This Jain temple is located in Ipoh city of Malaysia. There are about 2,500 Jains in Malaysia. They are mostly ethnic Gujaratis, with a lineage in Malaysia of several generations. It is possible that some of the early Jains arrived way back in the 15th and 16th centuries in Malacca. The temple in First Garden, Ipoh, stands majestic with its ornate dome rising above the rooftops of the surrounding neighborhood. The temple was built about two years ago, inspired by the family of businessman Shri Bharat Jasani.
The design of the temple follows that of a famous one in Tithal, India. The temple houses the statue of twenty third Tirthankar Bh. Parshvanath. The temple carving has been done by sculptors of Jaipur. Great care has been taken while planning the temple to ensure that the Jain heritage was properly reflected in its design. The temple bell is brought from India. The temple today serves more than just the 10 Jain families in Ipoh. People come from far and wide to worship.
The temple has become a cultural centre, helping to generate awareness of this small community in the country. It is managed under the auspices of the Shantiniketan Foundation, a charity trust formed to help support Jain culture in Malaysia. During the opening ceremony of the temple in February 2003, some 1,000 people converged at the temple, coming from as far as the United States, Hong Kong and India. Indian satellite TV channel Aastha sent a crew to produce a feature film on this unique place. This unique temple in Ipoh stands not just as a centre for the local Jain community. It is also a small but beautiful testament of Malaysia's diverse, and always surprising, multihued heritage.
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