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Golden dazzle to glorify Mahavir temple

Acharya Kishore Kunal with the gold-plated pots at Mahavir Temple on Wednesday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Golden kalash (pots) will replace the copper ones atop Mahavir temple in four days.

Mahavir Sansthan Nyas Samiti secretary Acharya Kishore Kunal, who is also the chairperson of Bihar State Board of Religious Trusts (BSBRT), displayed the golden kalash on the temple premises on Wednesday.

Chennai-based gold coating company, Smart Creation, has made the two golden pots costing Rs 40 lakh.

“Now, the Mahavir temple will add further glory to the capital by having the largest golden kalash in the state. The work started in July and the temple will have the three micron gold-coated kalash on the auspicious day of Ekadashi, which falls on November 24, 2012,” Kunal told The Telegraph.

Describing the kalash, he said: “The big kalash weighs about 118kg and the small one is 70kg. Their heights are 13ft and 9ft. They have been prepared using the finest 18-gauge copper sheets and the work was done by 10 artisans for three months under the guidance of Ravichandran, CEO of Smart Creation and Aladeen, who has about 30 years’ experience in handling copper, silver and gold works. The team has the experience of working in over 400 temples across the world.”

Kunal said the Mahavir samiti had been planning to give a new look to the temple for a long time. “But during the beautification process, I ensured that neither the structure of the kalash nor that of the temple was compromised,” said Kunal.

Earlier, the big kalash was 15ft-long and the small one was 11ft. The present kalash was installed on March 4, 1985. Since then, it has not been replaced.

“The gold kalash will glitter from a distance and the shine will stay for more than 50 years. I am sure that devotees will like the new gold-plated kalash in which 1,000gm gold has been used,” said Kunal.

“There is a special lacquer coat over the gold-coated portion, which protects the yellow metal from getting damaged due to atmosphere and change in climate. A similar kalash will be installed on top of the simhadwar (the main gate) shortly,” Kunal added.

Retired IPS officer Kunal has been known for introducing various changes at the temple. While temples in other parts of the country were turning away devotees on the basis of caste and creed, Mahavir temple embraced diversity and incorporated the traditions of other religions.

Besides, Hanuman and Buddha, Kunal installed a statue of Dalit saint Ravi Das, on his birth anniversary on the premises of the temple on February 18, 2011.