agoda or Makemytrip or Priceline and save a lot by getting the best savings on booking your stay.

Click here to book the best hotels in Ranakpur and the best hotels in Udaipur

Final Thoughts About Ranakpur Jain Temple

As we leave the Ranakpur Jain temple behind, we carry imprinted in our minds, the magnificence of its beauty and the aesthetics of its architecture. Its intricate and exquisite carvings have carved a place in our hearts and the Ranakpur Jain Temple History has inspired us. The great temple has risen like the proverbial phoenix after being lost to the world for centuries.

The temple stands as an inspiring paean in marble to the genius of the craftsmen who shaped and the visual imagination of those who visualized it The Ranakpur Jain temple true its name, Nalinigulma Vimana, looks like a mythical vehicle that has landed on earth to captivate its inhabitants with its surreal beauty. Even though we left the temple far behind, the beautiful images of Ranakpur Jain Temple remain etched in our memories for posterity.

We hope you liked our Ranakpur Jain Temple blog post. If you are planning a visit to the temple, we hope that this serves as a guide to the Ranakpur Jain temple, and helps you experience its beauty to the full. For more such fascinating travel stories subscribe to our blog and connect with us on our social media handles.
Ranakpur Jain Temple

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42 thoughts on “Ranakpur Jain Temple – A Complete Guide”

  1. I’ve said it before guys but the history is just amazing in India. What an ancient air to the country. We deeply treasured our time spent there. Magic. Thanks for sharing these inspired pictures. Fabulous post.


  2. Oh, wow stunning. I would love to see this temple in person one day. I am all about history and learning about other cultures.

  3. Richelle Escat

    I learned a little with this religion through a Netflix series. Thanks for this informative article.

  4. WOW the intricate carvings and details in he columns is very fascinating to me. The amount of time and effort this would have taken is inspiring!

  5. This is a place I would love to visit in person and take my family with me. Beautiful structure and full of hisotry

  6. Such a comprehensive and detailed guide for anyone wanting to visit Ranakpur and the Jain Temple there. Such a gorgeous temple, and those intricate carvings must be a sight to behold. Thank you introducing us to this temple.

  7. The place sounds really wonderful to me and the detailing in your post about it is amazing. Although I have never heard of this place but wow, O must say that it’s awesome!

  8. It has always been my dream to visit India and high among the reasons are the many stunning temples. I hope to see this in person one day. Thank you for sharing. these lovely pictures in the mean.

  9. Indian history is filled with such architecture. This temple looks “bhavya” in true sense. No doubt that Akhbar got mesmerized with its beauty. The carving is spectacular.

  10. I have always found Jain temple pretty fascinating , the Ranakpur Jain temple looks like a alluring beauty and the facts are amazing too . especially about the carving of Nandishwar Dweep in the form of a Yantra

  11. Such a beautiful temple. tHE ARCHITECTURE of the temple is completely mesmerising. Loved reading about it.

  12. Wow, that was a very very detailed post. I have always admired Rajasthan for the mysteries and beautiful architecture it offers. And this post just covers the beauty of the Ranakpur temple. I loved the facts around the pillars and can’t believe there are so many pillars in this temple.

  13. Jain temples are truly a sight to behold with their intricate carvings and beautiful architecture. Many temples have been plundered in the past and I’m glad that Ranakpur Jain temple has been restored to its past glory.

  14. That’s a really so beautiful temple. All the clicks are really very beautiful. I loved the architecture of the temple.

  15. Truly said. As per visual tour Ranakpur Jain temple is definitely the masterpiece of architecture. 1444 pillars. Indeed India has such beautiful heritage to cherish for

  16. it’s so good to know about the rich history of this temple. The pictures, the detailed writing- everything is mesmerising.

  17. Amazing architecture and very peaceful.
    Jain food is also very healthy and tasty.
    Classic sculptures and excellent maintenance. Great thoughts.

  18. I have not had a chance to explore much of Rajasthan. I know that it has plenty of spectacular temples, forts and palaces. I have added Ranakpur Jain temple to my list now. The temple has so much of history and story behind it, would be nice to go see it first hand. Thanks for this post.

  19. I was unaware of this temple but the way you have shared all detailed reviews I am just looking forward to starting my travel plans!!

  20. Beautiful pictures and love how detailed the post is. One of my friends has visited this place and absolutely loved it.

  21. WOW! What an absolutely amazing Temple! Stunning photographs and very interesting and informative article. thank you for exploring this place so thoroughly and sharing it with us.

  22. I absolutely loved your post about the Ranakpur Jain Temple and would want to visit it in the near future. Rajasthan never ceases to surprise me with it beautiful forts, havelis, and temples. This is yet another example of superb architecture! Your detailed review always provide a good perspective on places to visit.

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