Parsavantha Jain Temple

About The Temple

About The Parsavantha Jain Temple At Villupuram District

The Parsavantha Jain temple in Tamil Nadu is also renowned by the names of Meltsithamur Jain Math. The Bhagwan Sri Parshvanath Jain temple located in the sector of Gingee Taluk, Villupuram district is notable among Jain followers. This noteworthy temple is located near the town of Gingee. Historically, the Jain Matha was located at Kanchipuram but it was later shifted to Villupuram.

Cultural significance of the shrine

The district of Villupuram has immense historical and religious significance. It is a significant center that propagates the pedagogies of Jainism. Here, you will find two distinct temples that are dedicated to Malinatha and Parsvanatha. The notable Parsvanatha Jain Temple tamil nadu has images of several deities that were carved during the ninth century. This religious place consists of a huge edifice of Parsva Tirthankara. This temple was perpetuated and revived by Queen Kadavarkonpavai, who was the wife of the Chola King Aditya I. This religious center continues to have a stronghold among the Jains. The temple is among the most reputed centers, dedicated to the Digambara sect.

The temple’s presiding deity

The reigning deity of this religious shrine is Parshvanatha, who is also renowned as Parshva. He is known among the Jains as the twenty-third Tirthankara and is the earliest Jain leader. This Lord was Varanasi’s formal prince and after a certain period, he renounced his position for becoming a monk. It is said that Lord Parsva meditated for almost eighty-four days after which he attained Kevala Jnana. He is known to have attained moksha atop Shikharji that is now known among Jains as the Parasnath hills, named after the lord.

Details regarding the idol

The moolavar devta or presiding deity in this shrine is that of Shri Parshwanath Bhagvan. Here, the Lord’s statue is found to be in a meditating posture, and it is almost fourteen feet high. The sculpture is made of black stone, and Parsva’s eyes depict a state of yogic stage. Sculptors have taken special care to portray the image of kindness and grace in the statue’s face. BhagvaanParsva is distinguished among followers as purisadaniya or beloved man.

Presence of other shrines

The holy place comprises of a tower that is known as the Prabavali. Both the tower sides are engraved with images of twenty-three theerthankaras and two samaraitharis. It entails images and carvings of Padmavati Yakshi, Dharanendiran, and Peeta. This temple initially consisted of rock-cut carvings of Adinatha, Ambika Yakshi, Mahavira, and Bahubali.

Rituals that are followed

The temple near Gingee is essentially a Jain Matha that holds immense religious significance among the community of Tamil Jains. The head of this religious center is Bhattaraka Laxmisena Swami. The primary deity of Jain temples is known as the Mula Nayaka. The universal prayer of Jains is Namokara Mantra that is also known as Parmesthi Mantra, Nabkar Mantra, and even Panch Namaskar Mantra. This temple follows elaborate rituals due to the offering of various symbolic objects. This is followed by chanting of hymns in the name of Tirthankaras. The rituals that are followed in this temple include Pratikramana, Pancakalyanaka Pratishtha, Samayika, along with Guru Vandana.

Celebration of religious events

Numerous special poojas and religious festivals take place in the Parsavantha Jain Temple. Tamil Jains celebrate Akshaya Tritiya Tapa or Varshi Tapa. It is said that during this day Tirthankara Rishabdev, the first Jain completed a period of austerity on the third day. It was completed on the fortnight of Jain calendar’s Vaishak month. Another popular celebration is that of Pausha Dashami. This event is celebrated in the dark half of the tenth day of Pushya or Paushya month, usually during the month of either December or January.

This particular event marks the birth or Janma Kalyana of twenty-third Tirthankara, Parshvanath. Another prominent event is that of Mahavir Jayanti which marks the birth of Lord Mahavir. Lord Mahavir’s birth is known to have happened during the bright half of the thirteenth day of the Chaitra month, according to the Jain calendar. The festival of lights i.e. Diwali commemorates the event of Mahavir’s attainment of Moksha.

Important center of pilgrimage

Jaina Tirtha or pilgrimage centers hold immense importance for followers of the Jain sect. According to Parsvanatha Jain Temple history, these followers worship Lord Mahavir and other notable Tirthankaras. Numerous festivals like Vasant Panchami, Jinaratri, Akshay Tritiya, Upakarmaa, Karthikai Deepam are celebrated with great aplomb and splendor among the worshippers. Followers of Lord Parsavantha follow sacred rituals and keep fast for appeasing the Lord.

