Ranakpur Jain Temple, Rajasthan, India

Ranakpur is a village located in the lush green valley of Aravalli mountain ranges in Pali district of Rajasthan, in western India. It is home to one of the biggest and most important Jain temple complexes of India, covering an area of nearly 48,000 square feet, and has 29 halls, 80 domes and supported by 1444 marble pillars, each of them intricately and artistically carved, yet no two of them are alike.

A wealthy Jain businessman named Dharma Shah under the patronage of the liberal and gifted Rajput monarch Rana Kumbha in the 15th century built the Ranakpur Jain Temple. According to the local legend Dharma Shah had a celestial vision that left in his heart a burning determination to build a temple in honour of Adinath, the founder of the Jain religion. When Dharma Shah approached Rana Kumbha with his plan, the king not only gave him a plot of land to build the temple but also advised him to build a township near the site. The construction of the temple and the township began simultaneously. The town was named Ranakpur after the King Rana Kumbha.