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Ranakpur Jain temple or Chaturmukha Dharana Vihara is a Jain temple at Ranakpur is dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha.[1] The temple is located in a village of Ranakpur near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan.

Ranakpur Jain temple
Jain Temple Ranakpur.jpg
Chaumukha Jain Temple
FestivalsMahavir Jayanti
Governing bodyAnandji Kalyanji Trust
LocationRanakpur, Rajasthan
Ranakpur Jain temple is located in Rajasthan
Ranakpur Jain temple
Location within Rajasthan
Geographic coordinates25°6′56.68″N 73°28′22.19″E / 25.1157444°N 73.4728306°E / 25.1157444; 73.4728306Coordinates: 25°6′56.68″N 73°28′22.19″E / 25.1157444°N 73.4728306°E / 25.1157444; 73.4728306
CreatorDarna Shah
Date established1437 CE

Darna Shah, a local Jain businessperson, started construction of the temple in the 15th century following a divine vision. The temple honors Adinath, the first Tirthankar of the present half-cycle (avasarpiṇī) according to Jain cosmology.[2] The Ranakpur temple is one of the largest and most important temples of Jain culture.[3] The campus includes various temples such as Chaumukha temple, Surya temple, Suparshvanatha temple and Amba temple.[4][5][6]

Temple HistoryEdit

The construction is well documented in a 1436 CE copper-plate record, inscriptions in the temple and a Sanskrit text Soma-Saubhagya Kavya. Inspired by a dream of a celestial vehicle, Dharna Shah,[7] a Porwal from Ghanerao, commenced its construction in 1389, under the patronage of Rana Kumbha, then ruler of Mewar. The architect who oversaw the project was named Deepaka.[8] There is an inscription on a pillar near the main shrine stating that in 1439 Deepaka, an architect, constructed the temple at the direction of Dharanka, a devoted Jain.[9][1] When the ground floor was completed, Acharya Soma Sundar Suri of Tapa Gaccha supervised the ceremonies, which are described in Soma-Saubhagya Kavya.[6] The construction continued until 1458 CE. However, according to the audio guide provided to visitors to the site, construction lasted fifty years (and involved 2785 workers).[10] Another source reports that construction continued until 1496, fifty years from 1446. The town of Ranakpur and the temple are named after the provincial ruler monarch, Rana Kumbha who supported the construction of the temple.[11]

Rankapur along with Muchhal Mahavir, Narlai, Nadol and Varkana forms Gorwad Panch Tirth.[12]


Depiction of Kalpavriksha

Whilst Dilwara temples are known for their sculptural work, this temple is famous for its intricate carvings and unique architecture.[13][14][15][16] It was built in the form of Nalini-Gulma Vimana(a heavenly vehicle Dharna Shah saw in his dreams).[7] This temple is built in Māru-Gurjara architecture.

The temple has a garbhagriha in which the main Chaumukha Adinatha idol is placed. The four openings of the sanctum lead to rangamandapa— the Dancing hall, which is connected to a two-storeyed mandapa, which is again connected to another two-storeyed mandapa called Balana and nalimandapa. This courtyard is surrounded by a wall enclosing sub-shrines.[17] The wall is also exclusive on projections like devakulikas and minor deity. The temple has five shikharas amongst which the central one is the largest. The temple is rich with sculptural pieces - carvings created with great skill and artistry.[18]

The Shikhara in the temple is symbolic of Mount Meru, the mountain which forms the axis of Jambudvipa with a preaching hall as the Samavasarana.[19]

Main templeEdit

Parshvanatha with 1008 serpent head

Chaturmukha temple is a 15th century temple dedicated to Adinatha[20] built using white marble in midst of forrest. The temple name is credited to its design of chaumukha— with four faces.[21] The construction of the temple and quadrupled image symbolise the Tirthankara's conquest of the four cardinal directions and hence the cosmos.[22][23] The temple is one of the largest Jain temples[3] and considered one of the five holiest Jain shrines in India and part of Gorwad Panch Tirth.[12][24] The architecture and stone carvings of the temple are based on the Ancient Mirpur Jain Temple at Mirpur in Rajasthan.[25]

