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, the Ranakpur temple is the most significant and spectacular example of Jain architecture. Covering an area of nearly 48,000 square feet, the complex form one of the five major pilgrimages of the Jains in the world.

Ranakpur temple in India

Ranakpur temple (Photo courtesy of Nagarjun Kandukuru)

Built in the 15th century by a wealthy Jain businessman following a divine vision, the 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 of architecture is indeed beyond description. One have to see it to believe it.

Inside Ranakpur Temple, India

Inside Ranakpur Temple, India

The Ranakpur temple 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 by bus from the city of Udaipur (93 km).

Opening Hours: Ranakpur Temple is open everyday. Tourists are allowed to tour the temple from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The temple is open for prayer prior to 12:00 pm.

Entrance fee: Every visitor has to pay Rs 200 including audio guide, camera will be charged Rs100 each. To enter the temple, you must be appropriately dressed. Women need to cover their legs well below the knee. Leather products are not allowed.

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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