Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple

Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple

Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple, also known as Chitharal Malai Kovil or Bhagwathi Temple, is an ancient archaeological and religious treasure nestled in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India. This awe-inspiring temple is an architectural wonder and holds great historical significance, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, spiritual seekers, and tourists alike. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the history, architecture, significance, and how to reach this remarkable Jain temple.

History of Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple:

Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple dates back to the 9th century and is believed to have been built during the reign of the Pandya kings. This temple complex is an extraordinary representation of Jainism's cultural and spiritual impact on the region. The site has several rock-cut sculptures and inscriptions that provide valuable insights into the ancient Jain way of life.


The most striking feature of Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple is its architectural brilliance. Carved out of a massive granite rock, the temple is a monolithic marvel. The temple complex consists of various chambers, corridors, and sculptures that showcase the exceptional craftsmanship of the artisans of that era.

  • Gopuram: The entrance to the temple is adorned with an intricately carved Gopuram (gateway tower), which is a common feature in South Indian temple architecture. The Gopuram serves as a welcoming gateway to the spiritual realm inside.
  • Sculptures: Inside the temple, visitors are greeted with an array of beautifully carved sculptures depicting various Jain Tirthankaras (spiritual leaders) and deities. The precision and attention to detail in these sculptures are truly mesmerizing.
  • Meditation Chambers: The temple complex has dedicated meditation chambers where monks and devotees can seek solitude and inner peace. These chambers are carved into the rock and provide a serene atmosphere for introspection and meditation.
  • Jain Inscriptions: The temple is adorned with Jain inscriptions in Tamil and Brahmi scripts. These inscriptions provide historical information about the temple's construction and the Jain community that thrived in the region.

Spiritual Significance:

Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple holds immense spiritual significance for followers of Jainism. It was once a flourishing center of Jain culture and spirituality. The temple's serene ambiance and intricate sculptures make it an ideal place for meditation and contemplation. Many devotees and spiritual seekers visit the temple to connect with their inner selves and seek solace.

Visiting Tips:

Ensure you dress modestly and respectfully when visiting the temple.
Photography may be restricted in some areas, so it's best to check with the temple authorities.
Respect the silence and serenity of the meditation chambers and avoid loud conversations.
It's advisable to visit the temple during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the scorching heat, especially during the summer months.

How to Reach:

Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple is located in the district of Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, making it easily accessible by road, rail, and air.

  • By Road: The temple is well-connected by road. You can hire a cab or take a local bus from nearby towns like Nagercoil or Kanyakumari. The temple is approximately 7 kilometers from Marthandam and around 60 kilometers from Kanyakumari.
  • By Rail: The nearest railway station to Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple is Nagercoil Junction, which is well-connected to major cities in Tamil Nadu and neighboring states. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach the temple.
  • By Air: The nearest airport is Trivandrum International Airport in Kerala, which is about 70 kilometers away from the temple. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple.


Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple is a testament to the rich cultural heritage and spiritual diversity of India. Its ancient architecture, serene ambiance, and historical significance make it a must-visit destination in Tamil Nadu. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a devotee, or a traveler seeking tranquility, this temple offers a unique and enriching experience that will leave a lasting impression on your heart and soul. Plan your visit to Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple and embark on a spiritual journey through time.

Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple

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