The temple is a grand white marble structure spread over 48,000 square feet (4,500 m2) with 1444 marble pillars, twenty-nine halls,[26] eighty domes and 426 columns.[27][28][5] The temple, with its distinctive domes, shikhara, turrets and cupolas rises majestically from the slope of a hill. 1444 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, support the temple. The pillars individually carved and no two pillars are the same.[15][29] Legend says that it is impossible to count the pillars.[30] In the axis of the main entrance, on the western side, is the largest image. Inside the garbhagriha[31], the moolnayak of this temple, there is a 6-ft. tall, white-coloured chaumukha idol of Adinath with four heads facing in four direction.[5][29] Temple has a total of 84 bhonyra (underground chambers)[29] built to protect the Jain idols from the Mughals.[24]

The temple is famous for its beautiful carved idol of Parshvanatha made out of a single marble slab. The idol has 1008 snake heads and numerous tails. Two chauri bearers and Yaksha and yakshi, half-human and half-snake, stand on either side. There are two elephants purifying Parshvanatha.[32][33] One cannot find the end of the tails. The temple also has a representation of Ashtapad, showing eight tirthanakars in a row, Girnar and Nandishwar Dvipa.[34][35][36][37]

The design of the temple inspired Pittalhar temple, Dilwara in 1459 AD and in the Palitana temple complex in 1681.[27]

Other templesEdit

Suparshavanath Temple at Ranakpur
Suparshvanatha temple

A temple dedicated to Suparshvanatha is also present here. The temple has an intrinsic design and this temple is also famous for erotic arts on the wall.[38]

Sun temple

The sun temple at Ranakpur dates back to the 13th century CE. After its destruction, it was rebuilt in the 15th century. This temple is managed by Udaipur royal family trust.[6]

Sethi ki Badi Mandir

This is large Jain temple belonging to Shwetambar. This temple is famous for exquisite murals on the front wall of the temple.[4]

Chougan ka mandir

The temple is famous for an idol of first tirthankar of next time cycle. There are two more temples dedicated to Shantinatha and Mahavira is the compound.[4]


The temple underwent periodic renovations. Several families supported the construction of devakulikas and mandaps. The descendants of Darna Shah now mainly live in Ghanerao. The temple has been managed by the Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi trust for the past century.[39] The temple has a dharmshala, bhojnalya and club. The trust also maintain a secondary school and Vijya Shanti Shiksha Bhawan.[40]

Picture galleryEdit

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ a b Kumar 2001, p. 96.
  2. ^ Zimmer 1953, p. 208.
  3. ^ a b Arnett 2006, p. 145.
  4. ^ a b c Titze & Bruhn 1998, p. 182.
  5. ^ a b c Rajashtan Tourism & Rankapur temple.
  6. ^ a b c Rajashtan Tourism & Pali Landmarks.
  7. ^ a b Mehta 1970, p. 127.
  8. ^ Pal 1986, p. 94.
  9. ^ Tandon 2002, p. 669.
  10. ^ Titze & Bruhn 1998, p. 178.
  11. ^ Fodor's 2019, p. 308.
  12. ^ a b Mehta 1970, p. 129.
  13. ^ Dundas 2002, p. 203.
  14. ^ Bowman 2000, p. 336.
  15. ^ a b Jain 2009, p. 242.
  16. ^ Kumar 2001, p. 9.
  17. ^ Britannica, p. 17.
  18. ^ Kumar 2001, pp. 103-106.
  19. ^ Dundas 2012, p. 203.
  20. ^ Harned 2016, p. 202.
  21. ^ Dalal 2010, p. 570.
  22. ^ Ring, Watson & Schellinger 2012, p. 602.
  23. ^ Hirst & Zavos 2013, p. 116.
  24. ^ a b Fodor's 2019, p. 309.
  25. ^ Rajashtan Tourism & Sirohi tourist places.
  26. ^ Dobbie 2002, p. 31.
  27. ^ a b Kumar 2001, p. 106.
  28. ^ Chaitanya 1987, p. 10.
  29. ^ a b c Mehta 1970, p. 128.
  30. ^ Kwan 2017, p. 155.
  31. ^ Kumar 2001, p. 103.
  32. ^ Jain & Fischer 1978, p. 34.
  33. ^ Kumar 2001, p. 139.
  34. ^ Cort 2010, p. 308.
  35. ^ Cort 2010, p. xvi.
  36. ^ Shah 1987, p. 98.
  37. ^ Shah 1987, p. 22.
  38. ^ Flügel 2006, p. 410.
  39. ^ Shah 2004, p. 63.
  40. ^ Titze & Bruhn 1998, p. 179.


External linksEdit