Ponnur

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Here the Adinatha temple is erected on a low mound known as Kanagagiri. This is also known by other names such as Svarnapura, Hemagrama, Kundakunadagrama, during its long history. The temple has numerous icons representing Tirthankaras, yaksha and yakshi. An inscription dated on the 17th of Vaisaka in Salivahana 1655, and the Kali year of 4834, which corresponds to 1733 A.D., is incised on the rear side of the prabhavali of the Parsvanatha image, and records this icon as a gift to the Adinatha temple by Anantasena, a disciple of Virasenadeva of the Senagana.

Another epigraph from the same temple mentions that in the same year, the residents of Svarnapura made arrangements to take out -the images of Parsvanatha and Jwalamalini yakshi from the Adinatha temple in a procession to Nilagiriparvata, situated in the north-west of the temple, for the weekly worship of HelacaIya every Sunday. Nilagiriparvata is the Ponnur hill, about three kilometers away from the temple, where the sacred footprints of Helacarya are carved into the surface of an exposed rock. Helacarya was a renowned monk of the Dravidasangha who is said to have attained liberation at Nilagiriparvata. The hill itself is considered to be the habitat of the goddess Jwalamalini who is stated to have bestowed grace upon Helacarya. As her cult is extremely popular in this region, the yaksi occupies a prominent position in the Adinatha Temple. A separate shrine is built for her in the temple, and special pujas are performed daily for the deity. As mentioned above, the inscription clearly affirms the procession and the worship of the footprints of Helacarya, and states that this practice commenced in the year 1733 C.E. However, it was apparently discontinued in recent years after the establishment of Kundakunda ashrama in this location.

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Post Author: JHC