Laarstraat 34, 2610 Wilrijk, Antwerp, Belgium
The Belgium Jain community has built this temple in Wilrijk (near Antwerp), with a cultural centre. The Jain community in Belgium is mostly involved in diamond business. The Jains in Belgium are estimated to be around 1500. The majority live in Antwerp, working in the wholesale diamond business. Belgian Indian Jains control two-thirds of the rough diamonds trade and supplied India with roughly 36% of their rough diamonds.
The Antwerp Jain Temple is the largest of its kind in Europe and offers a glimpse of the rich traditions of Jain religion. Here is one more reason to visit Antwerp. Besides trade, tourism and shopping, a visit to a newly built magnificent Jain temple is a must to see how Jains settled in Antwerp for the past many years are keeping their religious traditions alive. The temple is the largest of its kind in Europe and offers a glimpse of the rich traditions of Jain religion. The temple stands tall in Wilrijk, one of the most posh localities in Antwerp, which is a home away from home for many Gujaratis connected with diamond trade. Funded mostly by Jain diamantaires living in Antwerp and India, it was built under the aegis of Jain Cultural Centre of Antwerp (JCCA), an association of Jain community members. “The temple showcases the rich traditions of our religion and culture. We will not be here one day, but this temple will continue to remain a symbol of our tradition for the future generations,” Paresh Sanghvi, a diamond trader and one of the trustees of the temple, said. According to Jain community members, the temple was conceptualised almost 25 years ago. Land was also acquired for the temple soon after that, but actual work on it began only in the late 90s. According to people connected with the temple, this temple not only strengthened the bonding between Jain community people in Antwerp, but also among other Indian communities living in Antwerp.
In the words a Trustee of the temple - “Antwerp has been very warm to the Indian community, and the temple is our way of giving something back to the city. It would not have been possible to build the temple without support from authorities.”
Further details for placement on this page about this temple requested from readers and Belgium Jain Community.
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