Tuesday, 16 October 2018

THE REMAINS OF JAINISM, JINALAYAS, TIRTHANKARAS & JAIN BEDS AROUND PUDUKOTTAI – A PUDUKOTTAI HERITAGE VISIT.

29th September.
After we landed Keeranur near Pudukottai, Trichy Parthy one of our Facebook friend took us first to the Jain monuments  at Nanjur near Keeranur.  Jainism was flourished once in Pudukottai area surrounded by the small small rocky hills with natural shelters where megalithic period human beings lived. Jainism spreads to Pandya Nadu through Kongu nadu & Thondai Nadu from North India. During Pandya Kings rule some of the Kings followed Jainism. Pandyas and Chozhas  supported the Jainism and built Jinalaya for their worship.  All most all the rocky hills of Madurai, Pudukottai, South Arcot, North Arcot are being occupied by the Jain monks and beds were carved  on the rocks/ boulders by the donors. During 8th Century, revival of Shaivam and Vaishnavam started by the Thevara moovar Appar, Sundarar & Thiruganasambandar and Alwars, Jainism slowly  lost its importance. A very few Jinalyas are in worship now. Due to dwindling of Jain  population, old Jinalayas are not maintained and destroyed by nature. Some of the Tirthankara statues  are found  in Villages, are kept in worship by Hindus also. This post will cover the Jain monument visited during our Pudukottai Heritage Visit.

MOSAKUDI:
This is a dilapidated Jain Jinalaya, built by Paranthaka chozha. There are inscription on the Kumudam of the adhistanam speaks about a donation of a land to a Jain school by Karikandan, Karikesan and Karisadayan. Keeping an Yakshi in the middle Tirthankars are installed on both sides. On the Left may be Adhinath in standing posture with Mukkudai. On the right is also a Tirthankara without Mukkudai. He may be a monk too. These three statues are erected in the recent times.

LOCATION:CLICK HERE




NANJUR
A Tirthankara is kept along with Vishnu, Durgai, Kotravai and an inscription stone in open to sky. In Tirthankara statue mukkudai and whisk bearers / samaratharis are shown. The inscription belongs to Chozha King Rajaraja. It was told that  a Chozha period Vishnu Temple and Jinalaya existed once and the statues are the remains. Now these statues are under the control of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

LOCATION:CLICK HERE 




MALAYADIPATTI.
On the other side of the Malayadipatti Shiva and Vishnu Rock Cut caves, there are two boulders one is sitting on the other. Only  small square holes of 1 inch depth are provided to climb up. 3 beds are carved on the flat surface with inscriptions belongs to 8th century. The inscription reads as கறையுர் ஆலங்காரிக்குப் பிச்சும் பிராந்து“, the meaning is not known. There is also a telegu inscription and it reads as “எப்போதும் சேவை செய்பவராய் மங்கான்”. In addition to this there is a scratch art which will be posted separately.

LOCATION:CLICK HERE




TIRTHANKARAS & JAIN BEDS AT ALURUTTIMALAI.
The natural cave is facing east with two Tirthankaras on the face of the projecting rock. The first Tirthankara is in meditating posture. Mukkudai and samara are shown. The right side is Mahavir. Simhas are seen on both sides. Mukkudai and samaratharis / whisk bearers are also shown. The open floor is carved with beds.

On the slope there is a Pandya King, Sundara Pandya’s inscription. The inscription mentions this place as “Thiruppalli” and also it mentions  the names of two acharyas Dharmadeva and his Guru Kanaka Chandra Panditha. From this we can conclude that a full fledged School was running in the natural cave. Also it mentions “கடலடையாத இலங்கை கொண்ட சோழவளநாடு”, a division of Pandya Nadu.

The Hill Aluruttimalai is also called as Ammachatram Hills. The name alurutti, came since, enemies, prisoners are  rolled down from the top of the hill, from the vertical face as punishment.

LOCATION:CLICK HERE




Pandya period inscriptions

KUDUMIYAN MALAI JAIN BEDS.
On the west side of the hill there are some beds carved for the Jain monks with 3rd Century BCE Brahmi inscriptions. The inscriptions reads as Nazhal kottranthai paali in Tamil “நாழள் கொற்றந்தய் ப(ளி)ய்“ - Nazhal is referred in Sanga literature Kurunchi, as a flower, which is now called as Pulikonrai. A person with dignity called Kottranthai of the Village Nazhal had excavated these beds/ Paali.

