Sculptural Marvel: Ranakpur Adinath Temple

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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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The temple is said to have 1400+ carved marble pillars and no two are alike!

 

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Lace like carving all over the beautiful Ranakpur Jain Temple

 

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Intricately carved ceiling & pillars of the Ranakpur Temple

 

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Nestled in the Aravali Hills in solitude this temple is a sculptural delight!

 

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Upper L – The first Tirthankar to whom the temple is dedicated, Adinath. Lower R – The main shrine from the outside

 

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L – Iconic representation of Mt. Sahtrujava where there is a cluster of 863 Jain temples near Palitana, Gujarat R – Akichaka, a bearded man, with four animal bodies and one human body, representing the “five elements” (earth, water, air, fire, and soul)

 

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L – The deity of Shri Parshwanathjee with 108 heads of snakes and numerous tails. One cannot find the end of the tails R – large ceremonial drums

 

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L – 15th century carved ceiling R – Depiction of Jambu Dweep (island of the terrestrial world, as envisioned in the cosmologies of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, which is the realm where ordinary human beings live)

 

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The 15th century sculpture and architecture is said to be based on the 9th century Jain temple in Mirpur, Rajasthan

 

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This marvel, Ranakpur Adinath Temple, is the work of a master builder and genius sculptor Depa / Depaka. It is said that it took 50 yrs to complete it!

 

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HAPPY  TRAVELLING!
Monika Ohson / TravelerInMe

 

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