Tenimalai

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Tenimalai is also known as Tenunnalai. It was one of the early Jain centres in the Pudukkottai region. On its eastern flank, the hill has a natural cavern, locally known as andar madam, “the Monastery of Mendicants” since it was the habitat of the Jain monks. The epigraphs and sculptural representations of the Tirthankaras evince the fact that Tenimalai was a Sramana habitat continuously till about the ninth century. A boulder adjacent to the cave contains, carved relief of three Tirthankaras, each canopied by triple umbrellas and flanked on either side by chauri-bearers. They are shown seated in the padmasana posture, and bear stylistic features of the ninth century. Among the three images, the first was commissioned by Srivalla-Udaranaseruvotti as recorded under the sculpture. Another inscription engraved on a nearby rock states that while the ascetic Malayadhvaja was perfonning penance at Tenurmalai, an lrukkuvel chieftain visited the place and gave pallichchandam for the maintenance of the monk.

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Tenimalai is situated in the Tirumayyam taluk in the Pudukkottai region of Tamilnadu.

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Post Author: JHC