Feel the precison of the chisels, feel the artistic devotion that were used to carve those pillars and these are just few of some 1500 more inside the Ranakpur Jain Mandir, Pali district of Rajasthan. Pranam to those architects with such an imagination, carvings, workmenship & great engineering knowledge. Bharat is the birth place of all science and technology, knowledge and aadhyathma.
Popularly also known as the Chaturmukha Dharana Vihara, the Ranakpur Jain Temple is one of the most important five Jain pilgrimage centers. It is a Swetambara Jain Temple. It is listed amongst the Top 77 wonders of the world for its amazing architecture. The temple is dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha and is located in the village of Ranakpur, near Sadri in the Pali district, Rajasthan.
The construction was started by Darna Shah, a local Jain business person in the 15th century. The Ranakpur Jain Temple is dedicated to Adinath (the first Jain Tirthankara). He has been depicted in a Buddha-like posture in the paintings in the temple.
Ranakpur Jain Temple is known for its intricate carvings and mesmerizing architecture. It was built replicating Nalini-Gulma Vimana. This was a heavenly vehicle that Dharna Shah saw in his dreams. The temple was built in the architectural style of Maru-Gurjara.
It is built using white marble and constructed amidst a forest. The temple’s name is because of its architectural design. The main temple has four faces. This symbolizes the Tirthankara’s conquest of the four cardinal directions and cosmos. It is built over an area of 48,000 square feet and is supported by 1,444 marble pillars. It has twenty-nine halls and eighty domes. As a matter of fact, only one marble pillar is incomplete, and legends say that every time it was erected, the next morning, it collapsed.
According to the legend, it is almost impossible to count the number of pillars in the temple. The point of amazement is the nymphs playing the flute engraved in various postures at the height of 45 feet. The temple also has a total of 84 bhonyra (this means an underground chamber) for concealing the Jain idols. This was done since, in earlier times, there were many Mughal raids on the Hindu temples.
The Ranakpur Jain Temple’s interesting thing is that the columns change their color from golden hue to blue after every one hour in the day. The temple is famous for its white marble Parshvanatha idol. It has 1008 heads of the snake and numerous tails. Yaksha and Yakshi are two half human and half snake bodied chauri that stand on either side. Two elephants who purify Parshvanatha.
There are two other temples present in close proximity to the Parsvanath Temple. These are the temples dedicated to Neminath (22nd saint) and Surya Narayan (Sun God). The Surya Narayan temple has numerous circular projections. The Sun God is depicted in his seven horse-drawn chariots.