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Ranakpur Jain temple | by Arian Zwegers
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Ranakpur Jain temple

Ranakpur Jain temple


The Ranakpur Jain temple is located in Rajasthan in western India, between Jodhpur and Udaipur. The renowned marble Jain temple is dedicated to Tirthankara Adinatha, the first Tirthankar and founder of the Jain religion. The town of Ranakpur and the temple are named after the provincial ruler monarch, Rana Kumbha who supported the construction of the temple.


Light colored marble has been used for the construction of this grand temple which occupies an area of approximately 60 x 62 meters. The temple, with its distinctive domes, shikhara, turrets and cupolas rises majestically from the slope of a hill. Over 1444 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, support the temple. The pillars are all differently carved and no two pillars are the same. All statues face one or the other statue.


The temple is designed with four faces. The construction of the temple and quadrupled image symbolize the Tirthankara's conquest of the four cardinal directions and hence the cosmos.


The construction is well documented in a 1437 CE copper-plate record, inscriptions in the temple and a Sanskrit text. Inspired by a dream of a celestial vehicle, Dharma Shah, a local Jain businessperson, commenced its construction under the patronage of Rana Kumbha, then ruler of Mewar.



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Taken on December 7, 2008