LOCATION:CLICK HERE

ANNAVASAL TIRTHANKARA
This Tirthankara is sitting in meditating posture under a peepaul ( piNdi maram ) tree with curved branches forms like pandal. The kuncharas / bells are shown hanging from the pandal. On both side are whisk bearers / smaratharis. Prabai and mukkudal are shown above the Tirthankara’s head. A Pillow arrangement is also shown on the back of Tirthankara. The head is found neatly chiseled like a pillar from neck. Whether this was intentionally damaged or Tirthankara was made like this is not known. The Tirthankara statue is kept on a platform constructed by Archaeological survey of India ( ASI ). As per the experts this Tirthankara may belongs to 9th to 10th Century.

LOCATION:CLICK HERE

The Jinalaya and Tirthankaras and Ezhadipattam Jain beds are written as a separate post.
LOCATION:CLICK HERE
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---

Monday, 15 October 2018

ARIVAR KOIL – SITTANNAVASAL JINALAYA WITH JAIN BEDS, A PUDUKOTTAI HERITAGE VISIT.

30th September 2018.
The Sittannavasal, is a corrupted name of Sitrannavayil, a small place in Pudukottai. The remains of prehistoric megalithic period monuments like Cairn circles with cist, Dolmens, natural shelters with rock arts are scattered around this Sittannavasal Hill.  The Rock cut cave is excavated on the northwestern slope facing west.

The Rock cut cave has a sanctum, arthamandapam and a mukamandapam. A lotus medallion is on the sanctum ceiling.  On the east wall facing west, two Tirthankaras with mukkudai and a Jain monk with one kudai is carved. The arthamandapam is supported by two pillars and two pilasters. On the south side is 23rd Tirthankara Parshvanath under 5 headed snake hood, in meditating posture. On the north side is a Jain monk with one kudai in meditating posture. Under this monk’s sculpture it is inscribed as “Thiruvaasiriyan”. The Arthamandapa ceiling and the pillars are plastered with lime mortar and paintings are drawn. The details will be posted separately.

The King responsible for the excavation of this cave  is not known and as per the available inscription,  the front mandapa was extended during 9th Century. The inscription is in the form of a song, one Ilangouthaman, a Jain monk / teacher belongs to Madurai, had done the thirupani on behalf of Pandya King Avanibasekaran Sri Vallaban.  A land was donated in lieu of thirupani, which includes constructing of a Jain temple at Tharambai Moothur,  offering of 'neivedhyam', burning of lamp. And in continuation of the thirupani of constructing mandapam for a Jain Jinalaya at Annal Vayil.

An echo or the resonance of vibration can be felt in the Santum, due to the pressure of the hill.

As per ASI the cave was excavated in the early Pandya Period ( 7th Century ), facing west with square sanctum and rectangle artha mandapa.  An inscription on a rock records that a renovation work was carried out to the sanctum and addition of the muka / front mandapa during the time of  early Pandya King Sri Vallabha ( 815 – 862 AD) by one Ilangautaman alias Madurai Asiriyar. 





JAIN BEDS WITH BRAHMI INSCRIPTIONS AT EZHADIPATTAM.
There are 17 beds for the Jain monks carved in the natural shelter on the top of the same hill. On the side of the beds the 6th Century inscriptions read as, “Thozhukkunraththu kadavulan thiruneelan”, “Thittai Sanan”, “Thiruchaththan”, “SripoornaChandran”, “Niyathakaran Pattakkazhi”. In addition to this there is a 3rd Century inscription read as..

எருமிநாடு குமுழ்ஊர் பிறந்த காவுடீஈ
தென்குசிறுபோசில் இளையர் செய்த அதிட்அனம்.

As per this 3rd Century  inscription, a bed was carved for Eruminattu kumuzhur born Kaavithi, a government servant, by a Soldier or a merchant group of South Siruposil Village. The Posil is the ancient name of Vayil and Siruposil was turned to Sirtrannavayil, which are mentioned in Pandya period inscriptions.

LOCATION:CLICK HERE

 The 3rd Century  inscription around the bed


a lone Dolman on the Hill
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---

Sunday, 14 October 2018

A 8th CENTURY TO NAYAK PERIOD PAINTINGS IN ROCK CUT CAVES & TEMPLES AT SITTANNAVASAL, NARATHAMALAI, KUDUMIYAN MALAI & THIRUMAYAM – A PUDUKOTTAI HERITAGE VISIT

29th September 2018.
SITTANNAVASAL & EZHADIPATTAM JAIN BEDS
Sittannavasal rock cut cave Jinalaya is well known for its mural paintings.  The paintings are drawn  after applying a coat of lime mortar plastering on the stone surface.

