Ranakpur Jain Temple

Architectural Genius hidden in the hills of Aravali

My third trip to Rajasthan – Sep 2016

It is one of the very few great Hindu temples which open their doors to non-Hindus.

Drive to Ranakpur – whether you go from Udaipur via Kumbhalgarh (may experience patchy road after monsoon season) or directly (this one is majorly a Smooth & scenic highway) – its scenic, a darker shade of green which we think is alien to otherwise arid lands of Raj.
The calmness in temple’s compound (which has enough parking space), the facade & amazing views make it worth the travel. Parking is free, entry is free but you have to pay for Camera (Rs 100 per camera for Indians). Your mobile camera gets accounted for as well, so either pay for each camera or deposit the extra ones in their lockers (pay rupees 10 if you deposit before 4:30 pm, free afterwards).
Temple timings are different for Indians & Foreigners (closing the doors usually 30 minutes before, that’s when the devotees start to pour in).
Intricate carvings will definitely floor you. Only a true poet can justly bind its glory in words that are limited to a dictionary while the subject itself touches the Heavens.
Some facts to tempt you to visit the temple once:
1 – It was built 600 years ago & has 1000+ pillars supporting it, there is no support from walls
It houses a tree from the day its foundation was laid, with roots emerging in the image of one of the 33 Hindu Gods – Ganesha.
2 – Pillar no. 51 is tilted, intentionally, to prevent it from evil eyes by adding that slight imperfection to an otherwise perfect creation
3 – the man who started & funded the temple requested to not to be mentioned anywhere. Upon insisting by the villagers, he agreed to have a small statue of him carved on the entrance pillar, requesting that his eyes fall on the main statue of Lord Adinath (seeing him until eternity)
4 – Another funder wanted his large statue inside & ordered for a dedicated pillar. Folklore has it that the Gods became angry on his material wish & cursed that pillar. Even after spending 2000 gold coins & several days, it was never completed. It will fall, mysteriously every night, & was eventually left incomplete.
5 – There are several God statues & from every corner & pillar, you can see Lord Adinath.

Rest, a lot to tell but visit this as some things are better left untold.

Do not miss to spot the leaf carved in the roof as ‘leaf of Kalptaru’ – a wish granting tree that grows in heaven. It is believed that one true wish will be granted, if asked for, standing under it.

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