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.
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 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.
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.