Temple at Ranakpur

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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.

Ranakpur-Jain-Temple-711x400The 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.

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This space reminded me of St. Peter’s in Rome.

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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!


About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Architecture, India, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Temple at Ranakpur

  1. Rightly or wrongly, I’ve always thought of Jainism as closely akin to Buddhism in its philosophy, though I am sure there are more differences that I know about. But what an ornate piece of architecture this is! And what a superb offering of faith!


    • annetbell says:

      Frederick, I am hardly an expert, but I think you are right. Neither religion has a deity so in actuality they are atheists, according to my husband. It is a lifestyle. I think Jainism is older. Buddhism started in India, but wasn’t so popular and moved east and north. Buddhism was more aesthetic than Jainism until Buddha decided to take the middle path. Wish you could talk to my husband!


  2. So much detail. I’m blown away by the work that went in to this temple and its adornments.


  3. Beth Holt says:

    These sites are a marvel. Thank you for sharing………………………


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