In the lush green valley of the Aravalli mountain ranges is the village of Ranakpur. Here lies one of the biggest and most important Jain temple complexes of India. It covers an area of almost 48,000 square feet and has 29 halls. This complex has 1,444 marble pillars that are intricately carved with details. Each of the pillars are unique. The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built by Dharma Shah under the patronage of Rajput monarch Rana Kumbha in the fifteenth century. Dharma Shah reportedly had a celestial vision that made him want to build a temple to honor Adinath, the founder of the Jain religion. Dharma Shah approached Rana Kumbha and the king gave him a plot of land to build a temple and a town. It was named Ranakpur after the monarch.
The temple took more than fifty years to build and cost 10 million Rupees. The whole building is covered with lace-like carvings and patterns. The domes are carved in concentric bands and there are figures of deities at the top. The sculptures are scattered around like precious jewels. The delicate carvings on these elegant pillars look to be inspired by divine intervention. The pillars are arranged in a way, so that none of them can obstruct the view of the deity. You can see this image from any corner of the temple.
For two hundred years, the temple was a site for devotion until it fell upon hard times. In the seventeenth century, the region was ravaged by war. The priests hid the statues in the cellars, so they wouldn’t be destroyed. The temple was then neglected and abandoned. It was only in the first quarter of the twentieth century that the temple was restored to its former splendor.
This picture shows the amazing details of the stone carvings in the Jain temple.
Pictured here are devotees praying at the temple.
The marble roof has lace-like detail.
These are gorgeous carvings of deities.
Images of 24 tirthankaras are carved on the porticoes around the shrine. Each portico has a spire adorned with little bells on top.
These are the intricate chains carved out of marble.
It is believed that the Jain temple has 1,444 pillars, no two of which have the same carvings.
Pictured above is the main shrine of the temple.
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