Ranakpur Temple in Rajasthan is a superb example of classic architecture and forms a major pilgrimage of the Jains. Ranakpur Temples are located in the village of Ranakpur near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan. They lie at a distance of 95 kms in the north of Udaipur city. Regular buses from Udaipur are available.
Built in the 15th century, Ranakpur temples are the largest temples of the Jain cult. The temple is said to have been built by Seth Dharna Sah (a Jain businessman) with the aid of Rana Kumbha, who ruled Mewar. Ranakpur got its name after the name of the Rajput Monarch and likewise the temples. The temple complex is positioned in an isolated valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. This temple is wholly constructed in light coloured marble and comprises a basement covering an area of 48000 sq feet. The temple boasts of not less than four additional shrines.
It has 24 pillared halls with 80 domes that are supported by 400 columns. The upper and lower parts of the domes are linked by brackets that have deities’ sculptures. Above all, you would be amazed to see at a height of 45 feet engraved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures.
Another stunning act about these columns is that they change their colour from golden to pale blue after every hour during the day. In the mandap, the two big bells of 108 kg each produce a harmonious sound. It is due to the intricacy of the structure that the temple took approximately 65 years to complete. In the complex, there are several temples including Chaumukha temple, Parsavanath temple, Amba Mata Temple and Surya Temple. The Temple of Parsavanath is built in the mid 15th century. In close proximity to this temple, you can trace two other temples dedicated to Neminath (22nd saint) and Surya Narayan (Sun God) respectively.