Ancient wonders – Ranakpur Jain Temple

Yonder over the hills

Ranakpur Jain temple 1

In the quietude of the Aravali hills and far removed from the madding crowd, stands an ancient Jain temple that is not only a sanctuary for the believers but also an architectural wonder in itself. The Ranakpur Jain temple, with the quite countenance of equanimity and peace, is unlike most temples one would encounter in India. Made entirely of marble with intricately carved motifs and sculptures, it is an embodiment of magnificence and ancient artistic skills. Dating back to 15th Century, it is said to have been built by a wealthy merchant named Dharna Shah, a follower of Jainism with the support of the then ruler of Mewar, Rana Kumbh, after whom the temple and the village (Ranakpur) has been named. Owing to its intricate architecture, the temple reportedly took 65 years to complete. Legend has it that the Great Mughal emperor Akbar was quite enraptured by the artistic work that he put up…

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