Ranakpur is a small village in Desuri tehsil in the Pali district of Rajasthan. Located between the more famous tourist destinations, Jodhpur and Udaipur, Ranakpur is a hidden gem in its own right. A popular destination in Pali, Ranakpur lures many a tourist on their way to Udaipur.
Ranakpur is well-known for its marble Jain temple which is dedicated to Adinath, the most magnificent and spectacular of all the temples in the village. The temple is visited by lakhs of devotees and tourists every year. The Sun temple also attracts a large number of people from far and wide.
Architecturally, the Adinath temple covers an area of 60 x 62 meters. Made of light coloured marble, the temple has an aura of asceticism. Its beauty is further enhanced by distinctive domes, turrets, cupolas and Shikharas, which can be seen rising majestically from the steep slope of a hill. More than 1444 marble pillars, carved exquisitely, support the temple and bolster its frame. Every one of these skilfully carved pillars is unique and never fails to to leave lasting impression.
According to popular belief, it is impossible to count the total number of pillars. Interestingly, all the statues present in the temples face one or the other statue. A single marble rock is carved into 108 heads of snakes and uncountable tails. The astounding image faces all four directions. The main entrance bears the largest image, thus seeming all the more fascinating. The temple’s amazing figure carvings look similar to Khajuraho sculptures.
Another renowned templed, the ‘Sun Temple’ is equally grand. The temple is dedicated to the Sun God and is richly embellished with the superb carvings of warriors, and the sun god riding his chariot. According to Hindu Mythology, Sun God is considered to be the God of prosperity and destiny all over the world. Many visit this shrine to seek Sun God’s blessings.
Ranakpur is often dubbed as the ‘The tranquil pilgrimage town’. A ride to nearby places like Sadari, Ghanerao, Desuri and Narhai, is also popular with the tourists coming to Ranakpur. The captivating beauty of Ranakpur makes for an unforgettable trip with friends or family. So next time you pass this way, don’t forget to visit Ranakpur!