15th century Jain temple in Kerala to be reopened
Palakkad: A 15th century Jain temple, which has been in a dilapidated condition for past several years, is all set for reopening after its renovation.
As a prelude to its re-dedication, a three-day idol installation ceremony began at the Chandraprabha Digambar temple at nearby Jainimedu on Saturday attracting devotees from across Kerala and neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The shrine would be opened for daily rituals from Tuesday, temple sources said.
The temple, dedicated to Chandraprabha, the eighth 'Tirthankara', 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.
As part of the renovation, the old idol has been replaced with a new one.
Members of Chanraprabha Digambara Basti Devwaswom Trust, which manages the shrine, said the temple walls, the 'mandapa' and the entrance have also been redone to restore it to its past glory without affecting tradition and sanctity.
According to local legend, the Jainimedu temple was built centuries ago by a family of diamond merchants from Karnataka.
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'.
Bedsides the idol of Chandraprabha Theerthankara, the shrine, made of granite blocks, also houses the images of other tirthankaras and "yakshas" and "yakshinis" (demi-gods).