Honestly, for us, visiting temples does not fit in with the idea of a vacation. But what if the temple mimics an extravagant film set and nobody can describe its beauty in words? Additionally, the pictures on the web are so enticing, we could not help but plan a visit to the lesser-known Jain temple of Ranakpur.
A little background
Our first visit to a Jain temple was Dilwara Jain Temple in Mount Abu a few years ago. The captivating architecture there was breathtaking and we thought similarly for Ranakpur. The latter is less known because the Dilwara temple perhaps overshadows its popularity. While merely 50 km away, Kumbalgarh Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site, the Ranakpur temple surprisingly is not.
The 15th-century Ranakpur temple is one of the important Jain pilgrimage sites in India. The town of Ranakpur and the temple were named after the then ruler Rana Kumbha who fully supported the construction. It is said the temple construction went on for 50 years!
More about Ranakpur Temple
Ranakpur temple is dedicated to Adinatha ji who is the first Jain Tirthankara. Spread over an area of 48,000 square feet, the white marble structure on a raised platform has intricate carvings that leave you spellbound. Likewise, right from the ceiling to the staircase, every inch of the holy place screams a rich heritage of art and culture.
In addition to the main temple of Chaumukha Adinatha, there are three more temples on the premises namely Parshvanatha, Nemidev, and Surya mandir. Every structure has unique architecture and style. We’ll let the pictures do all the talking. Hope these inspire you to pack your bags and leave for this beautiful place.
Picture tour of Ranakpur Temple – Inside and around
General rules and information
- Temple timings are 8 am to 8 pm. Idols are worshipped from 8 am to 12 pm and Jain pilgrims practice their rituals during this time.
- Photography inside the temple is permitted, except for the main shrine with God’s idols but not allowed from 8 am to noon. The timing for photography is 12 pm to 5 pm.
- Mobile or DSLR camera charges are Rs 100 each.
- Water bottles, eatables, and leather items like belts or wallets are not allowed inside the temple. You can deposit these in the locker room for a nominal fee of Rs 10 or may be leave them in your car.
- Shoes and socks are to be left on the racks outside the temple.
- Please keep in mind the temple complex is not wheelchair-friendly.
- A small tuck shop outside serves tea and snacks. There’s a canteen that serves full meals but it shuts post 12:30 pm. You would have to settle for snacks from the tuck shop during lunchtime. Therefore it’s better to carry food with you if possible.
- Those in revealing clothes may be prohibited from entering the temple. So please be sensible while dressing up.
- Parking is free of cost.
Ranakpur temple lies 49 km away from the well-known Kumbalgarh Fort. It is 94 km from Udaipur, 155 km from Jodhpur, and 161 km from Mount Abu. Also, Gujarat is merely 200 km away from Ranakpur. As a result, you’d see a huge influx of Gujarati tourists in Ranakpur and Kumbalgarh.
How to reach Ranakpur
Public transport is not available from Kumbalgarh to Ranakpur. For instance, we spotted only one local bus that perhaps connects Udaipur and the nearby villages. So the best option would be to hire a private vehicle or self-drive till here. The nearest airport is Udaipur from where you have to travel by road to Ranakpur. The road condition is bad probably because it passes through small villages and forest areas. Above all, it’s a narrow road, wide enough for one vehicle. Hence please drive slow. You’d find a stretch of good roads in just a few places.
Where to stay
We are sure there are a few homestay options and luxury resorts in Ranakpur. However, it’s a small town, tucked in the Aravalli away from the hustle-bustle of touristy places. Therefore it would be wise to make your base in Kumbalgarh. There are plenty of hotels in Kumbalgarh, some of them are in remote places in the middle of the wilderness.
P.S- We recently visited Ranakpur in November 2021.