Thursday, May 9, 2013

Jain Monastery, Sittanavasal, Pudukottai, Tamil Nadu

 Not far away from the town of Pudukottai is Sittanavasal , abode of Jain  saints . 
Uneven rock cut steps, up a small hill leads one to  the monastery. The monastery is quite small, it has a small  sanctum with idols of 3 Jain Tirthankars. Just outside the sanctum too, there are two statues of Tirthankars.  The ceiling outside the sanctum has 7 th century frescoes.  Though we cannot identify the painting on our own, a good effort was made by the guide who is posted there.

Frescoes as mentioned by the guide are  - Fish floating in a pond, a lady adorned with jewellery ;   jewellery was very much in use in 7th century too :)  ,beautiful maidens plucking lotuses , a saint clad in saffron robes  and elephants playing in the pond. Some have started peeling off.

The monastery is in a rock cut cave . The unique thing about this place is- if one enters the sanctum and concentrates on one’s breath, inhales and exhales slowly then we can hear a humming sound something like vibrations reflecting from the wall.  The sanctum is a very small room with no windows. What baffles me a lot is, when we talk, it does not resonate. That small room might have been used by the sages living there. This looked as if abandoned and neglected for a few years and it has come under the  Archaeological department of India now. Have a look at pictures I could capture. Photography inside the monastery is prohibited.
Visiting time is 10 Am -6 Pm.  A small fee of Rs. 5  charged  per head, if one wants to enter the sanctum. We visited this in May and found it was not the right time to visit as the scorching Sun made the climb difficult.
Sittanavasal is about 15Kms frm Pudukottai town.














21 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this info. Until I read this, I did not know about this Jain Monestary. When I hear Pudukottai, I always thought of Bhuvaneswari Amman Temple.

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    1. Hi SG,
      thanks for the comment. As we were in Dindigul we could get information about lot of temples from locals and we did visit this.

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  2. Short and sweet. Sittanvasal is in my wish list. Though I am at Chennai at present, I will not venture out. Already sweating a lot. There are two ancient Jain temples in Jina Kanchi worth visiting.

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  3. lovely reading about the place...beautiful captures!

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  4. PNS, thanks.Do visit only during winter. Climb is not much but it is is straining during summer.

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  5. Kalyan, thanks for the visit and comment.

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  6. Wow, I can only imagine the positive energy in this place inhabited by the sages. Your beautiful pictures already speak of peace and tranquility. How fascinating to hear the humming sound as well. Would so love to make it to all these fascinating gems that you show us here, someday.

    PS: Wish you a wonderful journey to your native place. :)

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    Replies
    1. thaks Arti, the humming sound was fascinating and was mysterious too.

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  7. How fabulous, well worth the climb I should imagine though I'd have to send hubby up to take pictures whilst I sat at the bottom.

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    1. I understand PW, It was tiring as it was summer time.

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  8. Thanks for sharing this. Interesting unknown place.

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2013/05/haziness.html

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    Replies
    1. thanks Niranjan for the comment.

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  10. Day before yeasterday I visited Thiruvannamalai and while returning went to visit Thirumalai Jain cave temples some 30 kms down the road. It gave me a feel of Sittanvasal. I have prepared a post in Hindi but yet to upload.

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  11. Chitra, missed your posts! :-)
    There is so much from the Jain and Buddhist past in South India; loved this post!

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  12. Nice to see you Shri. happy:)

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  13. Ive been here long time ago....very poorly maintained heritage spot. I was very disappointed.

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