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
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 )
The most beautiful bas-relief of the Tirthankara in Madurai ( if not in Tamil nadu )
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.
Tamil-Brahmi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 .
Also Theerthangarar figures are seen near the spring at
the cave at the top of hillock.
Ancient inscriptions are seen below these figures.
Central Archaeological department preserves this hill.
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.
you just need to touch them…
in the southern part of the hillock. Inside the cave there
are 3 Theerthangarar and 2 Iyyakki Bas -relief figures