Ranakpur is a small village located in the Aravalli range, between Udaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan. It lies in the Pali district of Rajasthan, which lies 60 km from the city of Udaipur. The village is renowned for a large Jain Temple, which is also one of the most important Jain temples in the country.
Ranakpur derives its name from Rana Khumba. It is said that Rana Khumba gave the land for the construction of the Jain temples in the region, when a businessman named Dharna Shah approached him and told him about his vision of a great temple. Another Jain temple in the village apart from the main Jain Temple is the Sun Temple, which is located right opposite the main one.
The presence of these two Jain temples makes Ranakpur one of the most important pilgrimage centres for the Jain community in India. The main Jain temple complex covers a total area of 48,000 square km and has 1444 different columns. The temple also has two large bells which weigh 108 kg each and whose sounds echo through the whole complex.
There are other temples too in the village which are dedicated to different Gods of the Hindu community. Being situated in Rajasthan, it experiences very hot summers with the temperature ranging from 38° to 42° Celsius. The winter months of December to February experience temperatures between 11° to 20° Celsius.
The best time to visit Ranakpur is in the months of September to March, when the temperature remains comfortable and there is not much rainfall. Ranakpur is well connected by means of roads, although it does not have a railway station.
Udaipur, at a distance of 60 km Ranakpur offers the nearest airport, the Dabok Airport. Flights from Udaipur connect to Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Mumbai and Aurangabad.
Udaipur also happens to be the most convenient railhead from Ranakpur though the nearest one lies at Phalna. Trains from Udaipur connect to Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer and Chittaurgarh
By road too Ranakpur is well connected to Udaipur which in turn connects it to various other tourist places within and outside Rajasthan. Prominent amongst these destination are Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota/Bundi, Jodhpur, Chittorgarh, Ahmedabad, Varodara, Mumbai, Delhi, Indore, and Mt Abu.
A network of buses connect Ranakpur to nearby places apart from the four deluxe buses that run to and from Udaipur.