Rajasthan is strongly famous for its highly rich culture and architecture. Some of the architectural monuments are considered one of the best in the world. Among all the monuments and architecture, the Ranakpur temple occupies a special place in people’s hearts. The temple exceeds all as an exquisite work of art and architecture, the unique and incredible structure is famous across the globe.
Ranakpur Jain temple or also called the Chaturmukha Dharana Vihara temple is a Svetambara Jain temple at Ranakpur which is specially dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha. The temple is located in the village of Ranakpur near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan between Udaipur and Jodhpur.
The Ranakpur Jain temple was built on the instructions of a local businessman Darna Shah. He had a dream one night of a Nalinigulma Viman which is considered to be the most beautiful among the celetal planes, so the other day, he immediately called the sculptors and artists to build the same temple that he had dreamt of. But the image and designs submitted by the artists, none of them matched the image that he saw in the dream. But one design matched his dream made by an architect named Deepak from Mundara. He was able to make a design of the same because he was deeply impressed by seeing the dedication of the Shah to build the temple. After that, Shah gives a big piece of land to construct the temple and he also asked the artist Deepak to build a town around it. The town was named after the king, Ranakpur. However, the construction of the temple started in the 14th century and is said to be completed by the 15th century. It is also famous by the name of Chaturmukha Dharana Vihara and is dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha who was the first Tirthankara of Jainism and also founded the Ikshvaku dynasty.
The construction of the temple which had started in 1446 Vikram Samvat, could not be completed even after 50 years. Dharanashah, then in his old age and facing health issues, decided to install the idol of the principal deity without wasting the time. In the year 1496 of the Vikram Era, after the completion of the temple, the idols were successfully installed by Acharya Somalsundarsunii in the temple. At last, hard work and devotion over some 50 years brought his dream down to earth in the form of a magnificent temple and an image of the Viman of the gods.
It is said that there are five most sacred Jain temples in the country, in which one of which is Ranakpur Jain temple. The other temple is the Dilwara temple in Mount Abu, the Khajuraho temple in Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, the Palitana temple in Gujarat, and the Gomateshwara temple in Karnataka. However, the Ranakpur temple also has 5 temples within the temple premises, that are, Chaturmukha/Chaumukha Temple, Suparshvanatha Temple, Surya Temple, Seth ki Badi Mandir, and the Chougan ka Mandir.
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When you decided to visit the Ranakpur temple or go on a Udaipur or Jodhpur trip, must visit this temple once. As we know that Rajasthan is exceeding its temperature in summer time which makes you feel very hot so the ideal time to visit the temple is in winter times between 12 pm to 5 pm. The entry is totally free. Even though, there are other beautiful temples that you can also visit like Parshuram Mahadev temple situated in Desuri Tehsil in Pali which is only 36km away from Ranakpur, and the Golden Temple in Falna. The other temple on the route is Nimbo ke Nath Mahadev Mandir.