Jain temple in Andhra opens for pilgrims after 20 years

December 8th, 2008 - 3:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Dec 8 (IANS) The 2,500-year-old Sri Shwethambar Jain Tirth temple was reopened for pilgrims after 20 long years of renovation work.The temple at Kolanpak in Andhra Pradesh’s Nalgonda district was opened Sunday after a day-long special puja “pran pratishta” of a four-faced idol of Jain deities “Chaumukha” was performed by Acharya Rajesh Suriswar, temple president Surendra Lunia said. The rituals conclude Monday.

Hundreds of devotees from various parts of the country and abroad, besides Home Minister K. Jana Reddy and local public representatives participated in the event.

About 150 Jains from New Jersey and United States also took part in the puja at the temple, which is considered as one of the top 10 Jain pilgrimage centres in the world.

The temple authorities said over 1,000 workers, artisans and stone cutters worked for two decades to complete the renovation work at a cost of Rs.110 million.

Jain philanthropists and members of the community in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat donated the amount.

“The renovation work was completed in two parts. The renovation of the main temple took 16 years to complete while the other smaller temples in the complex took about four years,” said Surendra.

Out of the total 20 acre land, the temples stand on one acre. The remaining land houses a dharamshala, guest houses with about 160 rooms, a museum and a library for visitors.

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