Ranakpur Temple

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2008

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Rana Kumbha (ruler of Mewar) ka Prime Minister Sanghvi Dharnashah Porwal had a dream of Nalini Gulmohar viman in which he saw trilokhi deepak viman ke aakar ka temples. The foundation for this temple was laid in Vikram Samvat (VS) 1433, A.D.1490 and completed in VS 1496, A.D. 1553. Ranakpur is about an hours drive from Falna. The main temple is at one end but today there is a huge complex consisting of dharamshalas & the temple. You see entrance to Shri Ranakpur Tirth.

It cost Rs 15 crs then. Every day 1500 masons and 2700 laborers worked on the site. The foundation goes down 35 feet and is filled with Panchdatu by which it can withstand any earthquake. Shikhar is made of limestone and brick yet has survived over 600 years. Rising in three storeys it has four subsidiary shrines with a total of 80 spire supported by 420 columns. Temple area is 90,000 sq feet, has 350 icons, 1,444 pillars and 24 Mandaps. Of these 20 mandaps are small and 4 are big called Megh Mandaps in four directions ie north, south, east & west. The temple plan was drawn by Deepaji Mistry who was a bhakt (devotee) of Jagdamba Devi. You see an overview of the temple clicked from the top of a small hill.

An overview of temple frontage / entrance. Each small shikhara that you see on either side of the entrance has an icon within it.

A close up of the side view, gives you an understanding of level of temple.

From now on the pictures (except the next one) that you see are postcards that I bought from the temple. Since we reached early morning and photography is allowed after 12pm buying these cards was the best way to share. Pictures are courtesy & copyright Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Ahmedabad. You see temple Shikhar. It is made of limestone and brick yet has survived over 600 years.

Temple entrance. In red is Pandit Jayantilal Sharma main pandit of the temple. His number is 9352007414. Request him to take you around the temple; I can assure you he will make a difference. Since we had seen him on some TV channel could recognize him instantly.

As you enter look up and you will see Kalpa Vriksha. Om ke aakar see you can see 108 Oms. Mantra sah Sidhi kiya gaya. Another roop is full Moon ka aakar. Panditji said after darshan stand on the step, with shraddha (faith) ask Adhinath Bhagwan for something and your wish will be fulfilled.

Elaborate carvings on the pillars of the main temple.

The main temple has got a double mandap. You see ‘Megh Mandap’. It is three storied building erected on carved pillars. You see the pillars. In the next picture you see the mandap.

You see ‘Megh Mandap’. It is 50 fet high dome with beautiful sculpture.

You see Rang Mandap.

What you see is a Toran. There were 108 in number. We were told that Aurangzeb destroyed 105 in 1605 the balance 3 exist today.

Ornately carved chandlier.

Dancing figures inner dome.

You see Nagdaman. A Nagini is praying to Krishna Bhagwan to leave Kalya Nag.

You see Sahastrafana Parshwanath. A carving on the wall. The icon has 1008 snakes are intertwined in a manner whereby you cannot know snake ka tail.

You see exquisite outer wall in the Parshwanath temple.

You see dancing figures in the Parshwanath temple.

You see ‘Astakul Nag Anant Dev. It is a carving on the ceiling of one the temples.

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