Parswanathar Jain Temple, Vengundram, Thiruvannamalai
Parswanathar Jain Temple is located at Vengundram Village in Thiruvannamalai District of Tamilnadu. Vengundram is situated very near to Vandavasi towards north. A hillock Thavalagiri Alias Vengundram lies in the locality. The hamlet has got ancient Jinalaya built by the natives after the period of Salukkai Jinalaya, the nearby 11th century Jain Palli. In the yesteryears many Jain ascetics had been lived in the caves of the hill. They wrote many religious books in the name of Thavalam.
Originally the temple was dedicated to Shri Neminathar subsequently it was dedicated to Shri Parswanathar. The Temple follows Chola architectural style. Jinalaya has east facing Vedi-block and North facing entrance-gate with a tower on the top. It got all features like Sanctum, passage, Arthamandapam, Mahamandapam, Mugamandapam and three pavilions in the open corridor.
North side of Mahamandapam pavilion got a Shrine with Shri Kooshmandini stone statue in sitting posture. Two Dwalabalagars stone statues in standing posture are located in the pedestal and are located on either side of the aisle in Mugamandapam section. At front a Manasthampam of moderate height with four different Jinar bas relief at the bottom and four at the top of Mini-vimana and an altar were also located.
The entrance, lean-structured three-tier, tower got legendary features from Adhitanam to sthupi like Sala, Karnakoot, Kapothas, Padmam, Mahanasi and five Kalashas on the top. Six Jinar mortar idols in sitting postures are along every tier. And supporting idols and Kandarvas also decorated around the tower. The sanctum got a marvelous Shri Parshwa Jinar; white marble absolute-carving, sculpture was installed on a plinth.
A nine headed snake in dilapidated state is canopied the head of the Jinar. At the back end of the Arthamandapam daily pooja platform consists of metal idol 24 Thirthankar copper mold with brass prabhai and a black stone plate (rare model) Shri Parshwanathar flanked by two Ganadhars and the bottom pedestal has Yakshi, Yakshas, Indira and devars. And the Ashtamangala specimens are arranged on a separate stand.
The womb-chamber is crowned by a sleek two-tier Vimana with Padmam and a Kalasha on the peak. Four Jinar mortar statues are in standing posture at the bottom stage and in sitting state at the top tier along four directions. Also other Supporting idols are also exhibited on all direction of the traditional Vimana. In front of main entrance a pavilion is secured with tight grill doors.
Inside all metal idols of Thirthankars with prabhas, Rathanathraya, Shruthaskanth, Meru and some Yaksha, Yakshis are preserved on a platform. At the center of pedestal Shri Dharanendrar and Shri Padmavathy metal idols are placed. On either side pedestal granite statues of Shri Brahmadevar and Navadevatha stone plate are seated. A small altar is also in the opening of the corridor.
On the north-east, 16 pillar pavilions was converted into two shrine room. One is for Shri Padmavathy Devi, stone statue with five headed snake on its back and another is for Navagraha stone idols platform. A Kalasha pavilion at the east side of the complex has an old Shri Rishabha Devar stone plate carvings, in triangular shape, is a unique model; might belong to 5 - 7th Century AD. It is believed to be taken from the village near Vandavasi town.
Regular poojas and rituals are conducted at the appropriate time. All Jain festivals are celebrated on the relevant dates. Vengundram is situated very near to Vandavasi towards north. It is located at about 41 Kms from Kanchipuram and 82 Kms from Thiruvannamalai. Nearest Railway Station is located at Kanchipuram and Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.