Ranakpur is in Rajasthan in the West of India.
From Jodhpur, take a train to Falna station (250 Rs) and get a taxi to Ranakpur (~350 Rs). Ranakpur is reachable, by car or bus, from Udaipur as well.
Ranakpur is a small village, and there are no rickshaws or taxis touting 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 temple 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), made up of white marble, offers sculptures of same quality but different type than Dilwara, but is beautiful from the outside, too. It has more than a thousand columns none of which are alike.
Note, 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 purchase a "donation" of 100 rupees (Feb 2013) for each camera. If you have a cell phone with a camera and a different camera you will need two tickets, or leave the cell phone in your taxi. The "nice" guard at the entrance will find it with a metal detector and tell you "One ticket one camera".
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.
- Hotel Maharani Bagh, Tel: 91-2934-285151, spacious, clean rooms set among a mango grove. Doubles are around Rs 5000 per night. Room service is slow, especially in the morning.
- You can get a room in the temple premises for Rs 200 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 Rs 15. The temple has a right to refuse you a room, so it's best to present yourself in a humble manner and willing to learn more about Jainism. Hindus should have no problem in 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:oo noon; checkout: 12:00 noon. Shivika Lake Hotel is set in an idyllic setting with hills around. Shivika Lake Hotel has in total 13 rooms and 5 tented accommodation. All rooms are tastefully and traditionally furnished with local material, colour & design, rooms give a camp atmosphere with modern amenities. You can also trek or have a safari from there.
- 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 ([email protected]), 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.
A local bus to Udaipur stops right outside the Ranakpur temple every hour and costs Rs 45. 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 busses leave to Mt. Abu or Abu Road (27km downhill from Mt. Abu, around 200Rs for uphill taxi).