July 07, 2005

SamanarMalai - Madurai/TamilNadu - Jain Caves

Jainism flourshied in SouthIndia 2000 yrs back. Now the number of Tamil Jains (samanar/nainar) has trickled down to few thousands.
I would bring to you info on a series of ancient jain temples in tamilnadu:

To start with - SamanarMalai/SamanaMalai

Samanar malai is situated just 12 km west of Madurai.

Right at the centre of the hill is a big natural cavern in which Jain monks lived 2,000 years ago. A Brahmi inscription is engraved on the `forehead' of the cave and another on the lithic bed which dates back to the 1st Century A.D.

The Jain rock sculptures of Mahavira, Gomateswara, Yaksha and Yakshi and bas reliefs bear inscriptions in Vatteluthu, dating back to the 9th Century A.D. Archaeologists have recorded the existence of a Jain school and a natural fountain called "pechchi pallam" here.

Read the Road-Less Travelled article in the Hindu on Samanar Malai.


injamaven said...

Dear friend,
Do you happen to know the name of the village or temple to the east of the Jain Carvings?
I was there in '07 but never got the name of our
Pongal village

vijay said...

Good article.

Anonymous said...

The name of the villages near this samanar mailai are keela kuyilkudi and mela kuyilkudi both of which are close to the hills. The next nearest is vadivelkarai. Offcourse on the other side we have Madurai City NagamalaiPudukottai area

Anonymous said...

Dear friend nice article and I want to know where is samanar school near to Kovilpatti . If you know tell me to kanto1221@gmail.com as soon as possible because its urgent for me a competitve exam.