The Ranakpur Jain temple of Ranakpur is in the heart of the lush green and enchanting valley of the Arravalli’s, skirting the rivulet of Magahi and enveloped in the solitude of the surrounding forests, solemn grandeur.
It is one of the biggest and most important Jain temples complexes of India. covering an area of nearly 48,000 square feet area, and has 29 halls, 80 domes and supported by 1444 marble pillars, each of them intricately and artistically carved, yet no two of them are alike.
To behold this holy shrine in its spectacularly sublime settings to experience instant uplifting of the soul.
The temple is an eloquent testimony to India’s cultural heritage, her unique architecture and the vision and acumen of her past master artists.
The Ranakpur Jain Temple was built by a wealthy Jain businessman named Dharma Shah under the assistance of the generous and gifted Rajput monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century.
According to local legend Dharma Shah had a celestial vision that left in his heart a burning determination to build a temple in the glory of Adinath, the founder of the Jain religion.
When Dharma Shah proposed this to Rana Kumbha with his plan, the king not only gave him a plot of land to build the temple but also advised him to build a town near the locality.
The construction of the temple and the township began simultaneously. The town was named Ranakpur after King Rana Kumbha.
The temple is said to have cost 10 million Rupees and took more than fifty years to be constructed. The entire temple is embraced with delicate lace-like carvings and geometric patterns and designs.
The domes are carved in concentric circles or rings and the braces attaching the bottom of the dome amidst the summit are incorporated among illustrations of divinities.
The Jain temple in Ranakpur is believed to have 1,444 pillars no two of which are similarly carved. Each pillar is unique and different from the other. The phenomenal carvings are so perfect that one can’t take his eyes off them.
Not only the marvellous pillars of the temple is to be the centre of attention but also the brilliant monolithic statues and representations of elephants and others ain’t be denied
Unfortunately, because of the several intruders, For almost two centuries, the temple was a beacon of devotion before it fell upon hard times.
Around the 17th century, the entire region was ravaged by war. Fearing that the sculptures would be befouled, the priests hid and protected them in the basement beneath the temple and escaped the region. The invading troops vandalised and nearly demolished the temple and departed, however, the priests never returned.
The temple fell into negligence and slowly the elements began to take over. At one point Ranakpur displayed a shelter home and a refugee for dacoits and nobody opposed to venturing inside.
It was only approximately the initial span of the 20th century that people apprehended the limitless corruption and crime they continued to do, by allowing this structure of beauty and devotion to rot away, and the temple was restored to its former glory.
Providentially, people of that region opposed the crime and courageously regained the temple.