Monday, February 13, 2017

Vazhuthalangunam Jain Cave Temple, Thiruvannamalai

Vazhuthalangunam Jain Cave Temple, Thiruvannamalai
Vazhuthalangunam Jain Cave Temple located at Vazhuthalangunam Village on Thiruvannamalai to Gingee Route in Thiruvannamalai District of Tamilnadu. A hillock is at one corner of Vazhuthalangunam village called as Vazhuthalangunam hill/ Panchapandavar hill / Mattaparai by the locals. It is an historical importance place of Jain heritage. It has Jain Sages cavern and bas relief.

On the southern side of the hillock a natural cavern at the mid of the hill consists of several beds of various length and a rectangular platform at the center. The prime saint of the Jains might have used as preaching dais. It can be dated to the same age of Andimalai cavern i.e 8 - 9th Century AD. The Jains not only preached the Jainism but also treated the people from diseases.

On the fore-head of the canopied rock, a bas-relief of a Jinar was engraved beautifully. It has broad shoulder, wider chest, gracious face, throne, two whisk Devars on both side, and tri-umbrella over the head and three branches of Peepal tree are carved marvelously. All features indicate it belongs to the 9th Century AD art.

At the bottom of the relief an inscription can be found. It conveys that the place was referred as Menthaaraiyur and the relief named as Maruthu Pirai devar was masked by lime mortar to protect from erosion. The Jinar relief is referred as Shri Adhinathar. The surrounding village Jains constructed foot steps to reach the cavern by getting donations from the devotees. And also they conduct poojas for the rock temple occasionally.

Vazhuthalangunam is located at about 22 kms from Thiruvannamalai town towards Gingee road. Take a north turn at Somasipadi village on this route to reach this Village. Nearest Railway Station is located at Thiruvannamalai. Nearest Airport is located at Chennai.

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