|Crystal gemstone idol at Chintamani Parasnath Jain temple, Azimganj|
|Gemstones idols at Chintamani Parasnath Jain temple, Azimganj|
It is worth noted that this was the only Shwetambar Jain Chouvishee made of gemstones. There were few other gemstone Tirthankar idols in other places but no complete Chouvishee till recent past. There was a Chouvishee in Digambar Jain temple at Mudbidri.
Later on the whole temple of Chhote Shantinathji was shifted to Sri Chintamani Parasnath temple in Azimganj. All these idols were put in an almirah. Sri Chintamani Parasnath temple committee then shifted all these idols building a separate Gambhara (Sanctum).
Unfortunately, all these expensive gemstone idols were stolen in the mid-1990s. It was a very sad event. I met Mr. SB Chouhan, the then Home minister of India along with a delegation requesting him to put his effort in recovering stolen idols. The Hon'ble Home minister took the pain and wrote a letter to Mr. Jyoti Basu, the then Chief minister of West Bengal. Only a few of the idols were recovered after all efforts. The rest of these gemstone idols are not yet recovered.
Few of the remaining gemstone idols are placed in the original Gambhara whereas other statues are kept under lock and key at Chintamani Parasnath temple in Azimganj. I have photographs of both these places which are put here for your perusal.
(Vardhaman Gems, Jaipur represents Centuries Old Tradition of Excellence in Gems and Jewelry)