Page 36 - BULLETIN OF THE CHENNAI GOVERNMENT MUSEUM ICONOGRAPHY OF THE JAIN IMAGES IN THE DISTRICTS OF TAMILNADU
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THANJAVUR AND TRICHY REGIONS

       Due to the staunch support of the Imperial Chola monarchs, the powerful wave of the Saivite Bhakthi
M?vement swept away the Jain temples and monasteries in the Chola heartland, the Thanjavur region. But
a careful study of ancient inscriptions reveals the existence of some Jain temples and monasteries in this
region even during the Chola hegemony. Dr. A. Ekambaranathan (1992, pp.115-123) has identified the
following eight Jain temples with the information gleaned from ancient inscriptions.

1. Miladudaiyar Palli, Jain Temple in Thirunageswaram, near Kumbakonam
2. Sundara Chola Perum Palli in Pallan Koil of Tiruthuraipoondi Taluk, erstwhile Tanjore District
3. A Jain temple in Sendalai of Thanjavur Taluk, Thanjavur District
4. Kulotunga Chola Perum palli in Kuhur of Kumbakonam Taluk, Thanjavur District
5. Chitralekai Perumpalli in Avarani of Nagapattinam Taluk, Nagapattinam District
6. Chedikula Manicka Perumpalli and Gangarula Sundara Perumpalli in Maruthuvakudi of Papanasam

      Taluk, Thanjavur District
1. Kaviraja Perumpalli near Tiruvanaikavalof Trichy district
8. Amuthamozhi Perumpalli in Tiruvidaikudi, of erstwhile Tanjore District

      Robert Sewell in his book titled 'Antiquarian remains in the Presidency of Madras' mentions the
existence of a Jain temple in good order in Mannargudi, present Tiruvarur District during his time at the end
of the 19th Century AD (Sewell, Robert, 1972, p.280). Dr. B. Jambulingam, a research scholar of Thanjavur
Tamil University in his survey for Buddhist antiquities in Thanjavur region came across a few Jain sculptures
scattered in different desolate spots. He has identified four seated Tirthankara stone sculptures at places
like Kariyankudi near Taplampuliyur in Tiruvarur Taluk, Tiruvarur District, (SI.No.30) Kottaimedu near
Alangudi Pat/iof Pudukottai District (SI.No.31), on the back side of the Moola Anumartemple in Thanjavur
(SI.No.32) and in Senkadu of Tiruthuraipoondi taluk, erstwhile Tanjore District. Of them the one at
Kottaimedu in Pudukottai District is damaged on the head portion. The Kariyankudi Tirthankara is very
majestic with Bha Mandala and Chamara bearers. He is in seated ardhaparyankasana posture on a lotus
pedestal carved over a rectangle base. The first author has seen three Tirthankara sculptures in the outer
prakara (perambulatory space in a temple) of the Giri Kuchamba temple, which is situated within the
compound of the Naganathaswamy temple, Tirunageswaram, near Kumbakonam, Thanjavur District.
A feature of this temple is that the rays of the moon fall directly on the idol of the Goddess Ardhachandra
Kuchamba (the Consort of Lord Siva) lighting it up on the Full Moon Day of the lunar month of the Hindu
calendar, Karthika (October 15th - November 14\ There are many similar instances of the rays of the Sun
or the Moon falling directly on the deity in several temples of South India. In Aragalur; Attur Taluk, Salem
District, the Sun's rays fall on the Shivalinga of the deity Kamanathaswami on Pubba star day (Tamil
Pooram) of the lunar month March 15th to April 15th of the Hindu calendar, Panguni in Tamil (Chaitra in
Sanskrit). The rays of the sun fall directly on the deity on certain days of the year in Nagesvaram Temple,
Kumbakonam Taluk, Tanjore District (on Nagaswamy, the Linga of Lord Siva), on the Sun in Suryanar Koi/,

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