Photographer's Note

Ranakpur is a village located in a valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. Ranakpur is widely known for its marble Jain temple, and for a much older Sun Temple which lies opposite the former.

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. Known for their aestheticism and religious fervor (Jains are not only strict vegetarians, but the most orthodox among them walk with care to ensure no hapless insect should die underfoot due to their carelessness, and wear permanent masks to protect even the tiniest bug from the possibility of being ingested), the Jains put all their passion (and not inconsiderable wealth) into the creation of ornately carved temples. The Ranakpur Temples are jaw-droppingly beautiful, with exquisitely detailed relief carvings (and strangely, a few pieces of tinfoil) covering every inch of pillar, wall, and ceiling. The main triple-volume Chaumukha Temple, built from 1446 and dedicated to Adinatha Rishabdeva, the first Jain tirthankara, is surrounded by 66 subsidiary shrines; Note that no leather items (including belts and handbags) are allowed on the premises, no photography of the statues or enshrined deities is allowed (general temple pictures are permitted), and you are requested to dress conservatively (legs and shoulders must be covered).

The temple is marvelous but for me it was impossible to make a good photo presenting its beauty. The white marble reflects the sun, so there are white patches, it is difficult also to find a good POV in the forest of 1444 columns.
The women get at the entrance to gowns like this pink one.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9140 W: 140 N: 23010] (114739)
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