Ranakpur Jain Temple

The Ranakpur temple, stunningly exquisite, an aesthetic and visual treat; was it all true or just a figment of imagination?

We visited this beautiful temple while on our way to Udaipur from Jodhpur and I am glad we halted there. Spread over an area of approx. 48,000sq.feet, this temple is made of amber stone and situated at the base of Madri hill, in the enchanting valley of the Aravallis. It was built by two Jain brothers, Dharmasha and Ratnasha and the land was donated by the then Rajput king Rana Kumbha. The chief sculptor was Depa.

The initial plan was to build seven storied high temple, but even after 50 years only three floors were made, that too was incomplete.

(Do click on the pics. to enlarge and enjoy.)


The entrances are so beautifully carved, you may not want to step on it. Those two evil faces mean that you must leave your greed and evil thoughts outside and enter the temple with pure thoughts.


Once inside I felt I was in a temple of pillars, each pillar covered with rich carvings. The entire weight of the colossal structure rested on 1,444 pillars.

(Do click on the pics. to enlarge and enjoy.)


Click to enlarge and see this toran – the decorative arch carved out from a single stone. We were told that there were 128 such torans the temple, of which only three exist today. Imagine how much more beautiful the temple would have looked with those 128 torans.


The most beautiful sculpted creation I saw there was the idol of Bhagwan Parshavnath standing in a Kayotsarg meditation along with the 1000 hooded snake, Dharmendra and Padmavati.

(Do click on the pics. to enlarge and enjoy.)

The original beauty and splendor lasted only for 200 years. It was plundered and desecrated by the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. The magnificent masterpiece of a temple soon declined in to oblivion. The credit of this temple’s revival and resurrection goes to Shri Kasturbhai Lalbhai, the chief of Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Trust. Over 200 workers and artisans dedicated themselves to the reconstruction of the Great Temple. The color variation in the sculpted stones clearly distinguishes the old and the new work.

(Do click on the pics. to enlarge and enjoy.)

One of the lines of a legendary folk song is:
… Ranakpur temple deserves praise for its exquisite workmanship and magnificent architecture,
.. so eat a little less, but do visit Ranakpur to enjoy its beauty.

To see the World visit other participants at: That’s My World Tuesday.

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45 Responses

  1. Lily-Wren says:

    My word what amazing photographs (I did indeed click to enlarge!) Such beautifully stunning architecture, it surely must have been breathtaking at seen first hand.

    (Excuse me for just popping in! I was clicking ‘next blog’ and, luckily,stumbled across these pictures!)

    Blessings
    Melanie
    🙂

  2. Oh simply, WOW. That temple is fascinating. Wishing you a very happy and healthy new year!

  3. I’m really speechless before such incredible beauty! And when I think of the unfinished buildings I’m used to seeing here, gaunt skeletons of steel or peeling tar paper boards, this in a complete delight.

  4. thyme says:

    What amazing intricate sculptures! I am speechless 😀

  5. angela says:

    What an amazing piece of architecture. The carvings must have taken years to complete..
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. ewok1993 says:

    these photos are precisely why india is high on list. soooo beautiful. such awesome sights. and filled with history too.

  7. magiceye says:

    palatial brilliance! wow! what a treasure trove!

  8. OMG!!! what a breathtaking photos!It’s so BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  9. Guy D says:

    Wow that is truly amazing, thanks for sharing.

    Cheers and Happy New Year!
    Regina In Pictures

  10. alicesg says:

    Wow so magnificient and amazing. I will be so excited if I was there. Would take many photos of the great building. Very beautiful cravings and designs on them. Fantastic. Happy Tuesday.

  11. Wren says:

    A beautiful building and a wealth of intricate detail. Awesome post for MYT.

  12. Mojo says:

    I’ve always found the stonework of the temples fascinating — and breathtaking. And this one seems remarkably well preserved too! hard to believe that it was only a crew of 200 that built this place.

    Beautiful photos. I hope to get there someday and see your country firsthand.

  13. Lakshmi says:

    stunning pics..a tribute to the Indian artisan 🙂

  14. Swarna says:

    Your pictures are always a treat! and the bits of information are the icing.
    Wish you many more – vacations!

