Chaumukha Mandir – the majestic Jain Temple of Ranakpur in Rajasthan
Ranakpur is a village about 80 km from Udaipur in Rajasthan. You can reach here by train or bus. The village is home to the Chaumukha Mandir which is one of the most significant Jain Temples in India. There are other temples and religious sites around the main temple, too. Read on.
Between the royal settings of Udaipur and Jodhpur, lies the small village of Ranakpur. It is a popular tourist destination in Rajasthan because of its Jain temple which has been constructed from marble and considered the most magnificent of Jain temples in India. The village is well connected by road to Udaipur which is about 80 km away. Falna is the nearest railway station to Ranakpur. There are a number of hotels in Ranakpur, including the 4 star Mana Hotels. Buses regularly ply from Udaipur and Saira. Buses going to Jodhpur also halt to drop the passengers at Ranakpur Temple. On the same route about a couple of kilometers ahead is the Shivika Lake Hotel.
The huge Jain Temple complex of Ranakpur is a majestic site for any devotee. It is known as the Chaumukha Mandir or Four-Faced Temple. It is in the honor and reverence of the first Jain Tirthankar Adinath that the Chaumukha Mandir was built in the 15th century. Made with white marble the lustre and grandness of this temple is a sight to behold. It has carvings that certainly demand your attention. The architecture of this temple of Ranakpur is just beautiful. The temple has more than 1,444 pillars which are adorned by numerous engravings. There are 29 halls and 80 domes in total. Spacious and immensely spectacular from within too, the temple has enchanted the visitors for long. This sacred place is well-maintained and its aura is protected by the administration that looks after the temple. Things like shoes, leather articles, cigarettes, food items, etc. are prohibited and hence has to be kept outside the temple, an etiquette which is common to most of the religious sites in India. Within the same complex, there are two more temples dedicated to Neminath and Parasnath tirthankars. Besides these, there is a Sun Temple that is taken care of by the Udaipur Royal Family Trust. About a kilometer from the complex, there is the Amba Mata Mandir, a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga. The surroundings of Ranakpur are bound by the Aravalis and there is the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary just near the village, sweeping an area of 600 sq. km. It is worth a visit for its rich fauna and dense flora. It can be visited during the day until the sun sets down.
Traveling to a religious place is an enlightening experience and sharpens the visitor’s spirituality. An act of faith, a pilgrimage to a holy destination is am experiencing in itself. As you reach Ranakpur and witness the sight of the Chaumukha Temple against the background of the lofty aravali mountains, it simply feel extraordinary. Besides places offering luxury stays, there are some budget hotels in Ranakpur, as well. You can also book your rooms in advance and arrive with the complete peace of mind.
Sandeep is an experienced travel writer and enthusiast blogger. He has explored many known and less-known places in India in the last 10 years. His experience adds to his expert knowledge on the best hotels, different travel routes through trains, flights, and road. He also specializes in off-beat places to eat and stay at. He also advises amateur tourists on travel tips.