Ranakpur

Some 56 miles north of Udaipur, on the curve of a boulder-strewn river deep in the forested Aravalli hills, lies the huge 15th century Adinath Jain Temple at Ranakpur. With an area of nearly 4,500 square yards, it is not only the largest Jain temple in India but also one of the most beautiful.

 

Having heard so much of its exquisite beauty, we were a little disappointed when we saw its plain exteriors. But the moment we stepped in, all our disappointment was replaced by wondrous awe.

 

The profuse and intricate carving on marble resembles lace-work rather than stone-carving. It's akin to Mt. Abu's Dilwara Temple, but on a much, much larger and complex scale.


The architectural genius is simply overwhelming - One of the remarkable things about the temple is the wonderful play of shadow and light on the nearly 1,500 pillars, EACH of which, interestingly displays a different decorative design. As the sun's rays shift through the day, the pillars' colour from gold to pale blue.