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An ancient Tamil Jain cave: Tenimalai


Tenimalai is another hill in pudukkottai region of Tamilnadu. It owns a natural cavern with a drip line that shows; It was habitated in early age. The cavern is known as Andarmadam. On a boulder opposite to cavern an epigraph is engraved in archaic Tamil characters and Tamil language. This epigraph is considered to belong to 8 century AD. This inscription narrates that a Jaina Ascetics Malaydhavaja was performing penance on tenur(Tenimalai) hill. The local chief of the Irrukuvel family came there to pay respect to him.The local chief provide an endowment of the land called "Pallichchnadam " making it tax free, For the maintenance of the sage. Another boulder nearby cavern bears the bas relief sculpture of Lord Mahaveera .Underneath the Mahveera sculpture, An epigraph is engraved of the same era.The epigraph states that this sculpture was carved by one Valla Udana seruvotti. Mutilated sculpture of a Yakshini is also explored in this area.

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