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Exploring Rajasthan’s Ranakpur Temple

Between the intricate carvings, jungle views and visiting monkeys, Chaumukha Mandir, the Jain Temple at Ranakpur, will transport you to another world.

Built in the 15th century, this enormous complex has 1,400 pillars, each one hand-carved with its own unique patterns, icons and elements from nature – no two pillars are alike.

Wander around the different chambers and marvel at the craftsmanship that took around 65 years to complete.  Don’t forget to stop for a photo of the lush jungle through the temple windows, or to get a glimpse of the families of monkeys that leap between the columns and domes.

Guides aren’t allowed in the temple, so make sure to grab an audio guide before you head in so that you can make the most of your experience and learn a bit more about the Jain religion if you’re not families with its traditions and beliefs.

Practical Tips for Ranakpur Temple

  1. Cover up your arms and legs.
  2. Leave your shoes and any leather goods you have outside.
  3. You will need on photo ID to leave as a deposit for the audioguide.
  4. Be aware that anyone offering to say a prayer on your behalf will probably be expecting money in return.
  5. Women are asked not to enter if they are menstruating.
  6. The earlier you can visit, the better – tourists are allowed to enter from midday.
  7. Stay away from the monkeys!  They look cute but they can be aggressive when provoked.  The last thing you want on your Indian vacation is to have to get a rabies vaccination.

Perfectly placed on the road between Jodhpur and Udaipur, this amazing site is not to be missed – and provides a nice way of breaking up the drive.  Be warned that the road is windy and bumpy through the countryside, so if you get car sick, think about taking a couple of tablets before you leave…..

If you’d like to visit on of the most beautiful temples in India, you are in luck!  It is one of the many amazing sites on our 14 day Rajasthan tour or you can customize your own holiday using our trip planning service!

Tips for Visiting the Taj Mahal

Show almost anyone a picture of the Taj Mahal and they’ll recognise it instantly. Imposing yet graceful, its true beauty can’t be appreciated in a photo alone – this is a site that has to be seen in real life to be believed. 

A romantic idea… But let’s face it – you won’t be the only person making the pilgrimage. The most visited site in India, tourist numbers for the Taj topped a gigantic 6.5 million in 2018. 

So how can you get the best out of your trip? Here are our top tips for planning your visit to the Taj Mahal:

  • Check it’s open

We know, we know – you’d never show up when it was shut, right? Just remember that opening hours will depend on sunrise and sunset, and that the whole monument is closed to the general public on a Friday. 

  • Wear what you like

There are no strict rules when it comes to clothing, and you’ll see plenty of people dressed to the nines for a romantic photo shoot. Wear what’s comfortable for you, but don’t forget to put on shoe covers before you enter the monument – these are available on-site. 

  • Pick your time carefully

Tourists visit all day, but we’d recommend the dawn session. If you’re lucky enough to get a good sunrise, the colours of the sky really transform the Taj. It’s also the quietest time to visit, with the majority of tourists arriving later in the day.  You can experience the Taj during sunrise on both a private tour by car or an overnight tour. 

  • Remember your mosquito spray

The palace is serenely positioned in front of a river, which creates an aura of peace and tranquillity… it also means that visiting at dawn makes you a part of the mozzies’ breakfast buffet. Don’t forget to wear your bug repellent. 

  • Go to Mehtab Bagh

Mehtab Bagh is a garden that was built across the river from the Taj Mahal and provides a stunning view of the back of the palace (which, thanks to its symmetrical shape is exactly the same as the front). Visit at sunset for the full effect – the peace and quiet make the view all the better.

  • Get a guide

The experience of arriving at the Taj Mahal can be a little overwhelming. A great guide will not only help you navigate the ticket queues, but they can also make sure you get the best out of your visit. There is plenty to learn about the rich history and craftsmanship behind the monument, so it’s worth getting an expert to tell you the whole story.

If you’d like to find out more about organising a tour to the Taj Mahal, we can help. Reality Tours offers private and group tours of Agra for all price ranges.  Find out more here!