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.
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.
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).