How To Reach

The location of this famous Math is twenty kilometers off Tindivanam. It is situated ten kilometers east of the place called Gingee. It is essential to make plans that conform with the Parsvanatha Jain Temple timing. This Jain Mutt or Math is situated in Mel Sithamoor in Villupuram district.

 

  • There is a convenient facilitation of bus transportation through the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation. If you are traveling from Bangalore, then you have to cover the distance of two hundred and sixty-three kilometers.
  • In case, if you are taking the route from Chennai, then you can reach the district by traveling an approximate distance of one hundred and fifty-five. If you are traveling by road, then it will take you almost three hours and ten minutes to arrive at the district.
  • You can even reach the place by opting for an overnight train journey. Trains from Cochin to Villupuram operate on a regular basis, and the distance is almost five hundred and twelve kilometers.
  • Tindivanam railway station is located twenty-eight kilometers away while Thiruvannamalai station is at a distance of thirty-nine kilometers.
  • Chennai Airport is the nearest airport at one hundred and twenty-seven kilometers from Tindivanam.

 

Nearby Attractions

Apart from the famous Math in Villupuram district, you can visit several adjacent places of interest.

  • Near Mandagapatuu Village, Gingee, you will find the first rock-cut temple dedicated to King Mahendra Verma Pallava. The Sathru Malleshwara Alayam is located at a distance of fifteen kilometers from Gingee at the Thalavanur Village.
  • Gingee Fort is a majestic structure that comprises of a huge rampart that is sixty feet thick. It is situated on the road from Thindivanam to Thiruvannamalai at a distance of twenty-five kilometers. This brilliant architecture has been present in this district for over eight-hundred years.
  • At the entrance of the local village, Sendamangalam, you will notice a prominent temple in the name of Lord Shiva. It is known as Abath Sahayeswarar temple. This location falls on the route of National Highway forty-five.
  • Another popular temple in the name of Lord Vishnu is the Thiruvikkarma Swamy and Vedavalli Thayaar temple located at Thirukoilur. This holy shrine falls under one hundred and eight divya desams. In the east of this town, you can visit the Sivan temple, situated on the River Pennar banks.
  • Moola brindavana of Sri Satyapramoda Teertha and Sri Raghuutthama Teertha are located on River Pinakini’s banks. For taking in the beauty of the notable Jyotir Linga Math of Sri Gnananda Tapovanam, it is imperative for you to visit Thirokoilur.
  • If you travel to the village’s interiors, then you must stop at Anniyur. This place is quite famous for two temples in the name of Lord Vishnu and Shiva. Here, the Saneeswaran statue present inside this temple will certainly impress you.
  • While you are visiting Villupuram, do not forget to visit Mailam, which is noteworthy for its Murugan temple. This place falls on the National Highway between Chennai and Villupuram, and Mailam railway station offers convenient transportation.
  • In Tiruvakarai, visit the ancient temple of Lord Shiva that dates back to the Chola dynasty.

 

History Of Temple

The noteworthy Jain temple is a primary religious center for Tamil Jain communities. Swasti Sri Laxmisena Bhattaraka Battacharya Swamigal is currently heading this religious shrine. This Math has been an important pilgrimage center that preaches the teachings of Jainism, since time immemorial. This Math, dedicated to Lord Parsavantha was historically a part of Kanchipuram, on River Vegavathi’s banks. However, the math was then shifted to Melsithamur during the sixteenth century.

An interesting aspect is that this Math or mutt is an overseer of every Jain temple present in Tamil Nadu. By observing the Parsvanatha Jain Temple photo, you will obviously know about the moolavar bhagwaan. However, several carvings and pictures of other deities are present in this temple. Some of them are Bhagwan Neminath, Ganadhara Parameshti, Mokshalaksmi, Jwalamalini Yakshi, etc. After entering the temple, you will encounter an elevated dais. Here stands a fifty-two inch high Maanasthambam comprising of a single stone. This was said to be erected by a staunch devotee from Karnataka known as Buse Chetty.

Also present here are statues of Bhagwaan Mahavira and Adhinath along with Sandhinathar. In the north side, statues of Bhagwaan Padmaprabha and Neminathar are present. Adjacent to Lord Parsavantha’s mantapa, there is a karuvarai for Dharmadevi or Kooshmandini. Historical scriptures state that this Yakshi is among the most powerful Devi. Another interesting structure is that of the Alankara Mandapa, which comprises of sixteen pillars. These pillars comprise of Mathaji’s carvings that state the dogmas of Jain faith. These figures depict the stage of Ashta Mangala. Also engraved here are figures of twenty-four Tirthankaras.