Today I have Shaini Baisiwala from Shalzmojo sharing her travel experience to Ranakpur Temple.
Over to her.
I wouldn’t call myself religious and am not the one to go visiting temples in the lord’s praise.However tell me about the architecture details, historical aspects and I am hooked to it. I first heard about the Ranakpur Temple while planning a trip to Udaipur. It seems these trump the famous Dilwara temples of Mt Abu.
To say I was intrigued is an understatement. A little research later, I knew I just have to visit these Jain temples which are about 500 years old and were built by a local business merchant who dedicated them to Adinath – the first Tirthankar in the Jainism ideology.
Ranakpur is situated about 90 odd kms from Udaipur and it took us just a little over 2 hours to reach them. We had hired a private taxi though one can board one of the many buses plying to and fro here too.
Ranakpur temple complex is built in about one acre of land which lies abutting the Western end of the Aravalis. In fact the road from Udaipur was long and winding punctuated with dense foliage on either sides. We were lucky to spot the beautiful flame orange blooms of the Palash trees.
The Ranakpur temple is built in soft white marble stone and has stunning intricate patterns which speak of bespoke workmanship. Can you believe that there are over 1400 pillars, and no two pillars are the same? Talk about imagination!
There are 24 pillared halls, 80 domes and numerous archways within the temple complex.
Look at this detail on the base of one of the columns – I was pretty mesmerized with it.
Complete temple complex is a series of combination of open courtyards, arches, corridors – all of which strive to present exquisite craftsmanship. There is a sculpture here of a snake chasing its tail but it’s too difficult to spot the end of its tale.
Another sculpture depicts the Kalpavriksha or the tree of life which has been carved on the domes of one of the ceilings – I couldn’t stop admiring it, despite the growing crick in my neck.
In fact each and every one of the domes has stunning artistry carved out in stone with hand, making me marvel at the deftness of the craftsmen. Another unique fact which were told of is that the soft stone changes colour from pale yellow to pale blue as the sunlight changes in the temple. I am not sure if you can make that out in the pictures I am sharing here.
Everywhere I looked, the mastery of the architectural details blew my mind away. I couldn’t stop clicking pictures of the place and wanted so much to visit it once again on the trip but couldn’t due to time paucity. The ceilings are a happy fest of intricate scrollwork, deity sculptures and patterns.
There is a deity in the inner sanctum of the main temple which is worshipped in accordance to the Jain religion. In fact while entering the complex, we had to deposit all our leather items and shoes before entering the temple.
Cameras were allowed and we could see people lounging around in the temple corridors to sit in quiet reflection. I was amazed by both these facts as priests are a bit anal about such activities inside a live temple, in my opinion, in India.
Though we skipped it, I believe the food canteen at the temple complex serves an enviably delicious thali, priced modestly at 90/- and is one of the cleanest food kitchens there is to see in India.
If you ever plan a trip to Udaipur, I would highly recommend a visit to Ranakpur which incidentally is named after the Rajput ruler Rana Kumbha who supported the construction of this temple during his rule.
The other place you must not miss while in Udaipur is Kumbhalgarh fort which is as unique if not more as the Great Wall of China.
Speaking of the wonders of the world, Ranakpur temple was also on the list of the Seven Wonders of the World.
An interior designer by profession, writing is a passion which coupled with travel love blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on my blog. I am a serious wine guzzler and love to chase butterflies in my free time.
This post is written for the December bloghop #mymojo with Shalzmojo.
Linking up for #wordsante with Namysaysso for every post deserves some love.