Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple

The Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple, also known as Chitharal Malai Kovil (literally meaning “Temple on the Hill”), Chitaral Cave Temple or Bhagavathy Amman Temple, is an interesting historical and religious site located near Chitharal village in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India.

Image of Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple, Tamil Nadu

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect at the temple and some interesting sightseeing options nearby:

The Temple:

  • Carved in the 9th century CE: This Jain temple is an example of rock-cut architecture and is dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras (spiritual leaders).
  • Outer wall reliefs: The outer wall of the temple has reliefs depicting Jain iconography and figures.
  • Combined Hindu and Jain elements: The site also houses a Bhagavathy Amman Temple (Hindu goddess temple) next to it, which reflects the cultural and religious influences in the region.
  • Archaeological Significance: The Jain images and structures have been preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Getting to the Temple:

  • Cars and vans can go up to the foot of the hill where the temple is located.
  • There’s a 10-minute walk from the parking area to reach the temple.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The temple is open from 8 AM to 4 PM.
  • Dress modestly when visiting the temple.
  • Photography might be restricted inside the temple complex, so check before taking pictures.

Sightseeing near the Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple:

  • Kanyakumari Beach: Located about 55 kilometers southwest of the temple, this beach is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic beauty and the confluence of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. You can witness breathtaking sunrises and sunsets here.

    Image of Kanyakumari Beach, Tamil Nadu
  • Vivekananda Rock Memorial: A memorial dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, a revered Indian Hindu monk. It’s situated on a rock island off the coast of Kanyakumari and is accessible by ferry. Offers panoramic views and serene atmosphere.

    Image of Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
  • Thiruvalluvar Statue: A tall statue of the Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar, known for his work Thirukkural, a classic text on ethics and morality.

    Image of Thiruvalluvar Statue, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
  • Kanyakumari Bhagavathy Amman Temple: Another Bhagavathy Amman Temple, this one is a popular pilgrimage destination known for its stunning views of the sunrise and sunset over the confluence of the three seas.

    Image of Kanyakumari Bhagavathy Amman Temple, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

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here are some more sightseeing places near the Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple:

  • Mathoor Hanging Bridge: This hanging bridge is an interesting engineering marvel located about 8 km from the temple. It’s a suspension bridge that offers scenic views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

    Image of Mathoor Hanging Bridge, Tamil Nadu
  • Thirparappu Falls: If you’re looking for a refreshing escape, Thirparappu Falls, about 9 km from the temple, is a beautiful waterfall cascading down rocks into a pool. It’s a popular spot for picnics and swimming (during permissible seasons).

    Image of Thirparappu Falls, Tamil Nadu
  • Padmanabhapuram Palace: Located around 15.5 km from the temple, this wooden palace is a beautiful example of Kerala architecture. It served as the seat of the Travancore royal family for centuries and now houses a museum with a collection of artifacts, weapons, and royal dresses.

    Image of Padmanabhapuram Palace, Kerala
  • Udayagiri Fort: This fort, about 17 km from the temple, is an interesting historical site dating back to the 17th century. It offers panoramic views of the Kanyakumari coastline.

    Image of Udayagiri Fort, Tamil Nadu
  • Poovar Backwaters: For a unique experience, you can explore the Poovar Backwaters, around 22 km from the temple. Take a boat tour through the scenic canals, mangroves, and traditional villages.

    Image of Poovar Backwaters, Kerala

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