Chaumukha Mandir


Built in the 15th century in milk-white marble, the main temple of Ranakpur, Chaumukha Mandir (Four-Faced Temple), is dedicated to Adinath, the first tirthankar (great Jain teacher), depicted in the many Buddha-like images in the temple. An incredible feat of Jain devotion, the temple is a complicated series of 29 halls, 80 domes and 1444 individually engraved pillars. The interior is completely covered in knotted, lovingly wrought carving, and has a marvellously calming sense of space and harmony. Entry includes audio guide.

Shoes, cigarettes, food and all leather articles must be left at the entrance (there are lockers, ₹10); women who are menstruating are asked not to enter.

Also exquisitely carved and well worth inspecting are two other Jain temples, dedicated to Neminath (the 22nd tirthankar) and Parasnath (the 23rd tirthankar), both within the complex, and a nearby Sun Temple. About 1km from the main complex is the Amba Mata Temple.

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