Ancient Jain Caves Sculptures, Jain Temple, Beds in Onampakkam, Chengalpattu / Kurathi Malai or Samanar Malai – Exploring the 8th-century Jain Hill Temple for Jain Tirthankaras – Parshwanath, Adhinata, Mahavira – Address, Visit, Travel Guide

uncovering the profound beauty of jain sacred sculptures

47244

Ancient Jain Caves Sculptures, Jain Temple, Beds in Onampakkam, Chengalpattu / Kurathi Malai or Samanar Malai – Exploring the 8th-century Jain Hill Temple for Jain Tirthankaras – Parshwanath, Adhinata, Mahavira – Address, Visit, Travel Guide

– uncovering the profound beauty of jain sacred sculptures

 

Onampakkam / Onambakkam, a small village in Maduranthakam taluk in Chengalpattu district lies an ancient hillock, known as “Kurathi Malai” or “Samanar Malai,” showcasing 8th-century Jain sculptures – the temples for Jain Tirthankaras – Parshwanath, Adinath, Mahavira.

The historical significance of Onampakkam spans over 1200 years, functioning as a Jain center that was established in and around these hills during the 8th century. This Jain center’s historical roots date back to the period of Nandivarman II, a Pallava king who ruled the region during 720-796 AD.

The village is surrounded by four hillocks called the Kurathi Malai, Koosa Malai, Patti Malai, and Venmani Malai, where Kurathi Malai and Koosa Malai held major importance for Tamil Jain Monks in ancient times.

The main Jain center hillocks – the Kurathi Malai and Koosa Malai, were excavated in the early 1970s, revealing Tamil Grantha scripts and inscriptions, and the rock reliefs of Jain Tirthankaras- the Adhinata, Parshwanath, and Mahavira, six rock beds, and a small pond used by Jain ascetics.

Earlier locating the exact hillock proves to be challenging due to the hilly terrain. But currently, the Jain community members have built an easily accessible step for this steep location, to reach the top of the location we also need to climb the challenging rocks.

Devotees and history enthusiasts alike can immerse themselves in the spiritual energy, discovering the profound teachings and life stories of these revered figures through these Jain sacred sculptures.

The Jain hillock features three main Jain rock-carved sculptures

Parshwanath rock-carved sculpture

At the east-facing Parshwanath – the 23rd Theerthangarar in a standing posture, intricately carved on a small rock resembling a miniature temple, featuring a five-headed snake covering Parshwanath’s head, with Yakshas and Yakshini on either side.

 

Tamil Grantha Inscriptions

A Tamil Grantha inscription on the right side credits the construction to Jain monk Vasudeva Siddhartha Battara, the leader of the “Irupathi Irandu” – the twenty-second branch of Tamil Jains. Vasudeva Siddhartha Battara built a small shrine for Parswanatha.

Adhinathar / Adinath Rock-carved Sculpture

Adhinathar / Adinath in a sitting meditative posture – Artha Pariyangasanam.

Mahaveerar / Mahavira Rock-carved Sculpture

Mahaveerar / Mahavira in a seated meditative posture.

Recently, many groups of Tamil Jains, from the Kanchipuram district, started worshipping and built easy-to-walk steps to reach the top of the Kurathi Malai Hillock.

 

Jain Beds

Also, Numerous Jain beds are scattered across the site, totaling around ten stone beds, five on the hill’s top, carved on an east-facing rock, with a carved line above protecting them from water inflow. Another group of five stone beds facing north rests on the east side of the hillock, accompanied by a dried pond.

Take a captivating trip to Onampakkam, where you’ll feel the vibes of ancient Jain history echoing through the caves and the sacred Jain Hill Temple. Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere, marvel at the beautiful sculptures, and show respect to the esteemed Tirthankaras.

Don’t miss the chance to explore this historical treasure, where centuries-old stories come alive. To discover its rich cultural heritage and connect with the divine essence of Jain history.

 

 

Travel Tips for Visiting Ancient Jain Caves Sculptures, Beds in Onampakkam, Chengalpattu / Kurathi Malai or Samanar Malai:

Onampakkam Jain Caves Kanchipuram Parshvanathar Temple Address:
9XQG+5X2, Onampakkam, Venmari – 603313.

Best Time to Visit:
Moring time till Evening, as this is a remote area at night there won’t be any electricity.

How to reach Ancient Jain Caves Sculptures, Beds in Onampakkam, Chengalpattu / Kurathi Malai, or Samanar Malai :

By Rail Ways: Chengalpattu Station (CGL) is the nearest Railway Station.

By Road Ways: We can take a cab or taxi to Onampakkam which is positioned 22 kilometers southeast of Marudanthagam. To reach this destination, make a left turn at Chitamur and connect to the Melmaruvathur-Cheyyur road, which is 28 kilometers northwest of Marakkanam. The Jain hillocks are easily accessible near the Ayyanar Kovil bus stop.

By Air Ways: The nearest airport is the Chennai International Airport (MAA).

 

Similar Places you may like to Visit:

Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh : Most Significant Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites with Dhamek Stupa and Chaukhandi Stupa in India – Where Lord Buddha Delivered His First Sermon, Sanctified as Maha Dharm Chakra Parivartan : Visit, Timings, History, Light & Sound Show, Contact Information, Travel Guide

Matrimandir, the Temple of the Mother, Auroville, Pondicherry : the Soul of the city – Visit, Travel Guide



Explore More curious photo stories




Keep Exploring More Indian Temples



Related Stories



 


Keep Exploring More Indian Temples

 

SUBSCRIBE TO CASUALWALKER'S
CULTURE + TRADITION + TRAVEL PHOTO NEWSLETTER


Join our 5000+ subscribers list to get our latest Culture & Travel Photo coverages delivered to your Inbox.

CASUAL WALKER STATS: TO DISCOVER & RECOMMEND OUR STORIES, WE TOTALLY HAD:

walked steps
987544

explored places
562

clicked photos
48639

hot chai
935

read books
69+
VIEW BOOKS

ate peanut bars
323