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.
Ranakpur is widely known for its marble Jain temple, and for a much older Sun Temple which lies opposite the former.
The renowned Jain temple at Ranakpur is dedicated to Adinatha.
Light colored marble has been used for the construction of this grand temple which occupies an area of approximately 60 x 62 meters. The temple, with its distinctive domes, shikhara, turrets and cupolas rises majestically from the slope of a hill. Over 1444 marble pillars, carved in exquisite detail, support the temple. The pillars are all differently carved and no two pillars are the same. It is also said that it is
impossible to count the pillars.
Also all the statues face one or the other statue. There is one beautiful carving made out of a single marble rock where there 108 heads of snakes and numerous tails. One cannot find the end of the tails. The image faces all four cardinal directions. In the axis of the main entrance, on the western side, is the largest image.
The temple is designed as chaumukha—with four faces. The construction of the temple and quadrupled image symbolize the Tirthankara's conquest of the four cardinal directions and hence the cosmos.
The dating of this temple is controversial but it is largely considered to be anywhere between the late 14th to mid-15th centuries. Inspired by a dream of a celestial vehicle, Dhanna Shah, a Porwad, is said to have commissioned it, under the patronage of Rana Kumbha, then ruler of Mewar. The architect who oversaw the project is said to have been named Deepaka. 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.
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
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.
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