Ranakpur, one of the five most important Jainism pilgrimage sites, is located between Jodhpur and Udaipur in Rajasthan. It is home to exceptionally gorgeous temple complexes with the Aravali Ranges forming the backdrop. It’s a perfect place for you if you’re deeply interested in religion, history and temple architecture.
The most important structure in Ranakpur is the 15-century Ranakpur Jain Temple, which was built during the reign of the liberal Rajput monarch, Rana Kumbha. The main temple in the complex is a chaumukh or a four-faced temple dedicated to Adinath. The other three temples in the same complex, including the one dedicated to the Sun God, are all worth a visit.
Then the Kumbhalgarh Fort, an iconic site around 30km northeast of Ranakpur, is another place that commands a visit. It is the most important fort in the Mewar region after Chittorgarh. It’s also highly recommended that you include the Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary in your itinerary – a park known mostly for its wolves.
Muchhal Mahavir Temple, situated about 5km from Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, too commands a visit. The highlight of the temple is its statue of Lord Mahavira with a moustache. The two elephant statues guarding the gateway is a splendid example of temple decoration.
Also, Sadri, a small town near Ranakpur, is famous for some old beautiful temples such as the Varahavtar Temple and the Chintamani Parsvanath Temple. The town of Desuri, about 16km away, too houses noteworthy temples such as the Parsuram Mahadeo Temple and an old mosque.
Another place called Ghanerao abounds in Hindu temples. One of the most notable ones is the Gajanand Temple with a life-sized statue of Goddesses Riddhi and Siddhi. The main shrine is guarded by idols of Hanuman and Bhairon on both sides.
The nearest airport from Ranakpur is in Udaipur, about 60km away. The nearest railway station from Ranakpur is in Phalna but travellers prefer going to Udaipur to catch a train because it is better connected to other cities.