7 Top-Rated Places to Visit in Ranakpur (2020)
Ranakpur, located in the foothills of the mighty Aravalli Ranges in Rajasthan is one of the most sought-after pilgrimage destinations in the state. This small town is popularly also known as the town of temples and holds a special significance for Jains. Located around 96 km from Udaipur, the sights and sounds of Ranakpur can be easily covered within two to three days.
One of the primary reasons why Ranakpur holds a special place for Jains is because it is believed that the then ruler Rana Kumbha after whom the town is named had gifted some land to a rich businessman and he got a huge Jain temple constructed. Till date, Jains from all over the world throng to this stunning Jain Temple in Ranakpur. Apart from the main Jain temple, there are few other places and temples also worth visiting in Ranakpur.
Read on to find out the best places that one should definitely not miss out while they are touring Ranakpur.
7 Top-Rated Places to Visit in Ranakpur
1. Ranakpur Jain Temple
The Ranakpur Jain Templeis also popularly known as the Chaturmukha Jain Temple and it is built entirely of white marble. This masterpiece is a three-storied structure which boasts of an architecture seen nowhere else! TheRanakpur Jain Temple is dedicated to Tirthankara Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankara. The temple complex is quite massive, and it covers a staggering area of 48,000 sq. ft. It is a 15th century temple which has truly withstood the test of time. Image Source
Considered as one of the five holiest shrines for Jains in India, this temple comprises of 29 halls, 80 domes, 426 columns, and 1444 marble pillars. The entire temple lies on the support of these 1444 marble pillars which have been exquisitely carved and one of the highlights of the entire temple. Each of these pillars have unique carvings and you will not find any two pillars having the same design. The temple has four doorways and each of them will take you to the main hall which has the largestimage of Adinath measuring 6 feet in height with four faces, each of them facing one of the directions. The temple complex also comprises of shikara, turrets, cupolas, and domes – all of which together look absolutely mesmerizing.
There are quite a few interesting features in this temple, such as the gorgeous idol of Parshvanatha which has been carved out of a single slab of marble. The idol also features 1008 snake heads and tails, two chauri bearers on each side, and Yaksha and Yakshi. Visitors will also get to see two massive bells in the temple, with each bell weighing 108 kilos. It is truly a fascinating experience to hear the bells which are rung even today! Another unique feature of this temple is that there are 84 underground chambers which were built for protecting various Jain idols from the Mughals.
There is no entry fee for this temple, and you can visit it from 6:30 AM to 8:15 PM.
2. Surya Narayan Temple
The Surya Narayan dates back to the 13th century and as the name suggests is dedicated to the Sun god. This temple was destroyed and reconstructed during the 15th century. Built using white limestone, the architecture of the Surya Narayan temple in Ranakpuris simply spectacular. This is one of the main reasons why tourists visit this temple. Located close to the Ranakpur Jain Temple, this Sun temple has been built facing the east side which is the direction in which the sun rises.
The main attraction at the Sun temple is the idol of Lord Surya riding his chariot with seven horses. Visitors to this temple must take out time to explore the intricate carvings and sculptures present in the temple. The architectural style of the temple’s domes and pillars is also breathtaking. Also, the temple boasts of engraved walls which has carvings of horses, warriors, celestial bodies, etc., all of which are again worth exploring.
The temple also features an octagonal mandap in front of the mandap and this mandap has six verandahs. Today, the Surya Narayan temple is taken care of by the Udaipur royal family trust.
3. Muchhal Mahavir Temple
The Muchhal Mahavir temple in Ranakpur is one-of-a-kind temple as it houses an idol of Lord Mahavir having a moustache. The story behind this Lord Mahavir idol with a moustache is that once when Rana of Mewar visited this temple, he was offered some refreshments by the pandit. Unfortunately, he got a strand of white hair in his prasad and he asked the priest whether his Lord had moustache. The pandit got scared and answered yes. The Rana then informed the pandit that he will return in three days and wants to see Lord Mahavir with moustache.
The pandit continuously prayed to Lord Mahavir for two days and decided to end his life on the third day as he was scared that Rana of Mewar will kill him.
Impressed by the pandit’s prayers, Lord Mahavir appeared and asked the priest to cover his face with a white cloth. When the Rana returned after three days and removed the cloth, he was surprised to see that Lord Mahavir not only had a moustache but also a beard! Realizing his mistake, the Rana asked for the priest’s forgiveness and since then this temple has been known as the Muchhal Mahavir temple.
Located in the Kumbhagarh Sanctuary, this temple also has statues of two elephants who stand as guards at the temple’s entrance.
Desuri is a small town located about 25 km from Ranakpur. It is another town which is popular among Hindu pilgrims. Visitors to Desuri can visit three of the most important temples which are each dedicated to Lord Shiva, Hanuman, and Navi Mata. You must also visit the Gajanand temple which has life size statues of goddess Riddhi and goddess Siddhi. Another temple worth visiting is the one dedicated to Parsuram Mahadeo.
Desuri is also often visited by Muslim pilgrims who visit the Masjid Desuri, an old and very popular mosque.
Narlai is another popular destination situated about 6 km from Ranakpur which is famous for its Hindu and Jain temples. Situated within the heart of the Aravalli Ranges and surrounded by breathtaking greenery, visitors to Narlai can spend their time exploring some of the ancient monuments as well as the various temples.
This small village holds a special importance for Jain pilgrims as there is a Jain Temple here which is dedicated to Lord Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankara. The walls of the temple are beautifully decorated with mural paintings and stunning architecture.
Narlai also has a number of heritage hotels which serve not just as the perfect accommodation but also depict the true culture and tradition of the place.
6. Ranakpur Dam
The Ranakpur Dam is located in the Pali district and is one of the most famous tourist spots in Ranakpur. This is one of the oldest dams in Rajasthan which is still functional. This dam is a great place to experience some peace and tranquility. With mighty mountains serving as the backdrop, this is a great location to click some amazing pictures.
It is recommended that you visit the Ranakpur Dam either during sunrise or during sunset to witness some of the most amazing and memorable views ever in your life.
7. Ranakpur Jungle Safari
If you are an adventure junkie, then you must definitely not miss out on visiting the Ranakpur Jungle Safari. Guided by professionals, this jungle safari is a great way to explore the rich flora, fauna, and landscape of Ranakpur.
The safari offers you ample opportunities to click some amazing pictures which will make your trip all the more enjoyable and memorable. This two-hour long safari will take you through dense forest, water streams, beautiful valleys, and steep hills.
Ranakpur is definitely a place worth visiting in Rajasthan and with this handy list of places to visit in Ranakpur, we are sure you will have an amazing trip!