Ranakpur is a village situated near Sadri town in the pali district of Rajasthan. It is mainly famous for its Marble Jain Temple dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha. The temples in Ranakpur are well known for its unimaginable architecture. They are also nominated amongst the top 77 wonders, while deciding for new Seven Wonders of the World.
In the complex, there are several other temples including Chaumukha Temple, Parsavanath Temple, Amba Mata Temple and Surya Temple. The most important temple is Chaumukha Temple named as the temple is four-faced. This temple is dedicated to deity Adinath, the first ‘Tirthankara‘ of the Jains.
The architecture and stone carvings of the temple is based on the Ancient Mirpur Jain Temple at Mirpur in Rajasthan. The temple is constructed in light colored marble occupying an area of 60 x 62 meters. It is decorated with exclusive shikhara, turrets, cupolas and about 1444 marble pillars carved in exclusive designs supporting the entire structure.
The temple also consists of single marble rock carved as 108 heads of snakes and numerous tails. The sculpture is so tangled that one cannot find the end of the tails. The statues are set in such a way that they face one or the other statue. The temple consists of 24 pillared halls with 8 domes supported by 400 columns. Each column has a unique design. The upper and lower part of domes is linked by brackets that have deities’ sculptures. Here, engraved sculptures of nymphs can also be seen playing the flute in various dance positions.
The most spectacular feature is the number of pillars. Though, the number of pillars is counted about 1440 but one cannot determine the exact number of pillars. Another aspect of this structure is that you can easily view the deities from any corner of the temple. The pillars have an important point of attraction as that they change their color from golden to pale blue after every hour.
The complex also comprises of a small Sun Temple which is constructed in 13th century CE. The place is also famous for its dense population of monkeys that live within the surroundings.