A Jain temple in Bangalore has decided to auction some of its artefacts to fund its renovation and expansion plans.
This is what the management of the century-old Shri Adinath Jain Shwetambar temple in Chikpet will do on March 10. The auction, titled ‘Mystery of Chikpet’, will be conducted by city-based auction house Bid & Hammer at ITC Windsor. A preview of the collection will be held at the Bid & Hammer Preview Hall in Jayanagar 5th Block from Feb 27 to March 5.
The temple, one of the favourites of the Jain community in the city, has a fascinating history as its original Spartan-style construction was subsequently improved upon by artisans from different parts of the country.
The temple is being expanded to accommodate its growing number of devotees. It is in this backdrop that it was decided to dismantle the temple and auction the artefacts to construct a new temple.
This is perhaps the first time in the country that the auction of temple architecture is taking place.
The collection includes 139 architectural and related objects, Pahari School paintings of Lord Mahaveera, the divine guardians of Chikpet, colonial dwarapals, silver doors, vintage Art Nouveau Majolica Ceramic tiles, architectural pillars and other masterpieces.
The auction also encompasses related items such as original antiquarian prints, traditional paintings and works of art to complement the star architectural lots.
One of the chief attractions are a set of six stained teakwood colonial pillars with four apasaras carved at the top. The divine guardians or Chikpet apasaras are a creative amalgamation of eastern and western styles with distinct references to Roman, Victorian and Christian influences. These pillars are expected to fetch Rs 35 lakh to Rs 42 lakh.
Maher Dadha, chairman and managing director, Bid & Hammer, said the expansion plans did not allow the temple to retain these artefacts. “Most of the items were added when renovations began about 80 years ago. However, the current expansion plans are on a larger scale, so these items will fall short in terms of size.”
The proceeds of the auction will be used for rebuilding the temple. The bidding price will begin at Rs 7,500 and can go up to Rs 42 lakh.