March 23, 2013

Lesser Known Ancient Jain Sculptures near Chennai - Onampakkam

Site Name: Jain Sculptures  
Site Type: Jain rock-cut sculptures
Location:  Kurathi Malai near L.N.Puram village, next to Onampakkam; on the way to Madurantagam from Cheyyur, near Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: Lesser known ancient Jain sculptures
Nearest Railway Station: Melmaruvathur
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Connected by road from Cheyyur; the path near the site is not in good condition and very narrow
Hotel: Go to Chennai or Chenglepet 
Restaurants: Go to Chennai for better options

Cheyyur is a little known village located near Chennai city in South India. Near Cheyyur, in a small hillock, the 8th century CE Jain sculptures are located. It is challenging to locate the exact hillock  as there are many hills in this area. This particular hill is called as 'Kurathi Malai' or 'Samanar Malai' by the local people. It is located near a village named Onampakkam. There are three sculptures found on top of the hillock. Few steep steps are found upto halfway to the hilltop. Beyond that, we need to climb up the rocks. 

The details of three Jain sculptures:

1) Parsvanath in the standing posture with a five heed serpent on his head along with two Yakshas on his either sides
2) Adinath in the sitting posture
3) Mahavir in the sitting posture

There are few Jain beds found in this hillock.

It is unfortunate that this ancient site remains unknown although it is located near the most happening Chennai city.

If you live in Chennai or somewhere nearby, ensure that you go to this site in a week end.

Happy travelling.

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  1. seated Mahavir photo #3 looks so much like one on Samanar Malai, Madurai Dt.!

  2. How do you recognize Adinatha here? I can't see hair locks on shoulders, or do locals know it's He?

    1. The recognition is based on the records.