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Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: Ranakpur: Photo 1

world pictures Peninsular India: Ranakpur

Like most Jain temples, the exterior wall is severe, only the roof hinting at the exuberance of the interior. The floor plan is a square 200 feet on each side. Four images of Adinatha are housed in the central shrine, one facing each of the cardinal points. The western approach (shown here) is the most important, however, and so the central shrine, under the tallest shikara or spire is slightly east-of-center, making the western approach the grandest. You can't hear it, but the flags atop the small spires have bells that tinkle in the breeze. Adinatha? Jains believe that each cycle of existence has 24 Tirthankaras, men who have learned how to find salvation. Adinatha was the first of the 24 in the present cycle.

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