RANAKPUR JAIN TEMPLE – RANAKPUR TEMPLE – RANAKPUR JAIN MANDIR
All Information About Ranakpur Jain Temple !!
Ranakpur Jain temple or Chaturmukha Dharana Vihara is a Jain temple at Ranakpur is dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha. The temple is located in a village of Ranakpur near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan. Darna Shah, a local Jain businessperson, started construction of the temple in the 15th century following a divine vision. The temple honors Adinath, the first Tirthankar of the present half-cycle (avasarpiṇī) according to Jain cosmology. The Ranakpur temple is one of the largest and most important temples of Jain culture. The campus includes various temples such as Chaumukha temple, Surya temple, Suparshvanatha temple, and Amba temple.
Rajasthan is famous for its rich and prolific art treasures. Some of its architectural monuments are considered among the best in the world. The Ranakpur Jain Temple excels at them all as an exquisite work of art and architecture. There are several beautiful and delicately carved sculptures in this shrine that defy comparison. The temple is an eloquent testimony to India’s cultural heritage, her unique architecture, and the vision and acumen of her past master artists. This temple is the realization of the vision and endeavors of four great and devout seekers They were Acharya Somasundatsuri Dharanashah, the Minister to Kumbha Rana, Rana Kumbha himself, and above all, Depa or Depaa, the architect who made the realization of the dream possible.
Ranakpur Temples are acclaimed world-wide for their intricate and superb architectural style. These temples form one of the five major pilgrimages of the Jains. Located in the village of Ranakpur near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan, Ranakpur temple lies at a distance of 95 km in the north of Udaipur city. The temple is easily accessible from the city of Udaipur as regular buses are easily available. Built-in the 15th century, Ranakpur temples are known for being the largest and most important temples of the Jain cult.
- Location: In Ranakpur, near Sadri town, in the Pali district of Rajasthan
- Built By: Seth Dharna Sah with the aid from Rana Kumbha
- Built-In: 15th century
- Dedicated To: Lord Adinatha
- Highlights: Intricate architecture
- Significance: One of the five major Jain pilgrimage sites
- Temples: 7
- Date Established: 1437 CE
- Governing Body: Anandji Kalyanji Trust
- Deity: Rishabhanatha
The temple is said to have been built by Seth Dharna Sah (a Jain businessman) with the aid of Rana Kumbha, who ruled Mewar in the 15th century. 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. The Jain Temples of Ranakpur are certainly creditable for their splendid architecture. This temple is wholly constructed in light-colored marble and comprises a basement covering an area of 48000 sq feet. There are more than 1400 exquisitely carved pillars that support the temple.
In the complex, there are several temples including Chaumukha temple, Parsavanath temple, Amba Mata Temple, and Surya Temple. Amongst all of them, Chaumukha Temple is the most important and as the term Chaumukha suggests, this temple is four-faced. Chaumukha temple is dedicated to Lord Adinath, who is the first ‘Tirthankara’ of the Jains. The Temple structure is highly compound having four different doorways to get into the chambers. These chambers ultimately take you to the main hall where the image of Adinath is positioned.
The four-faced image also symbolizes the Tirthankara’s quest for the four directions and ultimately the cosmos. The image is surrounded by many small shrines and domes. One more range of cells with separate roofs encircles these shrines and domes all over again. The five spires elevate above the walls and around 20 cupolas rise from the roof of the pillared hall. Each spire houses a shrine and the largest shrine is the important one that addresses the central altar. The temple ceilings are festooned with foliate scrollwork and geometric patterns.
The temple is a masterpiece of architecture and 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. Each column is intricately carved and it is surprising to know that no two columns have a similar design.
Apart from this, another stunning act about these columns is that they change their color from golden to pale blue after every hour during the day. In the mandap (prayer hall), the two big bells of 108 kg each produce a harmonious sound on the movement. Chaumukha temple is formed like a Nalinigulm Vimana (heavenly aircraft) and provides this whole structure a celestial appearance. Conceivably, it is due to the intricacy of the structure that the temple took approximately 65 years to complete.
The Temple of Parsavanath is another attraction that is worth visiting. Built-in the mid 15th century, the temple is renowned for its engraved windows embellished with Jain figures. Parsavanath Temple is also known as Patriyon Ka Mandir. Close to this temple, you can trace two other temples dedicated to Neminath (22nd saint) and Surya Narayan (Sun God) respectively. Here, Surya Narayan Temple has innumerable wall projections with a circular structure. The sight of Lord Surya driven in his chariot of seven horses is truly pleasing.
