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 Ranakpur Jain Temples    

 Location: Ranakpur is located in the mountain ranges of Pali district, Rajasthan  23 kms away from the Phalna railway station. Ranakpur is situated between lush green valleys and beautiful streams and the heart capturing views. It is home to a very beautiful temple complex in the Aravali ranges. The place is well connected through a road network to other places in the region. Ranakpur in Rajasthan, India  has one of the biggest and most important Jain temple complexes of India, covering an area nearly 4500 square yards, and having 29 halls. Located about 200 km from Jodhpur, Ranakpur is one of the five most important pilgrimage sites of Jainism. Chaumukha temple is dedicated to Lord Adinath, the first 'Tirthankara. 
               Ranakpur Jain temple
              
Chaumukha temple Ranakpur

 Ranakpur Temples:  The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built during the reign of the liberal and gifted Rajput monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century, in the AD 1439. The basement is of 48,000 sq. feet area that covers the whole complex. There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty-four pillared halls and domes supported by over four hundred columns. The total number of columns is 1,444 all of which are intricately carved with no two being alike. The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an interesting sight. In the assembly hall, there are two big bells weighing 108 kg whose sound echoes in the entire complex. The main temple is a Chaumukh or a four-faced temple dedicated to Adinath. 
 
The main temple is the Adinath or Chaumukha temple (the four-faced temple) dedicated to the first tirthankara Adinath. Tucked away deep in the forested Aravalli hills, this is easily one of the most beautiful Jain temples in India. Built in the 15th century, the detailed and intricate carving on the marble looks like lace work rather than stone carving. The 15th century Adishwar temple or the Chaumaukha temple built by Sheth Dhanna Shah is a fine structure. It is in the form of a Nalinigulm Vimana (heavenly aircraft) that Shah had seen in his dream. Designed by Dipa Shilpi it took 65 years (1367- 1432) to erect and is the largest and most complex Jain temple in India. It also boasts of being one of the five most important holy shrines of the Jains.  

  Entrance of Ranakpur Jain temple
 Entrance of Chaumukha temple

 The temple has 29 halls, 80 domes and the pavilions include 1444 pillars, each of them so intricately and artistically carved that they’ll leave a lasting impression on you. The figures of dancing goddesses, beautifully engraved on these pillars are an absolute architectural wonder. The best feature about these pillars is that no two pillars are alike in design and sculptures. Not only the pillars but almost every surface is carved with great intricacy. As you go from one chamber to another you’ll realize that it does not conform to the traditional longitudinal plan as of Indian temples but follows a cruciform one. This plan has four separate entrances, one on each side. Each of these then lead through a series of columned halls to a central arena and the sanctum which has the four faced white marble image of Lord Adinath. The first Jain saint Adinathji or Rishabhadev is surrounded by several other smaller shrines and domes. These are in turn surrounded by a Bhamati or range of cells for images, each of which has a roof of its own.  
 History:  The Jain community and their temple building activities were always patronized by the ruling Mewar  dynasty. Dhanna Shah, the founder of the temples at Ranakpur, had approached Rana Kumbha to ask for some land to build a temple. The Rana gladly agreed on one condition that the temple should bear his name. Hence the temple site on the banks of the river Maghai came to be known as Ranakpur and is one of the five main holy places of the Jains. 

 Pillars of Ranakpur Jain temple
 The temple has 29 halls, 80 domes and the pavilions include 1444 pillars

 The temples are over 500 years old but well preserved. No other place in Rajasthan has the same ambience and setting as that of Ranakpur whose beauty has been emphasized by its isolation. The temples in Ranakpur are quite unique in style and design. The ceilings of the temples are carved with fine, lace-like foliate scrollwork and geometric patterns. The domes are carved in concentric bands and the brackets connecting the base of the dome with the top are covered with figures of deities.
  According to a legend, Dharna Sah dreamed of a celestial vehicle. Enchanted by that vision he made a promise to himself and invited architects from all over India to design a temple. Finally he recruited the sculptor Depa who brought to him a draft that suited Dharna Sah's vision. The construction of the main shrine alone took more than 50 years. 
 The foundation of the temple was so made that three story's with their several pavilions could be accommodated on the temple base itself.  Beautiful turrets rise from this wall and each of them relates to a cell on the inner face of the wall. Five spires (shikars) rise above the walls and about 20 cupolas each form the roof of a pillared hall. Each spire again has a shrine below, the largest and the most prominent is the one that surmounts the central altar.

 Temple of the Sun God Ranakpur
 Temple of the Sun God

 A Breathtaking Sight 
 
The most remarkable thing of the temple is the wonderful play of light and shade on the nearly 1,500 pillars. The temples are architectural marvels and it is believed that pillar is different from the others in design. As the sun rays shift through the day the pillars colour change from gold to pale blue In the mandap (prayer hall). The two big bells of 108 kg each produce a harmonious sound on the movement. Chaumukha temple is formed like a Nalinigulm Vimana  and provides this whole structure a celestial appearance. 
 
Other Temples 
 The three other Jain temples in the same complex. The Temple of Parsavanath is another attraction,  built in the mid 15th century. The temple is renowned for its engraved windows embellished with Jain figures. In close proximity to this temple, there are two other temples dedicated to Neminath (22nd saint) and Surya Narayan (Sun God) respectively. .
 

   Postal stamp on Ranakpur Jain Temple
   Indian Postal Department has issued two beautiful stamps on World famous Jain Temples of RANAKPUR and DILWARA on 14th Oct. 2009. These both multicolored stamps depicts images of the Temples along with the unique architectures of these Temples. Miniature Sheet, First Day Cover and Information brochure of these Stamps have also been issued. Both the stamps are of the denomination of Rs. 5/- each.

 Surya Narayan Temple has innumerable wall 
projections with circular structure. The sight of Lord Surya driven in his chariot of seven horses is truly pleasing. One km. away from the temple complex is the temple of Amba Mata. 
 
Sadri:  Sadri, eight km away, is famous for some beautiful temples and an old dargah of Khudabaksh Baba. The  Varahavtar temple and the Chintamani Parsvanath temple are the oldest of the temples situated here. 
Muchhal Mahavir temple: The Muchhal Mahavir temple is situated about five km from Ghanerao in the Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary. Its distinctive feature is the statue of Lord Mahavira with a mustache. The two statues of elephants guarding the gateways are splendid examples of temple decoration. In the vicinity are the Garasia tribal villages famous for their colorful costumes.
 
Falna Ranakpur: The Jain Golden Temple in Falna, a small town in Rajasthan has a unique attraction worldwide. It is the first temple that has been constructed by the people of the Jain community. The specialty of the temple is that, from the Falna town itself about 90 Kg. of gold was donated by the ladies of the Jain community for the idolization of temple dome and Lords idol.

    

  Inside Ranakpur Jain temple
  The Adinatha temple at Ranakpur

 Ranakpur Jain Temple 
 

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