The Ranakpur Adinath Jain Mandir, located in Pali district of Rajasthan, had me captivated at the very first sight. Built in the 15th century it is considered to be one of the important pilgrimages of the Jain community.
It is said that a Jain businessman, Dharma Shah, had a vision which led to the construction of this temple, with the support of Rana Kumbha, who was the ruler of Mewar then.
The mandir is made of light colored marble and boasts of incredible intricate carvings that leaves one speechless. All this is considered to be the selfless work of master builder – sculptor Depa / Depaka. The architecture and carvings are based on the 9th century Jain temple at Mirpur (considered to be the oldest marble monument in Rajasthan)
Built on a huge area the complex is said to have 25+ halls, 80 domes and more than 1400 marble pillars, each of them artistically carved, yet none are alike. The temple is based on the chaumukh concept of architecture (entrances at the four cardinal points) all leading to a central chamber, that has a four faced idol of Adinath (the first Tirthankara) facing in each of the four directions.
We visited this beautiful temple, nestled in the solitude of Aravali Hills, on our trip to Udaipur. Club it with the Kumbhalgarh Fort, that has the second longest wall in the world after The Great Wall of China and you will have a day well spent!
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Monika Ohson / TravelerInMe