Ranakpur Temple was also nominated amongst the top 77 wonders while deciding for new Seven Wonders of the World. However, several wonders cannot be increased and some of the other would come amongst the top seven, still, Ranakpur Temple is undoubtedly a wonder. If you are on a trip to Udaipur, don’t miss this artistic temple that would become an unforgettable part of your beautiful memories.
HISTORY OF RANAKPUR JAIN TEMPLE
The construction is well documented in a 1436 CE copper-plate record, inscriptions in the temple, and a Sanskrit text Soma-Saubhagya Kavya. Inspired by a dream of a celestial vehicle, Dharna Shah, a Porwal from Ghanerao, commenced its construction in 1389, under the patronage of Rana Kumbha, then ruler of Mewar. The architect who oversaw the project was named Dwepa. There is an inscription on a pillar near the main shrine stating that in 1439 Deepaka, an architect, constructed the temple in the direction of Dharanka, a devoted Jain. When the ground floor was completed, Acharya Soma Sundar Suri of Tapa Gaccha supervised the ceremonies, which are described in Soma-Saubhagya Kavya. The construction continued until 1458 CE. However, according to the audio guide provided to visitors to the site, construction lasted fifty years (and involved 2785 workers). Another source reports that construction continued until 1496, fifty years from 1446. The town of Ranakpur and the temple are named after the provincial ruler monarch, Rana Kumbha who supported the construction of the temple. Ranakpur along with Muchhal Mahavir, Narlai, Nadol, and Varkana forms Gorwad Panch Tirth.
The Chaturmukha Jain Temple of Ranakpur In the heart of the remote and enchanting valley of the Arvallis, skirting the rivulet Maghai and enveloped in the solitude of the surrounding forest, stands, in solemn grandeur, the Chaturmukha Jain Temple of Rishabhadeva. Placed on a lofty plinth, the three-storeyed marble edifice, to which the genius of the artist has imparted exquisite artistic grace, and which his deep devotion has endowed with serene spiritual dignity is, verily, a poem in stone. Majestic yet in complete harmony with Mother Nature, in whose beautiful lap it rests, this magnificent monument of devotional architecture seems bathed in celestial bliss. The very hills around, dwarfed by its imposing bearing, apparently absorbed in mute meditation, as if spell-bound. The concord achieved between the bounteous generosity of Nature and man’s creative expression of gratitude stands uniquely symbolized in this Divine Creation. To behold this holy shrine in its spectacularly sublime settings to experience instant uplifting of the soul.
ARCHITECTURE OF RANAKPUR JAIN TEMPLE
Whilst Dilwara temples are known for their sculptural work, this temple is famous for its intricate carvings and unique architecture. It was built in the form of Nalini-Gulma Vimana (a heavenly vehicle Dharna Shah saw in his dreams). This temple is built in Māru-Gurjara architecture.
The temple has a garbhagriha in which the main Chaumukha Adinatha idol is placed. The four openings of the sanctum lead to rangamandapa— the Dancing hall, which is connected to a two-storeyed mandapa, which is again connected to another two-storeyed mandapa called Balana and nalimandapa. This courtyard is surrounded by a wall enclosing sub-shrines. The wall is also exclusive on projections like devakulikas and minor deity. The temple has five shikharas amongst which the central one is the largest. The temple is rich with sculptural pieces – carvings created with great skill and artistry.
The Shikhara in the temple is symbolic of Mount Meru, the mountain which forms the axis of Jambudvipa with a preaching hall as the Samavasarana. Rajasthan is famous for its rich and prolific art treasures. Some of its architectural monuments are considered among the best in the world. The Ranakpur Jain Temple excels at them all as an exquisite work of art and architecture. There are several beautiful and delicately carved sculptures in this shrine that defy comparison. The temple is an eloquent testimony to India’s cultural heritage, her unique architecture, and the vision and acumen of her past master artists.
This temple is the realization of the vision and endeavors of four great and devout seekers They were Acharya Somasundatsuri Dharanashah, the Minister to Kumbha Rana, Rana Kumbha himself, and above all, Depa or Depaa, the architect who made the realization of the dream possible.
