Ranakpur is a village in Rajasthan in the West of India. It is famous for its exquisite white marble Jain Temple. Ranakpur Temple is open to tourists in the afternoon only. Mornings are reserved for prayers. Visitors are welcome from noon to 5pm.
From Jodhpur, take a train to Falna station (INR250) and get a taxi to Ranakpur (INR~350). Ranakpur is reachable by car or bus from Udaipur as well.
Ranakpur is a small village, and there are no rickshaws or taxis to take you around. Near the Ranakpur Temple, you can hire a private car to take you to hotels in and around the village. Most tourists make Ranakpur a stop on a day trip from Udaipur, although there are a number of nice hotels nearby.
The Ranakpur Temple is one of the most famous Jain temples in Rajasthan and dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar (enlightened human) of our time cycle, Adinath (aka Lord Rishabha). It is a very big temple (ceiling around 7m high), constructed of white marble and has sculptures of the same quality but of a different type than Dilwara. The exterior is also striking. It has approximately 1440 exquisitely carved white marble columns, none of which are alike.
To enter the temple, you must be appropriately dressed. Women need to cover their legs well below the knee. Leather products (including belts) are not allowed. If you are carrying a camera you will need to "donate" 100 rupees (Feb 2013) for each camera. If you have a cell phone with a camera, you will need another ticket for that or leave the cell phone in your taxi. The guard at the entrance will find it with a metal detector and tell you "one ticket, one camera."
Be aware that if approached by a Jain monk and he offers to show you various "special" images that are usually shrouded, he will rather aggressively and persistently "ask" for a "donation."
Nearby, there are two smaller temples built after two other Jain Tirthankars, Neminath and Parsvanath. There is also a small temple built near the main temple for the Hindu Sun God, Surya.
Ranakpur Temple is open to tourists in the afternoon only. Mornings are reserved for prayers. Visitors are welcome from noon to 5pm.
- Hotel Maharani Bagh, Tel: 91-2934-285151, spacious, clean rooms set among a mango grove. Doubles are around INR5,000 per night. Room service is slow, especially in the morning.
- You can get a room in the temple premises for INR200 a night. The rooms, which were constructed for temple devotees, are spartan but have attached toilet/bathrooms. Hot water for bathing is available in the morning. A breakfast thali is available for INR15. The temple has a right to refuse you a room, so it's best to present yourself in a humble manner and be willing to learn more about Jainism. Hindus should have no problem getting a room.
- Shivika Lake Hotel, Near Jain Temple (Near Ranakpur temple, below the Aravali mountain range, on the shore of lake Nalwania), ☎ 0091-9829191099, . checkin: 12:00 noon; checkout: 12:00 noon. Shivika Lake Hotel is set in an idyllic setting with hills all around. Shivika Lake Hotel has in total 13 rooms and 5 tented accommodations. All rooms are tastefully and traditionally furnished with local material, colour & design. The rooms give a camp atmosphere with modern amenities. You can also trek or have a safari from there. edit
- Fateh Bagh, Ranakpur, Ranakpur Road, Ranakpur, District Pali, Rajasthan, ☎ 02934 286 186, . Fateh Bagh is a recreation of 200 years old beautiful ruined palace of Rawla Koshilav Palace with period furniture and ethnic décor with each guest room seems to have staged a story indigenously recreated into marvelous luxury hotel. edit
- Mana Hotels, Ranakpur, Sadari, Ranakpur Road, Near Ranakpur Temple Ranakpur, Rajasthan 306702 India, ☎ 01148080000, . Spread over 3 acres, Mana Hotels, Ranakpur is a beautiful modern interpretation of traditional Rajasthani architecture. The hotel provides full modern amenities while giving guests a chance to experience local culture, cuisines and religions. The hotel is a short 15 minute drive from the Ranakpur Jain Temple. edit
- Jeep Safari or nature hike through the Ranakpur Valley or the nearby Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary []
- Horseback Safari through the Aravalli Mountains, the Ranakpur Valley and the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary []
- Virendra Singh Shaktawat (firstname.lastname@example.org), Udaipur, ☎ +91-98290-42012, . Arranges horseback safaris from Udaipur to Ranakpur, around the Aravalli Mountains and through the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. Contact also for jeep safaris, night drives and nature hikes around Ranakpur. edit
A local bus to Udaipur stops right outside the Ranakpur Temple every hour and costs INR45. The journey back to Udaipur takes around 3 hours.
You may go by bus to Mount Abu, a relaxing, peaceful hill resort, a nice place to rest and hike. A bus goes every 30 minutes to Sandera. From there buses leave to Mt. Abu or Abu Road (27km downhill from Mt. Abu, around INR200 for uphill taxi).