The Arthamandapa  ceilings, pillars, capital are decorated with mural paintings made of vegetable Colours of black, green, yellow, orange, blue and white. The Ceiling of the arthamandpa has the depiction of Lotus pond, with realistic images of men, animals, flowers, birds and fishes.  It recalls the samavasarana faith in Jainism. The facade of the pillars  shows the dancing girl, the King and queen . Those paintings represent the typical early painted tradition of the south and comparable with those of Ajantha.

The rock cut cave was abandoned  for many years and it was an asylum for the miscreants and drunkards. Cooking were carried out using firewood which further damaged the paintings. In 1937-39 AD,  Maharaja of Pudukottai had arranged for cleaning and preservative coating was applied to extent the life of the paintings. Now this cave is under the control of Archaeological Survey of India ( ASI ), since 1958 AD and converted this Sittannavasal in to a tourist spot. Since Rock cut cave  existed before 7th Century,  the paintings might have been done during 8th or 9th Century.







In addition to the above the natural cave Ezhadipattam, above Sittannavasal Jain beds Cave  has the Jains period painting. This painting is a lotus medallion.

NARATHAMALAI.
Narthamalai Sri Vijayalaya Chozhiswaram was built by Mutharayars during early Pandiyas during 9th Century. When this was collapsed due to Rain, this temple was reconstructed. Hope after this only the arthamandapa walls were painted with mural painting. The paintings traces are found now here and there.



KUDUMIYAN MALAI.
Nayak period paintings are seen in the mandapa on the left side of Sri Kuduminathar Temple. The walls are plastered with lime mortar and painting was done. This painting is very much similar to the Thanjavur prakaram paintings.


SRI SATYAMURTHY PERUMAL TEMPLE, THIRUMAYAM.
At the entrance of Sathyamurthy Perumal Rock Cut cave  the ceiling  with pillars and capital are painted with Paintings. This may belongs to Nayaka Period.  The paintings contains the birds on the outer ring and ladies on all the four corners of lotus.
---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---

Saturday, 13 October 2018

PRE HISTORIC ROCK ARTS – KUDUMIYAN MALAI, MALAYADIPATTI, ALURUTTIMALAI AND THIRUMAYAM – A PUDUKOTTAI HERITAGE VISIT.

29th September 2018.
The rock arts are available in natural shelters and caves and India it was estimated they are 5000 to 10000 years old. Some of the shelter are used more than 500 years continuously. The rock arts are drawn initially by fingers / hands, latter with brushes. The rock arts depicts the  life style, day to day life, functions, celebrations, etc, of the prehistoric humans lived in those days.  Wild animals like elephant, tiger, horses, bison, buffalo, birds, trees,  are also drawn. In some cases the war scene with their enemy group are drawn. The Colours used in Indian rock arts are white, Red, Yellow & Black. The locally available ochre pigments are used. The pigments contains clay, minerals, vegetation leaves, animal fat, etc,.

KUDUMIYAN MALAI.
We found very difficult to locate the rock arts on the Kuduminathar Temple back side slope of the hill. Finally succeeded around 18.00 hrs. The red, Yellow, black and white ochre are used. Flower, leaves, Buffalo, deer, etc, are drawn. One interesting  rock art was taking the honey from honey comb by climbing one man on the other.
Deer and buffalo fighting
 Taking the honey from honey comb by climbing one man on the other.











MALAYADIPATTI
On the back side of the Sri Vakiswarar Rock cut Cave temple, there is a small rock sitting on a big boulder, forms a natural cave or a shelter. Pre historic human beings used this as a shelter. The roof has rock arts which are not visible, but a “keeral” / carving / scratch art of a man can be seen. The man wrapped an animal leather over his body with a head gear, which looks different.


ALURUTTIMALAI
The Jain Tirthankara bas-reliefs and beds are carved in this  natural cave shelter, was once prehistoric period human beings lived. The Rock art are drawn with white ochre. Human beings are found along with a “ thiruman “ shaped image. The meaning is not known.



THIRUMAYAM.
The rock art was drawn on a boulder inside the Thirumayam Fort. The Colour used was mainly red ochre. Here also the images are not clear, but mainly human beings and animals are drawn.




---OM SHIVAYA NAMA---