There are second and third floor balconies where one can peer out across the lovely surrounding countryside. Ranakpur is an active temple with gardens to feed those that live there, and there are several minor temples that can also be seen in the distance. Here also are other memorable images from the exterior and artistic interior of the great Ranakpur Temple. This tip deserves a rating just for the effort of bringing them to you. Now, it's your turn to visit and photograph this highly photogenic monument:-)
Ranakpurs Entrance is actually pretty unassuming considering the grandeur of the architecture as was seen in the distance. As with any Jain temple, there is no entrance fee. I should relate that along the road leading to Ranakpur, we passed Jain faithful dress in white cotton pajamas with what appear to be surgical masks on their faces. Our driver told us that these believers held life so sacred that they didn't want to accidentally swallow any insects, and so the masks to screen their mouths. Another thing to notice is the excellent foundation details and outstanding solid construction of this building. The placement must be on firm soil, but there are also gardens as shown in subsequent tips. There are also a number of outbuildings, some of which may be older than the main Ranakpur temple. The one shown in this series of tips appears to have a roof protecting a much more ancient sacred monument.
In the central part of the main building, the three floors and upper dome can be seen. On the exterior, the window details are a constant wonder of detailed workmanship. In a side alcove, the tirthankers are symbolized in statue form for the appreciation of believers. There is also several other sacred artwork of considerable detail, and of course there's always another incredible column to appreciate as art. Outside, monkey agressively solicit food donations from tourists. Unaware of their speed, Belinda lost her sandwich to a monkey that surprised and snatched her lunch.
During our drive into the Nagda Lake area, I asked the driver to stop so that I could take a short hike up a hill to visit some peasant houses that I saw. My first family wasn't so receptive and grudgingly agreed to take a photo. They didn't really understand what I was doing, I think. A second family though invited me into their home, which has a rustic slate roof, through which I could see daylight. The home was very simple and crude, but the husband was handsome and his wife rather beautiful. At that time, my portrait taking skills with such people with whom I could not communicate were rudimentary, but I managed to get a great shot of this handsome if underfed family. Just as I put a coin into the palm of the woman, the car horn honked and I waved goodbye. The woman and I had struck up a bond of sorts, as she tearfully ran after me pleading me to stay longer. I would like to visit this family again sometime, but chances are I will never have the opportunity.
The exterior chiseled work at Nagda is abundant and though worn generally outstanding. The Sas-Bahu Temple does have an entrance but most of the other temples stand isolated and unencumbered by tourists.
Located 23km from Udaipur, Nagda was the ancient capital of Mewar. Earlier known as Nagahrida or Nagadraha, this town was found by Nagaditya of Guhilot in the 6th century AD. Nagda was the ancient capital of Mewar, and the rulers of Mewar had ruled from Nagda for seven generations until the time of Bappa Rawal (728AD). Nagada was plundered by Muslim raiders under Altamash between 1222 and 1229 AD. Today, the town is in ruins and only partially restored for visitors. There are Vishnu, Shiva and Jain temples with wonderful architectural details. Sas-Bahu Temple, them most extensive temple complex was built in the tenth century. What struck me at first was the variety of landscapes images the ruins could offer. Later, I explored the exterior details and searched for interiors of interest.
The Ghats themselves are a place of social activity. The men and women bathe separately along the marble steps leading down to the water. One woman showed me the extensive nature of the steps built around the lake, showing me that privacy on the lake is possible. I am of course voyeur to their personal activities and provide here images taken with the telephoto that don't reveal the identity of my subjects in order to retain their privacy. You go and see for yourself.
Built in 734 AD, Eklingi is the beautifully sculpted temple complex with 108 temples within its high walls. The temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, the presiding deity of Mewar rulers. The walled complex encloses and elaborately pillared hall or ‘mandap’ under a large pyramidal roof and has four-faced image of Lord Shiva in black marble. The wonderful access that the temple has to the lake provides a place for ghats, or baths, used by the local villagers to clean their laundry and themselves. The surrounding dry hills of the Aravalli Range provide and lovely contrast reminiscent of my home in California.
We didn't have enough time to really appreciate this Eklingi Lake and temples, but here are some more images to provide an idea of what to do. It's a very scenic area. The lake and surrounding area have a great number of smaller temples too for those who have more time to hike in this area.
The craft village museum, located north-west of the city, is a must see place for those who want to see the cultural heritage of India, its handicrafts and more.Openid by the late Rajiv Gandhi, it is an intersting place with traditional house from four states Rajasthan, Gujrat, Goa and Maharastra.Shilpgram comprises 26 huts set in 70 acres of natural surroundings at the foot of the Aravali Hills.There are demonstrations by musicians, dancers and artisans from different states.The festive season sees huge croweds. Shilpgram hosts crafts fair every year which is one of the biggest in area, people from different states in the country hold there stalls showcasing there are and crafts work.A colourful craft festival during winter seasons over 400 Craft stalls, Colorful performans, Traditional food rides to the whole set up induces viatanity and zeal.
Open 10.30 AM to 7 PM
Entrance Fee for Forners Rs 25 Indian Rs 15
Camera Rs 10 Video Rs 50
Ekling is a temple complex 22 kilometers north of Udaipur.Bult in 734 A.D. the temple complex was built by Guhila dynasty of Marwar, in honour of their presiding deity Eklingji, a from of Lord Shiva.The beautiful sculpred temple complex includes 108 temples within its high walls.The main temple dates to the 15th century, rebuilt from the ruins of an earlier destroyed temple.It is made of marble and granit, and has an enormous double-storied, elaborately-pillared hall of "mandap" under a vast pyramidal roof, with a four faced image of Lord Shiva in black marble.
The temple of Eklingji with the hills towering around it and abundant small springs of water where more or less every tourist takes a break. And locals pay homage through out the whole year.The Belief is such.
There are a wide number of statues of elephants and Tirthankers, the prophets of the Jain religion. Each is a worthy piece of art in its own respect. Some appear to express details of the history of the Jain religion or it's ceremonial calendar. During our visit there, we noticed a practice of celebrating the holidays of certain deities by decorating the image relief with foil or flowers.
I couldn't photograph all 1400 columns, but I wish I had had the time to do so. Each is so uniquely interesting, and would certainly occupy the interest of the Jain faithful for a lifetime. Symbolism is everywhere. The Chaturmukh Jain Temple of Rishabhadev or The Ranakpur Jain Temple, was reportedly constructed beginning in 1446, and took fifty years to complete. The building has some 40,000 square feet, and three floors. It is indeed a labyrinth of columns. There are several shrines nearby from which the main building can also be viewed through a frame of column detail.
Built sometime between the 14th and 15th century, the Jain temple represents one of the finest buildings devoted to religious purpose anywhere in the world. There are 1400 columns holding up several domes and a multiple of stories, each column uniquely chiseled marble. The lay out is generally around a central patio area, but visitors will have a hard time determining just what the orlginal floor plan was intended to be. The images here complement the general view found on my introduction to Udaipur, and I have for you a multiple of tips that include more images...
During the drive through to Ranakpur, we stopped in places to watch the peasant Indians thresh their grain, juice, or boil sugar cane. The implements used are no doubt the same as have been used for hundreds of years.