On one hand, the temple has been made artistic with it’s two upper stories, on the other, the designer has shown foresight in constructing some wine cellars in which the sacred images could be safely preserved in the event of a crisis. It is believed that there are many Jain images in these cellars. These cellars must be an additional strength and support to the entire structure and must have sustained it against the onslaught of time and the elements The Jain temples of Mount Abu are famous for the carvings, but the Ranakpur temple also is second to none in its delicate carvings. What attracts one most is its complexity and the vast expanse of its structure. There is a popular saying among the people: The canings of Abu and the architecture of Ranakpur are unique”. The eroding sweep of time and nature and wanton and mindless destruction by foreign invaders did much damage to this holy shrine. For a long time, it wore a deserted look as pilgrims didn’t find it safe to go to this secluded place infested with wild animals and dacoits.
RANAKPUR JAIN MAIN TEMPLE
Chaturmukha temple is a 15th-century temple dedicated to Adinatha built using white marble amid a forest. The temple name is credited to its design of chaumukha— with four faces. The construction of the temple and quadrupled image symbolize the Tirthankara’s conquest of the four cardinal directions and hence the cosmos. The temple is one of the largest Jain temples and considered one of the five holiest Jain shrines in India and part of Gorwad Panch Tirth. The architecture and stone carvings of the temple are based on the Ancient Mirpur Jain Temple at Mirpur in Rajasthan.
The temple is a grand white marble structure spread over 48,000 square feet (4,500 m2) with 1444 marble pillars, twenty-nine halls, eighty domes, and 426 columns. One pillar is incomplete and legend says every time it is built the next morning the pillar breaks down again. The temple, with its distinctive domes, shikhara, turrets, and cupolas rises majestically from the slope of a hill. 1444 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, support the temple. The pillars individually carved and no two pillars are the same. Legend says that it is impossible to count the pillars. In the axis of the main entrance, on the western side, is the largest image. Inside the garbhagriha, the moolnayak of this temple, there is a 6-ft. tall, white-colored chaumukha idol of Adinath with four heads facing in four directions. Temple has a total of 84 bhonyra (underground chambers) built to protect the Jain idols from the Mughals.
The temple is famous for its beautiful carved idol of Parshvanatha made out of a single marble slab. The idol has 1008 snakeheads and numerous tails. Two chauri bearers and Yaksha and yakshi, half-human and half-snake, stand on either side. Two elephants are purifying Parshvanatha. One cannot find the end of the tails. The temple also has a representation of Ashtapad, showing eight tirthanakars in a row, Girnar and Nandishwar Dvipa. The design of the temple inspired Pittalhar temple, Dilwara in 1459 AD and the Palitana temple complex in 1681.
OTHER TEMPLES AT RANAKPUR JAIN TEMPLE
A temple dedicated to Suparshvanatha is also present here. The temple has an intrinsic design and this temple is also famous for erotic arts on the wall.
The sun temple at Ranakpur dates back to the 13th century CE. After its destruction, it was rebuilt in the 15th century. This temple is managed by Udaipur royal family trust.
SETHI KI BADI MANDIR
This is a large Jain temple belonging to Shwetambar. This temple is famous for exquisite murals on the front wall of the temple.
CHOUGAN KA MANDIR
The temple is famous for an idol of the first tirthankar of the next time cycle. There are two more temples dedicated to Shantinatha and Mahavira is the compound.
RANAKPUR JAIN TEMPLE MANAGEMENT
The temple underwent periodic renovations. Several families supported the construction of devakulikas and mandaps. The descendants of Darna Shah now mainly live in Ghanerao. The temple has been managed by the Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi trust for the past century. The temple has a dharmshala, bhojnalya, and club. The trust also maintains a secondary school and Vijya Shanti Shiksha Bhawan.
Ranakpur is a village located in Desuri tehsil near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan in western India. It is located between Jodhpur and Udaipur. 162 km from Jodhpur and 91 km from Udaipur, in a valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. The Nearest Railway Station to reach Ranakpur is Falna and Rani railway station. Ranakpur is one of the most famous places to visit in Pali, Rajasthan. Ranakpur is easily accessed by road from Udaipur.
Ranakpur is widely known for its marble Jain temple, said to be the most spectacular of the Jain temples. There is also a small Sun temple which is managed by the Udaipur royal family trust.
The renowned Jain temple at Ranakpur is dedicated to Tirthankara Adinatha. Local legend has it that Dharma Shah, a local Jain businessperson, started construction of the temple in the 15th century following a divine vision. The temple honors Adinath, the first Tirthankar of the present half-cycle (avasarpiṇī) according to Jain cosmology. The town of Ranakpur and the temple are named after the provincial ruler monarch, Rana Kumbha who supported the construction of the temple.