The drive could be pleasant, but the highway is still under construction. Nevertheless, this drive is still worth it, not only to get to Udaipur, but also to see Ranakpur and the surrounding areas.
Ranakpur is home to the largest Jain temple in India. The temple, built in the 15th century, is dedicated to Adinath. It is known for its symmetrical structure, consisting of 1444 marble pillars, with no two being the same. In addition, all of the pillars, walls and domes are ornately carved, detailing mythological figures and patterns. In addition to the temple being a shrine of serenity, the valley it sits in is gorgeous, make it easy to spend a day or two exploring the nearby hills and forests if you had the time.
Following the visit to the temple, there is a small zig-zag road going through the forest and the local village, taking you to Kumbhalargh Fort. While we were making this drive to visit the fort, it was my favourite drive of the trip – the scerary was beautiful and the sites of Rajasthani women dressed in traditional bright red lengha cholis pumping water from the well or milking the goat were truly remarkable. I wished we had more time to get to the fort (before the sun set) as you could easily spend hours talking the locals and/or taking photographs – it was such a cute and peaceful village. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time, which meant that we just waived to the local children (who excitedly waved back) and snapped a few photos from the car.
Built in the 15th century by Maharana Rana Kumbha, this fort is built amongst the Aravali ranges, consisting of thirteen mountain peaks. The walls extend for 36 kilometers, making it the second longest wall in Asia, following the Great Wall.
The fort has seven massive gates, 360 temples, multiple palaces and gardens. At the top of the structure is ‘Badal Mahal’ or the Palace of Cloud, which has amazing panaromic views of the surrounding areas, and is a perfect place to watch the sunset from.