Ranakpur,a massive 15th century Jain Temple complex, is not high on a mountain top but nestled the valley of Aravalli Hills in Rasjasthan . Our bus trip, though, made us feel like pilgrims first climbing up the hills and then going the other side to eventually arrive at the end of the road at this complex dominated by the great Adinath Temple seen above. It is one of the five great holy places for the Jain faith in India. The 1000 temple of Palitana is another. That is the reblog from the other day. If you missed it an are interested, it is below.
I felt visiting while visiting all these temples that the sites were chosen carefully as part of the spiritual journey. The journey both physically and spiritual to bring you to the amazing temples. The sheer size and architectural complexity is evident at first glimpse. You feel small and insignificant in contrast to the beauty and size. The white marble makes its massive design one of the most impressive Western Indian sacred architecture sites.
The ornate halls contain a total of 1,444 columns. They are carved as at Mt. Abu with a theme but varied by the craftsmen. There is a progression of play of light and dark as the sun makes it way across the sky through the day. The spaces are varied and interlocked by size and purpose.
This space reminded me of St. Peter’s in Rome.
We took about an hour and a half for discovery, pictures and an attempt to sketch. The question was “Where do you begin?”
Just before we left, we were approached by two young monks in training and one asked if he could pray for us. We sat on the floor under one of the domes and he prayed as we sat quietly. I have always thought it a wonderful act of love to have someone pray for me and though I didn’t understand the prayer, I did understand the sentiment and added my “amen” at the end!
This Is Incredible India!
Let me know what you think of this temple and the Jains on their spiritual journey of non-violence and self-control.
Images from Public Domain Google Images. . . . The images don’t do this justice. . . . they are nothing like actually being there!