Friday, March 25, 2016

Andimalai Jain Cavern Temple, Cholapandiyapuram

Andimalai Jain Cavern Temple, Cholapandiyapuram
Andimalai Jain Cavern Temple is located near Cholapandiyapuram or Cholavandipuram or Cholapandipuram. The attractive feature of this village is the presence of hillock called Andimalai with Jain caves, stone beds, inscriptions and sculptures.

There are 25 stone beds and some of the stone pillows of the beds were carved semicircular. The 23rd Thirthankarar of Jainism, Parshwanathar or ParshvaBahubali or Gomateshwara and Mahavira were nicely carved on the rock. The rock temple formed under two slants and top supported boulders. An inscription said these carvings were made at the behest of Sriveli Konkaraiyar Puddhadigal.

Another inscription was in the form of a poem: it mentions that a local chieftain, Siddhavadavan alias Sethirayan, donated Panaipadi village for the worship of these Jaina tirthankaras during the second regnal year (952 A.D.) of Chola king Gandaraditya. Statues of Dharmadevi and Iyakki were placed separately in the hill. 

Shri Koomandini stone plate carving also installed under the plain of two rocks. But it is shifted to nearby now. The ornaments wear by the goddess and the attached figures of two girl children, one servant maid, lion and arecanut tree on her back indicate that it is Shri Dharmadevi Yakshi. But the local devotees consider them as Kali (Hindu goddess).

Also two statues of Adinathar or Rishabha taken from nearby villages are kept in the hill. These sculptures art belongs to 13th Century AD. Adjacent to the section Shri Padmavathi Devi stone plate sculpture is also seated. The mutilated idol may be belongs to the ages of bas-reliefs.

Next, six ascetic’s stone beds of 8 feet and a relief on a Rock shade are located. A Jinar with two whisk Devars named as Shri Mahaveerar, beautifully engraved in sitting posture also belongs to the 8-10 Century AD.

Inside a cave, a stone seat was found which possibly for a Jain monk where he sat and teaches the students.