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.