Palakkad: A 15th-century Jain temple, which remained in a dilapidated condition for long, has been renovated and opened for devotees at Jainimedu in Kerala`s Palakkad district.
A large number of devotees from Kerala and neighbouring states of Karnatka and Tamil Nadu turned up to worship at the shrine as its portals were opened yesterday followed by elaborate installation rituals connected with the ceremony, known as `Chandraprabha Panchakalyana Prathishta Mahotsavam."
The rituals were led by Sri Sri Bhuvanakeerthi Bhattakara Swamiji, the head of Kanakagiri Mutt.
Gulab Kothari, eminent writer and Chairman and Chief Editor of Rajasthan Patrika, and author and Managing Director of Mathrubhumi M P Veerendrakumar were among those present on the occasion.
Dedicated to Chandraprabha, the eighth `Tirthankara`, the temple is one of the few surviving structures in Kerala featuring typical Jain architecture. According to Jainism, `tirthankara` is an enlightened human being who can be a teacher for those seeking spiritual guidance.
According to local legend, the Jainimedu temple was built by a family of diamond merchants from Karnataka centuries ago. After one of its male members died during a routine business visit to the area, his brother built the temple in memory of him as per a sage`s advice.
In course of time, their family settled around the shrine. Following them, hundreds of Jains, most of them diamond merchants from across the country, came and settled here.
With the presence of several diamond merchants, the place came to be known as `manikyapattanam` or `muthupattanam`.
Besides the idol of Chandraprabha Theerthankara, the shrine, made of granite blocks, also houses the images of other tirthankaras and "yakshas" and "yakshinis" (demi-gods).