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"Nyayparipalpperumpalli" A Jain monastery of Singikulam

 

Jainism enjoyed royal patronage during initial centuries of Christian era. After Bhakti movement by Shaiva Nayanars and Vaishnav Azhvars Jainism thrived in some part of Tamilnadu and it lost imperial patronage in some area of Tamilnadu especially in Chola region. In that crucial time Jainism faced a quiver of appropriation and conversion of their pallis(schools), Shrines, monasteries and Lords by Shaivites and Vaishnavites. We get some examples of such appropriation and conversion in modern Tamilnadu after paleographic evidences came into light by Archaeologist, Historians and Scholars.

Singikulam: - Singikulam is situated in near Nanguneri town in Tirunelvelli of modern Tamilnadu state. This place is situated about 13 kms from Nanguneri in North direction and About 25 kms from Trrunelvelli in south west direction.

On the hillock near singikulam village a hindu shrine named as Bhagwathi temple is situated. The hill contains several hollows in boulders to draw water from natural springs .An inscription from this Bhagwathi temple’s wall came into light which attests this ancient temple as a Jain monastery named as “Nyayparipalap perumpalli”. The temple had been appropriated by local Hindus.

The inscription inscribed in the 15th year of Mara Sundara Pandya II (1253-54 AD) records information about the exemption from taxes on lands purchased and endowment for the shrine constructed by “Matisagara Adibhatta” as Karanmai pallichandam. Pallichandam is provided for worship of Jina Lord celebrated as “Enakkunalla –Nayakar" in the pantheon on the hill at Tidiyur. The hill was also known as "Jinagirimamalai" which means great mountain of Jina. The Lord named as "Enakkunalla –Nayakar" has meaning "My supreme Lord". The Lord was named after the officer "Oruvar Unarundan Enakkunallaperumal" alias "Tamilppallavariyan".

The Bhagwati temple on the hill was formerly a Jain monastery and the fact is established by paleographic evidences as well as Jina sculptures in the inner shrine of temple. Lord Jina's sculpture is being worshiped as Gautam rishi situated in inner shrine. Moreover one Jina sculpture is carved as bas relief near the water tank in the shrine. At the foot of the hill A Jina sculpture is installed in which is in meditation posture. This Jina sculpture is worshipped as Rishi Bhrigu and covered with linen clothe. @www.jainglory.com

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