There is something brilliant about ancient architecture that modern architecture will never be able to parallel. The Ranakpur Jain temple, dedicated to Bhagwan Rushabhdev, is one of those structures that showcase skill, expertise and dedication necessary for the creation of beauty.
One of the most striking architectural features of this Ranakpur temple is the 1444 pillars that support the distinctive domes, shikaras, turrets and cupolas that rise rather majestically from the slope of a hill. Not only is the number of these pillars are inspiring but it is interesting to note that none of these pillars are alike and each pillar is intricately carved with different designs and depictions.
The Jain temple was designed to be a charmukha (four sided) celestial vehicle that its patron, Dharnasha dreamed of. Each entrance to the Ranakpur Temple Rajasthan, facing the four cardinal directions, leads to the idol of the tirthankar which is visible from all points in the Ranakpur temple. To achieve this, the pillars were erected in a fashion that they would not obstruct the line of vision during darshan for pilgrims standing anywhere in the Ranakpur temple of pillars.
As fascinating it is to read about Ranakpur temple of pillars , it is far better to see it in person. Ranakpur is a mere 90 km from Udaipur and pretty much in the middle of the Udaipur – Jodhpur highway. This Jain temple is surely a must-see.