  15. Aviral says:

    your pics are as breathtakingly beautiful as the carvings

  16. Hilary says:

    That’s incredible. I just can’t imagine the kind of work that went into creating such an art-filled structure. It’s stunning. Good job on presenting it.

  17. I am a jain by birth, not quite by actions though, however we did visit this place in 2007 diwali and the temples are wonderful… what surprised us was there were more foreigners in the derasar then Indians or jains !!!!!!

    The art work is incredible !!

  18. chrome3d says:

    That was almost too much for me. It´s totally astonishing.

  19. AJEYA RAO says:

    Very beautiful indeed. How much Interest, dedication & hardwork might have gone in to all these beautiful structures. Will add this to my togo list. Have a wonderful Year ahead, Indrani.

  20. shubd07 says:

    Indrani I cant thank you enough for this wonderful journey through Rajasthan .
    I am thoroughly enjoying it .

  21. Carver says:

    The temple is so beautiful and I love the exquisite carving you showed us in detail. Great post.

  22. BABOOSHKA says:

    This really is a breathe taking part od the world. It does make you sigh that we cannot produce such stunning work now.

  23. BABOOSHKA says:

    This really is a breathe taking part od the world. It does make you sigh that we cannot produce such stunning work now.

  24. What lovely photos of a beautiful building. The small details on this building are stunnning!

    ~Angie
    http://www.theathurclanphotos.blogspot.com

  25. Oh my gosh that is so beautiful, the architect is absolutely gorgeous.

  26. Louise says:

    The intricacy of this is so amazing. Terrific post.

  27. absolutely fabulous carvings..

  28. ArtSparker says:

    Seems so suitable that Jains would have made something where nature is reflected to the point where it seems not even the smallest creature is left out and all are parts of the whole.

  29. Dora says:

    Wow! So many pieces of art work. They have put in so much $ and effort to design them.

  30. I am so amazed just enlarging the pictures. I can’t even begin to imagine being there and taking in the rich beauty of the carvings. Truly beautiful can’t begin to describe the workmanship!

  31. Arija says:

    A most beautiful temple, I am glad you shared your interesting photos with us. Very impressive.

  32. Maddy says:

    that is one beautiful temple – have to visit the place some day…sigh, so many things to do – so little time..

  33. Müge says:

    Splendid! Fantastic! Magnificient architecture! I visited Northern India in February 2008 and adored your beautiful country! I am planning another trip to India for 2009 or 2010 and this time I will visit this amazing temple too! Friendly greetings from Istanbul! 🙂

  34. OMG ! this temple looks so stunning….amazing architecture…

  35. Indrani, I owe you deep thanks for opening up this wonderful world with your pictures and descriptions. I may never see the temple, but this vicarious pleasure satisfies me.

  36. Two things strike me when I see this post: the dedication and the money that went into this project! If they had managed seven stories, it must have become one of the great wonders of the world!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Esther

  37. Onkar says:

    Excellent pictures. I liked the first one most.

  38. Carletta says:

    Wow, excellent images filled with detail!

  39. Wow! u have captured the beauty so well.. I cannot imagine the hard work and passion that must have gone into building this… and I also cannot understand how any one can destroy such works of art.

  40. One of the places in my must-see list.

    Stunning pictures of a beautiful place! Thank you for sharing.

  41. Prashant says:

    i was in dilwara temples two summers ago and while i was mesmerized by the architecture i overheard a few people saying that it is not even a tenth of what ranakpur has to offer. now i know why 🙂

  42. amazing art and architecture and such intricate carvings!!!!
    nice post on such a gem of our culture and heritage!!

  43. Kat says:

    With such intricate carving done I’m surprised that they could still reach 3 storeys in 50 years.

    Someone had the devotion and taste to committedly do this.

  44. Pradip says:

    We visited the Ranakpur Temple in December of 1999 and although these pictures are superb but the visit in person wll be an unforgettable experience of lifetime…………..encourage all to visit Ranakpur Temple though it is not conveniently located

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