The highlight of the trip was the Jain Temple in Ranakpur, Spellbinding, a photographers delight....
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Ranakpur Jain Temple
Ranakpur - Ranakpur is widely known for its magnificent marble Jain temple devoted to Lord Adinath and is a must see. Ranakpur is between Jodhpur and Udaipur, in a valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. Easily accessed by road, Ranakpur is around 90km north of Udaipur. White marble has been used for the construction of this grand temple. The temple, with its distinctive domes, rises majestically from the slope of a hill. Over 1444 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, support the temple, and no two columns are the same. There is one beautiful carving made out of a single marble rock where there are 1008 heads of snakes and numerous tails over the head of Lord ParsvaNatha. One cannot find the end of the tails. The image faces all four cardinal directions. The temple is designed as chaumukha with four faces. The construction of the temple and quadrupled image symbolize the Jain Tirthankara's conquest of the four cardinal directions and hence the cosmos.
Ranakpur is an ideal place to visit if you want to explore the Rajasthan that was. Tucked away in a valley of the Aravalli range, halfway between Udaipur and Jodhpur, this place has a lot more to offer than you would think. This city is known for one of the most famous Jain temples in India, which is also one of the most significant sites of architecture in Rajasthan. The Chaumukha (with four faces) Temple is huge and word has it that each of the 1500 pillars is different in design. It is one of the most phenomenal establishments of Jain culture in the country! Two other Jain temples stand in equally beautiful fabrication in the same compound. A magnificent Sun Temple adds to the essence of spiritualism and the beauty of the compound. The Muchhal Mahavir Temple nearby is famous for housing a statue of Mahavira with a moustache. One can also stop at the neighbouring Garasia tribal village, renowned for their vivid and colourful clothes. Do take a ride on horseback through the forests to soak in the serenity and beauty.
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