Sriram Janak – Photography

Living rocks -Jain hill – Keelakuyilkudi


Climbing over the zenith of the Rocky Mountains,

I caught my first glimpse of this bass relief,

which is arguably the most beautiful of its kind, in southern India.

And right then, right there, I was hooked…..Actually I  had fallen in love with the rock formations  around Madurai

you can see some of the photos here..

I live in madurai , a city ,in the state of Tamil nadu , in the south of India.

It is famously known as the temple city  or the Athens of the east.
Madurai is surrounded by several mountains.  Madurai city has 3 hills as its city boundary.

Yanaimalai, Nagamalai, Pasumalai named after Elephant, Snake and Cow respectively.

Many stone statues and other artifacts are present in these hill

I have been exploring these hills alone and with friends for the past year or so.

I will share photos of these  beautiful statues , inscriptions and the rock formations on these hills in the series

“ Living rocks“…

I will start this series  with…

Jain hill  at Keelakuyilkudi


_RAM4270 copy

An 8 feet high Theerthangarar figure with an inscription at its foot is seen

at the cave known as in the southern part of the hillock.

(Jain scriptures define the term tirthankara as follows: the contrivance which help to cross the great ocean of worldly life is called Tirtha and the person who makes that tirtha is known as tirthankara )

_RAM4260 copy

The most beautiful bas-relief of the Tirthankara in Madurai ( if not in Tamil nadu )

_RAM4294 copy

A Jain temple prospered here from 1st century to 10th century with large number of students.

It remained as a worship place for Jains during 8th century.

_RAM4307 copy

Tamil-Brahmi (  )    script on a boulder on the hill’s terrace.

The script is engraved on the boulder in which a drip-ledge has been cut and

beds excavated on the rock floor for the Jain monks to rest .

_POP6665 copy

Also Theerthangarar figures are seen near the spring at

the cave at the top of hillock.

_RAM4215 copy

Ancient inscriptions are seen below these figures.

Central Archaeological department preserves this hill.

_RAM4142 copy

Archaeologists consider that once a Theerthangarar temple should have been present at the top of this hillock.

Kings, landlords and village heads had supported this Jain temple. 

_RAM4210 copy

Speaking rocks….

you just need to touch them…

_POP6681 copy

in the southern part of the hillock. Inside the cave there

are 3 Theerthangarar and 2 Iyyakki Bas -relief figures

_POP6737 copy

_RAM4315 copy

_RAM4213 copy


38 responses

  1. Saraswathi Badri

    Wow…superb photographs..ethereal beauty..!Thanks a lot for sharing..!

    July 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    • Thank you so much . I am glad you liked them Saraswathi..:-)

      July 7, 2013 at 7:55 am

  2. What an eye, Sriram!!! Exceptional and breathtaking shots!

    July 6, 2013 at 11:33 pm

  3. I can see this is a very special place.

    July 7, 2013 at 4:49 am

    • yes it is…there are so many such special places ..around home town. will share them with you in the coming months. thank you so much for being here.
      take care

      July 7, 2013 at 7:52 am

  4. Reblogged this on James' World 2.

    July 7, 2013 at 11:30 am

  5. A treasure form the past. Beautiful viewing chance for readers. Thanks.

    July 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    • yes indeed a treasure from the be preserved for the future….glad you liked it. thank you for being here.:-)

      July 8, 2013 at 10:03 pm

  6. These ancient stones and inscriptions are so beautiful.. and one has to wonder what life was like when these were calved into the stone.. You have brought them to life.. Thank you for sharing..
    Sue 🙂

    July 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    • Sue…I am so happy you like it…yes when I sit among these treasures alone in the caves does make me think about the life of those beautiful people who were able to carve such poetry in stones..
      take care

      July 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm

  7. looking back and perhaps a look ahead?
    Magnificent photographs and story of timeless treasures.
    a great presentation!

    July 10, 2013 at 1:39 am

    • Thank you so much Eddie….yes to look ahead ..:-)

      July 10, 2013 at 8:11 am

  8. Sid Dunnebacke

    What a magnificent place. The idea of speaking rocks that need only to be touched strikes a chord – I can almost feel it through your photos.

    July 10, 2013 at 9:32 am

  9. Amazingly shot photographs I dare say!

    Though I have travelled in these parts, I have never seen Jain hill and so remain curious of its location.So tell me, tell me!!


    July 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    • Hi shakti
      thanks for your visit. glad you liked my post. Madurai is surrounded by these hills where you will find old Jain inscriptions and writings..on rocks.. I shall share them with you…in the coming months…
      take care

      July 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  10. Stunning imagery, Sriram. There are so many incredible sites to visit in India!

    July 20, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    • Thank you Tricia
      oh ya…..It will take more than a life time to cover India..this life of mine reserved for the elephants 🙂

      July 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm

  11. I like Kalugumalai’s Jinas even better. Faces more serene and beautiful.

    July 25, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    • Yes they are beautiful too…I am planning a separate post on them…Thank you so much for being here…:-)

      July 26, 2013 at 7:23 am

  12. These photos are amazing.

    July 27, 2013 at 7:44 am

  13. Professions for PEACE

    Such a spiritual place… carved into rock. I could almost feel it through your photography. Thank you for sharing, Sriram!

    July 30, 2013 at 9:43 am

    • Thank you so much Gina….

      July 30, 2013 at 1:52 pm

  14. Smita Shah Shetty

    Beautiful photos and information. Not many Jains do not know about thses marvellous carvings and the stone work is just outstanding. Thank you for showing us this wonderful place through your excellent photography.

    August 1, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    • thank you for visiting..and for your kind words. I am happy you liked it…
      Madurai has many such places which I shall share with you in the coming months…
      take care

      August 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

  15. nice shots,Sriramjanak.

    August 11, 2013 at 6:32 am

  16. beautiful

    August 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

  17. Just wonderful.

    April 27, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    • Thank you..:-)

      April 27, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      • My pleasure. :))

        April 28, 2015 at 10:36 am

      • My pleasure.:))

        April 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s