Visitors can use the lake city of Udaipur as a jumping-off point to explore the beautifully carved marble Jain temples at Ranakpur located in the Pali district of Rajasthan. Located 90 km from Udaipur in the wooded valley of the Aravalli hills in an unspoiled nature, the Ranakpur Jjain shrine complex is considered one of the five most sacred places for the followers of Jainism.
The main shrine, known as the Chaumukha (four-faced) Temple, is dedicated to Rishabhadeva, the first of the 24 Jain Thirthankaras (ford makers). Rishabhadeva is also known as Adinath ji. Another shrine worth paying a visit is the 'Sun Temple' dedicated to the 'Sun God' which is located nearby.
Within the temple complex, which is one of the biggest clusters of Jain shrines in India, one can find 29 halls equipped with 1444 pillars embellished with intricate carvings. What is unique about these pillars is that each pillar is characteristically different from other.
The exquisitely carved Ranakpur temples were built under the patronage of the famous Rajput ruler and statesman Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. Notable shrines are those of Parasvanath and Neminath. The panoramic views of surrounding landscape as well as religious activities will guarantee the visitor peace of mind.
For those visiting the surrounding areas like Sadari, Desuri, Ghanerao and Narlai would be a truly amazing experience. Located some 8 km from Ranakpur, Sadri is home to the Varahavtar Temple and the Chintamani Parasvanath Temple. The place also attracts visitors for its Dargah of Khudabaksh Baba. Desuri, a small town 16 km from Ranakpur, is known for temples dedicated to Lord Hanuman, Lord Shiva, Parsuram Mahadeo and Navi Mata. An old mosque located at Desuri is also worth a visit.
Ghanerao attracts devotees for its Gajanand temple which enshrines life-size statues of the goddesses Ridhi and Siddhi. Located 6 km from Ranakpur on a foothill, Narlai is famous for a number of Hindu and Jain shrines including that of Adinath. The baori (step-well) found in the place also attracts visitors.
The nearby places are ideal fro trekking. You can organise small treks to exotic spots from Ranakpur, for example Thandiberi, Roopanmata, Kumbhalgarh and Ranakakar which are 15km, 30km, 25km and 15km away from Ranakpur. You will pass through steep hills, dense forest and fresh water streams while going for a trek to these places. You can also enjoy horse-safaris through the natural beauty of the Aravalli hills.
For wildlife lovers, Joba Wolf Point and Choti Odhi provide opportunities to view grey Jungle fowl, leopard, Sambhar and Sloth Bear.
Ranakpur has a number of accommodation options to choose from to suit all budgets. Maharani Bagh Orchard Retreat, Ranakpur Hill resort are some of the hotels where you can stay on your trip to Ranakpur.
In order to reach Ranakapur by air, you can take a flight to Maharana Pratap Airport at Dabok, Udaipur which is the nearest airport. The airport is connected by flights with major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Jodhpur.
Falna Junction, 30 Km from Ranakapur is the nearest railhead. After reaching the Falna one can drive to Ranakpur. Udaipur is the major railway station from where you could drive to Ranakpur.