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Ancient Jain relics of Narthamalai


Jainism has been prevalent in puddukottai region of Tamilnadu for ancient time.Pudukkottai region has some great monuments related to jainism , shaivism and vaishnavism too. Initially jainism had stronghold in this region since 7 century AD to later epoch of medieval time. The picture seen is Narthamalai of puddukottai district. This place is 17 kms from Puddukottai in northward direction and about 36 kms from Trichy in southward direction.Here are two cave temples facing east and a later structural temple complex, Vijayalaya Choleeswaram, facing the caves. The larger and earlier Jaina cave on the north side has been converted later as a Vaishnava shrine and its ardhamandapa has about 12 standing friezes of Vishnu.On the south side of the original Jain cave, another cave shrine has been carved out in the rock. This temple is called "Paliyili Isvaram". On the kumudha of the mukhamandapa (foundation) of this temple is recorded a Pallava inscription of 862 A.D. in the seventh regnal year of Nrpatunga Varman. It proclaims that Sattan Paliyili, son of Videl Vidugu Muttaraiyar (the subordinate chieftain of the Pallava ruling over Narthamalai) constructed (altered the Jaina one?) the cave temple for Siva and his wife Paliyili Siriya Nangai constructed the mukhamandapa (adhistana only), Rishabha, Balipeeta etc

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