Excavations At Chitaral And Vallimalai

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» South India
» Tamil Nadu
Location: Chitaral is 45-km From Kanyakumari And Vallimalai Is Near Vellore
Significance: Archaeological Site
Main Findings: Rock Cut Sculptures Of Tirthankaras At Chitaral And Vallimalai


Chitaral is located about 45-km north west of Kanyakumari and 5-km north east of Martandam town. Chitaral has been declared as a protected site by Archaeological Survey of India. There is a hillock at Chitaral, which has a huge cave containing rock-cut sculptures of Tirthankaras and attendant deities carved inside and outside that belong to 9th century AD. It was converted into Bhagavathi temple in the 13th century AD. No modifications have been made to the Jain images found here.

Vallimalai
Vallimalai is located near Vellore, 16-km north of the Shivastalam Tiruvallam, on the Chennai Bangalore highway. There is a cave on the hillock, which has images of Mahvira and Sidhayika Yakshi, carved in the 9th - 10th centuries. It has been now converted into a shrine of Subramanya. Besides, three groups of Jain images at different places. First group has Parsvanatha, Adinatha, Sruta Devi and Matanga Yaksha.

Second group contains Adinatha and Mahavira flanked by Matanga and Siddhayika. Third group has a row of 6-seated images except for the third image; others represent monks of the Mulasangha at Sravana-Belgola in Karnataka . A separate boulder has Ambika and a Thirthankara. They exhibit western Ganga styles. Best examples of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Jaina relations.

HOW TO GET THERE

To Kanyakumari
Rail:Kanyakumari being a major pilgrim centre of Tamil Nadu is well connected by rail with all the major cities and towns of Tamil Nadu.
Road:Tourist can access Chitaral from Kanyakumari either by bus or taxis.

To Vallimalai
Rail:Vellore's main railway station is 5 kilometres north at Katpadi, which is a junction.
Road:Tourists can access Vallimalai from Vellore either by bus or train, which is just 16-km away. Regular bus services are also available to Vallimalai.

WHERE TO STAY

Accommodation is available at the small budgeted hotels and choultries at Kanyakumari as well as at the hotels in Vellore.



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