Oshwal Jain Derasar

Oshwals (a community of Jains having their roots from Jamnagar in India and historically from the town of Osia in Rajasthan) first settled in the UK around the late 1950s and early 1960s.

The original mansion called Hook House was built in 1839. The estate was primarily used for greyhound racing. This plot of land at Potters Bar, more than 70 acres in size, was acquired in April 1980 which is now called Oshwal Centre. A small derasar was initially based on the ground floor of Hook House.

On 7 September 1997 bhumi pujan, khanan vidhi (ground breaking ceremony) and shianyas vidhi (foundation ceremony) was performed under the guidance of Pujya Acharya Jinendrasuriji Maharaj and Pujya Vajrasenvijayji Maharaj for the Shikhar bandhi derasar. Late Babubhai Kadiwala came from India to explain the various ceremonies. In November 1999, foundation slab to build a majestic shikhar bandhi derasar was laid. Sompura architects based in India designed the temple according to Jain architecture.

On 14th May 2005 anjanashalaka vidhi was performed in Rajasthan and on 10th July 2005 adhar abhishek ceremony was performed at Oshwal Centre. The pratistha mahotsava was celebrated between 19th to 25th August 2005. Skilled artisans from India have created a grand and majestic derasar with intricate carvings on the domes, pillars and walls surrounded by idyllic landscaped gardens. From an aerial video footage taken by a drone you can observe that the layout is in the shape of Jain universe with the derasar at the centre. The walkways are in the shape of Jain swastika. The entrance to the derasar is from the west leading into the rang mandap under a large dome. No steel has been used and 1300 tonnes of pink stone including 500 tonnes of Indian marble were used in the construction of the derasar.

The three main murtis consecrated in the derasar are of Māhāveer Swāmi (51″), Adināth Bhagwān (31″) and Pārswanāth Bhagwān (31″). Within the rang mandap are murtis of Padmāvati mātā and Manibhadra Dada. Around the periphery of the exquisite derasar are shrines of all the 24 Tirthankars. Moreover, there is also a Samvasaran, Kirtistumbh and a gigantic Ahimsa hand under the open sky.

1. Internet
2. Oshwal Centre website
3. Jain Heritage & Beyond (Oshwal Association of the UK)