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Jain temple adds to Kochi’s iconic structures

    Kochi (Kerala), June 14, 2015: A Jain temple, resembling the famous ones on Mount Abu in Rajasthan, is nearing completion in the heart of Kochi along the quiet Srinivasa Mallan Road, just 50m from MG Road. The construction of the temple, devoted to the 12th Tirthankar Vasupujya Swami, began in 2007 and has already attracted attention for its ornamental detail and minutely-carved ceilings, doorways and pillars.

    Sources said no rust-prone metal, soil or cement were used to construct the 2,000 sq ft temple for which 560 tonnes of marble were brought from Rajasthan. The two other components used were silver and gold. Around 90% of the works are over and the remaining will be done before Paryushan, the most-celebrated festival, in September. “Acharya Ravi Shekhar Marasaheb visited Kochi early in 2000 and advised us to build a temple without using any material that would rust or has element of life in it, like soil. Kochi being a reclaimed city, it was difficult to construct a strong foundation. We used brass, placed huge stone pillar blocks on it and filled the gaps using powdered stone. The temple was opened in 2011,” said a source, adding that 100 families pray at the temple every day.

    “Temple is a quintessential part of our lives as it neutralizes the negative effects of karma through mental and physical purification,” said B Hemchand Jain, treasurer of Shree Ernakulam Shwetambar Murtipujak Jain Sangh, the trust that runs the temple.

    The temple has a carving depicting Mount Shatrunjaya in Gujarat and the Panch Kalyanak, the complete portal on Jainism. “Panch Kalyanak is the five stages our deities had to go through in their life. While 23 of the total 24 deities underwent these five stages at different places in their lifetime, Vasupujya Swami encountered all of them at Champapur,” said H Vijaykumar Jain, a youth wing community member. Earlier, families here prayed at a home situated on the same plot or the Mattancherry Jain Temple on special occasions.

    There are around 700 Jain families in and around Kochi. – Article Courtesy: Shyam P V, Times of India

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