Ranakpur is on the tourist map of Rajasthan due to the majestic Jain Temple. However, what tourists rarely know is that there are several other temples within a 200 km radius of Ranakpur which are a must visit. Here is a list to help you with the same:
1. Jirawala Parshwanath Temple, Jirawala Village, Sirohi District (47kms from Abu Road, 155kms from Ranakpur)
This is a newly built temple complex that houses an ancient idol of Lord Jirawala Parshwanath, the 23rd Jain Tirthankar, that is made from sand and milk. This idol is renowned for being an intrinsic part of the 108 rare idols of Lord Parshwanath that are worshipped all over India. These 108 are revered in the Jain religion for not merely being the oldest but also for the miraculous tales that surround their origin. The idol here is small and was originally installed in 894 CE; it now resides in an aesthetic sandstone coloured complex that was recently renovated. The old structure of the temple dated back to the 12th century and had been destroyed in the later centuries by invaders. Since the new complex was built over a decade ago, there is a modern dharamshala with amenities for the Jain pilgrims that visit to worship the deity.
As one of the places to visit near Ranakpur, it is an attraction for not just the scenic Aravallis as a backdrop but also for the peaceful serenity this place offers far away from the din of the cities.
2. Shree Pavapuri Tirth – Jeev Maitridham, Sirohi (118km from Ranakpur,155 from Kumbhalgarh)
Built around 2001 this new-age Shwetambar Jain temple has a fairly large Jeev Raksha Kendra, devoted to all kinds of animal welfare. Their dharamshalas have modern amenities for the Jain devotees that visit. Well maintained this place boasts large gardens with fountains and statues as you enter. It has two intricately carved large temples within it’s compound. Surprisingly, not many people know that there is an inhouse art gallery in a separate building here with minimal entry fees. We recommend visiting this gallery as it will maximise your experience with it’s sublime aura; larger than life paintings, beautiful murals on the wall will captivate your senses and coerce you to sit and breathe in all the aesthetic pieces that surround you. Visit this place to be dazzled by much more than just the temple.
Even if you are booked to stay in resorts near Udaipur, this Teerth cum Jeev Raksha Dham can be part of your bucket list as an attraction and as one of the places to visit near Kumbhalgarh as well. The drive to Kumbhalgarh from Pavapuri is a little less than three hours.
3. Sanghvi Bheru Tarak Dham- On Taleti Road, Anadara Road, Rajasthan 307511(135 km from Ranakpur)
Located in a scenic valley below the Aravalli hillside, this white marble temple is a vision in the daytime. Famous for its sunset valley location and placed conveniently near Abu Road, this temple is famous for its intricate carving and is dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankar, Lord Parshwanath. The idol known as Sahastraphana Parashwanath which literally means 1008 phan or snake are carved on the idol’s single stone crown. Near the main temple’s compound an enormous bell stands alone with significance for its “aum” sound that would echo far and wide in the valley. As an attraction to visit while you cover places near Kumbhalgarh, we recommend you stay at Mana Hotels, Ranakpur. It is one of the finest, modern and eco-friendly resorts in Rajasthan. As part of the best resorts in Rajasthan their comfortable location will suit you while trying to cover as many places to visit near Ranakpur.
4. 72 Jinalaya Bhinmal Jain Temple – On Jalore-Bhinmal Rd, Bhinmal, Rajasthan 343029 (155km from Ranakpur)
A serenade of 72 Jinalayas or smaller temples in one large compound will fascinate your senses. Made more than a decade ago, this white stone temple is located on the main Jalore highway and is easy to locate. This Shwetambar Jain Temple is known for its beautifully carved sculptures and marble work, it’s also surrounded by beautiful gardens when you enter the main gate. Dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankar, Lord Parshvanath, the idol in the main temple here is known as Lakshmi Vallabh Parshwanath. It has a large Dharamshala for the Jain devotees that visit to worship here. This is a must visit for its 72 Jinalayas, that are devoted to the past, present and future Jain Tirthankars(24 of each in every timeline). These 72 smaller temples surround the main temple in a ring-like formation.
Though this place is about 200kms from Kumbhalgarh and Udaipur, we will suggest you to explore this countryside district for an off road experience and authentic feel of Marwari heritage and culture.
5. Dilwara, Mt Abu (160kms from Ranakpur)
If you are planning a trip to Mt. Abu, Rajasthan’s only hill station then you certainly cannot miss a visit to the Dilwara Jain Temple. It is one of the stunningly magnificent places to visit near Mt. Abu for its architectural grandeur. Just as you cannot miss out on the Ranakpur Jain Temple while hitting places to visit in Ranakpur; likewise this too deserves your attention! Located on a hill built sometime between the 11th and 16th century in a manner that one cannot fathom if a temple exists inside; in order to fool unfriendly invaders and keep them from destroying cultural landmarks. Nevertheless the Khilji Dynasty ruler managed to ravage some temples in 1311. It houses 5 different individual temples in its large complex, with the idols of Lords Adinath, Neminath, Parshwanath and Mahavira in their garbha grihas. Many of these have rangmandaps made in the centre for song and dance entertainment during the festivals. A unique ‘Pittalhar Temple’ here houses a large idol of the Lord Adinath made with 5 metals, mainly pittal/brass.
Believed to be an excellent example of the Maru-Gurjara style of architecture; the ornamental display of workmanship in every pillar can be evidently seen. It was rumoured that the marble craftsmen employed were then paid in gold amounting to the weight of marble powder they collected while carving. There are guided tour hours managed by the temple for those lending an ear to such engrossing tales.
To learn about temples within 100 km from Ranakpur in Rajasthan, check out the following post: