Relaxing in Rankpur
Although the quaint town of Rankpur doesn’t have much to offer than a few hotels and a couple of street-eateries it does happen to be home to India’s biggest and most important Jain temple complexes. Which is definitely worth a visit.
After saying farewell to our favourite Indian city so far, the beautiful Udaipur, we headed out in the 40 degree heat to explore the largest and most important temples of the Jain religion.
Nestled away in a remote valley in the Aravali mountain range, Rankpur and the beautiful temple it is home to may be a sleepy place but do receive a number of visitors due to being one of the five most important pilgrimage places of Jainism.
Now by the time we reached Rankpur we had seen our fair share of Indian temples but this particular temple is absolutely spectacular and despite the strict entry rules and hassle getting in, we absolutely adored the place and managed to spend hours wandering around the intricate complex.
The temple is completely built using light colored marble and includes a basement covering an area of 48000 sq feet. The temple has more than 1400 exquisitely carved pillars that supporting the higher level and features 24 pillared halls with 80 domes that are supported by 400 columns. .
It is an architectural wonder to say the least.
The town of Ranakpur is actually named after the man who offered the use of his land for the construction of the temple, Rana Kumbha, the ruler of Mewar. The constructionof the temple began in 1437 CE and was well recorded on a copper-plate record, inscriptions in the temple and a Sanskrit text Soma-Saubhagya Kavya. The temple was completed in 1458 AD.
After a wonderful afternoon exploring the highlight of Rankpur we checked in to our hotel, and refusing to succumb to the overpriced menu we walked along the quiet road until we found a local eatery which served up some of the best curry’s we had tasted so far in India.
With full bellies we headed to our hotel home where we spent the evening with our feet in the pool appreciating the peace of the almost-empty hotel. Despite the 40 degree heat, travelling off season wasn’t so bad when we had beautiful temples and cool pools to cool down in.