Cascoly Travel -- India: Ranakpur Jain Temple
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Cascoly Travel
India: Ranakpur Jain Temple

Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints on exterior walls
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints on exterior walls
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints on exterior walls
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints on exterior walls
Horses of the sun god Sudra\
Horses of the sun god Sudra\'s sacred chariot
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints
Horses of the sun god Sudra\
Horses of the sun god Sudra\'s sacred chariot
Uniquely carved columns in the mandap
Uniquely carved columns in the mandap
Elephant sculptures
Elephant sculptures
Elephant sculptures on column bases
Elephant sculptures on column bases
Intricate carved marble ceiling
Intricate carved marble ceiling
Fortified walls of  Kumbhalgarh Fort
Fortified walls of Kumbhalgarh Fort
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints on exterior wall
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints on exterior wall
Horses of the sun god Sudra\
Horses of the sun god Sudra\'s sacred chariot
Ancient Jain temple inside the walls of  Kumbhalgarh Fort
Ancient Jain temple inside the walls of Kumbhalgarh Fort
Indian visitors tour the Jain temple
Indian visitors tour the Jain temple
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints on exterior walls
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints on exterior walls
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints on exterior walls
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints on exterior walls
Horses of the sun god Sudra\
Horses of the sun god Sudra\'s sacred chariot
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints
Apsaras, dancing girls and Jain saints
Intricate carvings in Jain temple
Intricate carvings in Jain temple
Uniquely carved columns in the mandap
Uniquely carved columns in the mandap

 

Famous Ranakpur Temples

Drive by back roads to Ranakpur, one of the five holy places of the Jain community. Its temples date to 15th century CE during the reign of Rana Kumbha and are enclosed with a wall.

 On the way we pass thru many small villages – kids going to school, people waiting for local buses, getting water & forage, taking animals out to graze. Water wheels powered by bullocks, or in one case, by battery power. Wells are 50+ feet deep, and water lifted in small cans on loop, dumping to a tank or irrigation ditches.  This area of Raj seems to have plentiful water, and much greenery – mustard, sugar cane, even rice!  

Abruptly we leave the agricultural area to enter wild gorges and mountains. We ride along a narrow twisting road up, down & around the steep hills. Groups of langurs along the road watch the sparse traffic go by.  Left 9:30 arrive about 11

We first visit 2 smaller Jain temples; dedicated to saints- Parasvanath and Neminath. The temples have beautiful carvings similar to that of Khajuraho. Then the nearby 8th century CE temple dedicated to the Sun god Surya. Its polygonal walls are richly embellished with carvings of warriors, horses and solar deities riding splendid chariots.

The central ‘Chaumukh’ or four faced temple is dedicated to the venerated the Tirthankara Rishabhji. Open on all four sides, it enshrines the four faces image of Adinath. Sprawling over 48,000 sq. feet, the temple is an astounding creation with 29 halls and 1,444 pillars-all distinctly carved. Marble images of 24 tirthankaras are carved on the ‘mandaps’ or porticoes in a corridor around the shrine with each mandap having a ‘shikhar’ or spire adorned with little bells on the top. Saffron and red robed priests and pilgrims’ saris lend color to the monochrome columns and carvings.

 


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