The village of Ranakpur sits a bit off the main route from Jodhpur to Udaipur, and is a remarkably quiet place. Apart from a few hotels and a couple of restaurants, the only other structure is the Ranakapur Jain Temple, one of the most important Jain temples in the world, dating back to the 15th century. Set in the forest, this temple is supported by over 1,400 intricately carved pillars, of which no two are the same, creating an almost eerie atmosphere as you wander through the courtyard, as if in a never-ending ancient maze. I highly recommend the audio guide that comes with your ticket, as regular guides are not allowed inside. The narration offers a thorough look at how this temple was created, its period of abandonment, and its resurrection as a major place of worship. Not too many people visit Ranakpur compared to other destinations, and even fewer spend the night in the village.

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