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New look for Chickpet Jain temple

Staff Reporter
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City's Shwethambara sect's all-wood Adinath temple is all marble now

Pristine white: The idols of Adinath, Parsvanath, Shanthinath and Mahaveer are believed to be 2,300 years old. — PHOTO: SAMPATH KUMAR G.P.
Pristine white: The idols of Adinath, Parsvanath, Shanthinath and Mahaveer are believed to be 2,300 years old. — PHOTO: SAMPATH KUMAR G.P.

In a narrow bylane of the busy Chickpet area, the pristine white Jain temple belonging to Shwethambara sect stands out in the midst of crammed concrete structures. The Adinath temple, which was a wooden, carved structure for nearly nine decades, is now all marble.

Built in 1918, the Adinath temple has the idols of Adinath, Parsvanath, Shanthinath and Mahaveer, which are believed to be 2,300 years old.

These idols are believed to be part of one lakh idols made by Samprathi Maharaj, a north Indian ruler, in honour of the 24 Tirthankaras. They were brought to Bangalore from the Poshina Tirth of Rajasthan during the shrine's consecration.

Consecration ritual

Revered by the Jain community here, the renovated Adinath temple has been witnessing the Anjana Shalakha Pratistha Mahotsava, the consecration ritual, from November 23, which will continue till December 1. Apart from the ancient idols, many new idols of the Tirthankaras are being consecrated during this event.

“The decision to reconstruct the temple was taken by the trust in 2000. A large part of the marble work has been done in Rajasthan and brought here,” Rajesh Jain, temple trust member told The Hindu .

According to him, the work will be completed in the next few months though the temple rituals will commence on November 30.

The design of the temple complex is inspired by the marvellous Adinath temple in Ranakpur near Udaipur that boasts 1,444 carved pillars. Another model is the stupendous Dilwara temples of Mount Abu, renowned for their exquisite roof carvings.

Here in Bangalore, over 500 crafts persons were involved in the reconstruction. The shrine has ornamental detailing and designing ranging from floral panelling in the beading works to the traditional Rajasthan Sanganeri motifs on the main pillars. According to temple architect Chetanraj L. Sompura, the design is based on Nagara Shaili, popular in the north. The pure white marble has been sourced from the mines of Makarna in Rajasthan, he said.

The arrangement

The three-floored temple complex has all the ancient idols on the ground floor and the idols of the 24 Tirthankaras in the Thalghar (basement).

On the mezzanine floor, seven new idols of Mahaveer, Parsvanath, Munisuvrat Swami, Vasupoojya Swami, Shanthinath and Neminath, sourced from Jaipur will be consecrated.

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