Ranakpur is named after Rana Kumbha whom Dharna Sah, a Jain businessman, approached when he had the vision of his great temple to ask for the land for its construction. Renowned for some marvelously carved Jain temples in amber stone, Ranakpur is one of the five holiest places of the Jain community and exceptional in beauty. Situated at a distance of around 60 km from Udaipur, these temples were constructed in the AD 1439.
The construction is well documented in a 1437 CE copper-plate record, inscriptions in the temple and a Sanskrit text Soma-Saubhagya Kavya. Inspired by a dream of a celestial vehicle, Dhanna Shah, a Porwad, commenced its construction, under the patronage of Rana Kumbha, then ruler of Mewar.
This charming village has derived its name after Rana Kumbha.Well-known for some excellently carved 15th century Jain temples in amber stone, Ranakpur is one of the five holiest places of the Jains and flaunts outstanding natural beauty. Dharna Sah, who happened to be a Jain businessman, approached Rana Kumbha when he had the vision of his great temple to request a portion of land for its construction. The magnificent Jain temples were built during the rule of the open-minded and gifted monarch Rana Kumbha during the 15th century. The basement of the complex covers 48,000 sq. feet area and features four additional shrines, twenty four pillared halls and domes supported by more than four hundred columns. There are 1,444 columns and all of them are intricately carved with different appearance.
The Ranakpur Jain Temple were built under the reign of Rana Kumbha in the 15th century AD. The Ranakpur Jain temples is one of the most beautiful Jain temple. An enormous basement of this temple covers 48,000 square feet. There are four subsidiary shrines, twenty four pillared halls. The total number of columns is 1444, all of which are intricately carved, no two being alike. These temples are about 400 years old and even today these temples are well preserved in a perfect condition.
The architectural design of the Jain temple Ranakpur is not only fascinating but also symbolic. It has four sides or four faces (Charmukha). The construction is symbolic of the Tirthankar’s conquest of the four cardinal directions and therefore the cosmos. While each face of the Jain temple is identical in terms of features, no two pillars in the temple are the same. The architect for the temple, referred to in stone inscriptions as Depaka, was evidently a genius. For him, art was an expression of his soul and a prayer, rather than a means of earning money. An ascetic himself, he was impressed by Dharnasha’s lifestyle and religious conviction, which was the reason why he agreed to take on the monumental assignment.
Located 85 kms north of Udaipur in the wilderness, Kumbhalgarh is the second most important citadel after Chittorgarh in the Mewar region. Cradled in the Aravali Ranges the fort was built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha. Because of its inaccessibility and hostile topography the fort had remained un-conquered. It also served the rulers of Mewar as a refuge in times of strife. The fort also served as refuge to the baby king Udai of Mewar. It is also of sentimental significance as it is the birthplace of Mewar’s legendary King Maharana Partap.
The fort is self-contained and has within its amalgam almost everything to withstand a long siege. The fort fell only once that too to the combined armies of Mughal and of Amber for scarcity of drinking water. Many magnificent palaces an array of temples built by the Mauryas of which the most picturesque place is the Badal Mahal or the palace of the clouds. The fort also offers a superb birds view of the surroundings. The fort’s thick wall stretches some 36 kms and is wide enough to take eight horses abreast. Maharana Fateh Singh renovated the fort in the 19th century. The fort’s large compound has very interesting ruins and the walk around it can be very rewarding.
After breakfast drive to Luni en-route visit World famous Jain Temple Ranakpur. The exceptionally beautiful Ranakpur complex, is one of the largest and most important Jain temple in India. The main temple is the Chaumukha Temple, or Four Faced Temple, dedicated to Adhinath. Built in 1439, this huge, superbly crafted and well-kept marble temple has 29 halls supported by 1444 pillars, no two alike. Also do the city sightseeing tour of Prince Jodha founded city Jodhpur – the stronghold of the fierce Ratore clan, in 1459. Visit the Mehrangarh Fort, situated on a low sandstone hill. Within the fort, visit Moti Mahal and Phool Mahal. Also visit jaswant Thada, an imposing marble cenotaph, built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II around 1899 and Umaid Public Garden. After sightseeing continue drive to Luni. Arrive Luni and check-in at hotel. Night stay in Luni.
Mucchal Mahaveer Once upon a time, the Rana of Mewar was on a hunt in Ghanerao, in the Pali district of Rajasthan, when he ventured upon a temple of Lord Mahavir. The priest offered him refreshments and prasad. Much to the Rana’s amusement, the prasad has a white hair, probably from the priest’s head and he cracked a joke about the lord having a moustache. Failing to understand the humour and probably stumped for an answer, the priest said yes. Carrying on with the joke, the Rana told the priest that he would return in three days to see the Lord’s moustache.
Ranakpur Jain Temple is famous for its excellent sculptures and architecture. Surrounded by the Aravali hills and located on the banks of ‘Magai’ river this grand & gigantic four facet structures was erected in the 14th Century.The Temple is three storied, 102 ft. high and its spread over an area of 48000 sq. ft. The present structure of the temple came into being after the hard works of 50 years by various artisans & sculptors. the land of this temple which situated at the foot hill of ‘Madri hills’ was gifted by Maharana Kumbha of Mewar. Along with this temple a small town, about 2 kms. from the temple also came into existence. this town got its name from ‘Rana’ & was named ‘Ranpur’ which later came to be known as ‘Ranakpur’. The temple is dedicated to the first Jain Teerthkar ‘Lord Adinath’. it is built on high platform, which has about nine basement. it has 84 idols of gods and demi gods., 1444 pillars elaborately and beautifully decorated along with 4 ‘Megh Mandaps’. surrounding the main temple there are small shrines of Lord ‘Parshwanath’,’Neminath’& ‘Surya Narayan’.
The Surya Narayan Temple is another must-see temple in Ranakpur. The temple is dedicated to Sun God and is popular for its various wall projections in circular structure.
The most interesting sight in this temple is the image of Lord Surya driving a seven-horse chariot. Other than this the temple is also an architectural delight.
Parshuram Mahadev Temple
En route Ranakpur to Kumbhalgarh, approximately 14 kilometres from Sadri Village, is the Parshuram Mahadev Temple. This Shiva temple sits in a cave 3995 feet above sea-level and it is said that Parshuram, the lord’s sixth manifestation, made the cave himself with his axe to worship Shiva in the serene foothills of the Aravalis. The cave has naturally formed figures of Lord Ganesh and Lord Shiva and also has nine kunds or ponds which never go dry. It is estimated at approximately 9 lakh pilgrims visit this temple annually.