Once upon a time… Ranakpur

Located in a remote and enchanting valley in India within the state of Rajasthan, the village of Ranakpur hides a lesser-known masterpiece of architecture.

Nestled in the lush green valley of Aravalli mountain range, Ranakpur is the most significant and spectacular Jain Temple. Covering an area of nearly 48,000 square feet, the complex form one of the five major pilgrimages of the Jains.

Ranakpur temple in India

Ranakpur temple (Photo courtesy of Nagarjun Kandukuru)

Built in the 15th century by a wealthy Jain businessman under the rule of monarch Rana Khumba, Ranakpur temple is a maze of ornate carvings and distinctive domes. The three-storeyed marble edifice is said to have cost 10 million Rupees and took more than fifty years to build.

Ranakpur temple columns

Ranakpur temple pillars

Ranakpur temple is a blissful combination of architecture, sculpture and crafts, sequential space, and continuing halls covered by high-raised dominical ceilings. The most outstanding feature of this gem is its myriad number of pillars. Over 1.444 white marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, support the structure. Yet, there are not two pillars alike and it is said that it is impossible to count them.

Details oof Rankpur temple carvings

Details of Rankpur temple carvings

All this immaculate environment evokes a sense of pure land and a peaceful atmosphere. The beauty of this masterpiece is indeed beyond description. One have to see it to believe it.

Ranakpur is one of the individual best things I saw during my trip in India. It was this temple that struck me the most and became the highlight of my journey. Very wise of you to make time for a stop in Ranakpur while traveling in Rajasthan. The temple is easily accessible from the city of Udaipur as daily buses are available.


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    • Thanks Jill! I went to Pushkar as well, but I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I would like to since the holy lake was dry and the temperature was around 104 ºF