Tag Archives: tamil nadu

Chitharal Malaikovil – Chitharal Cave Temple, Kanyakumari

About Chitharal Cave Temple

The Chitharal Malai Kovil Temple is locally known as the Chitharal Jain Monuments. Chitharal Malaikovil literally means the “Temple on the Hill”. These monuments are situated on the hills of Thiruchanattu in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu.

chitharal-malaikovil-cave-jain-temple-kanyakumariThe Chitharal Jain Monuments are located in Chitharal Village of Kanyakumari. This village is famed for harbouring Jain monks and is popularly known as ‘Thirucharanthupalli’ which means ‘abode of Jain monks’.

To reach the monuments you have to go through some rough steps in rocks and through a narrow entrance.

At the top of Chitharal hill, is a cave temple. The temple has a porch-pillared hall (mandapa), a corridor and a place for offering animal sacrifices to the deity (Bali peetham). The temple has about three sanctums. These sanctums accommodate the saviour and spiritual teacher of the spiritual path (Dharma) who in Jainism is called Tirthankara, the goddess and Parshwanatha.

History of Chitharal Jain Temple

There is a pair of monuments with Jain inscriptions from the first century. These temples of Jain deities and sculptures are believed to have been built in the 9th century AD.

Records state that the Digambara Jains as the likely builders of the temple monuments during the ninth century. It is during this period that the region was under the influence of Jainism.

These sculptures are historically known as Thirucharanathupalli.

Bhagavati is the ruler who converted the cave into a Hindu Temple in the thirteenth century. This is recorded in a Tamil script inscription which is found on the entrance of the hall and dates to 1300 AD.

On the southern side of the temple is an inscription that says a Jain priestess called Muttavala Naranakuttiyar summoned Gunandagi and presented gifts during the 28th year of the reign of Vikramaditya.

In the past, it was a Jain training centre for all.

Specialty of Chitharal Malaikovil

Stone Inscriptions

There 9 stone inscriptions in this temple make this temple one of the must visit places in India.

One of the stone inscriptions says that there was a school built by the Jain people at this place during the 1st century. Records have it that Queen Kuratimarayar had donated wealth to the university. This inscription is found in Tamil Brahmi scriptures

Chitharal Cave Temple Opening and Closing Time

Are you interested in visiting this temple? Well, the temple is opened every day for everyone to pay a visit. The visiting hours are between 0500hrs all the way to 2100hrs when it’s so dark to be around.

Pooja at the temple happens during the following times:

Morning Pooja

Subrapadam – Thirupalli Eluchi takes place at 0510hrs

At 0530hrs Viswaroopam Darshan

From 0545hrs to 0615hrs Dwajasthamba Namaskaram and Udaya Marthanda Abishegam

At 7:00 am to 8:30 am Udaya Marthanda Deeparadhanai and Kalasandhi Pooja

From 10:00 am to 10:30 am Kalasa Pooja and Uchikala Abishegam

At 12 pm Uchikala Deeparadhanai

Evening Pooja

At 5:00 pm Sayaratchai Pooja is observed

As from 7:15 pm to 8:15 pm Arthasama Pooja and Arthasama Abishegam pujas are performed.

From 8:30 pm to 8:45 pm Ekanda Seva and Palliarai Pooja is observed.

The Nadai Thirukappiduthal pooja is the last one of the day

Velimalai Kumarakovil Murugan Temple, Kanyakumari

The Velimalai Kumarkovil Subrahmanya Swami (Muruga) temple is located on a hill known as Velimalai in Kumarakoil, a small village in the district of Kanyakumari. The name Velimalai was coined from a word in Malayalam, “Veli” which can be translated as marriage. It is said to be the marriage site of Muruga and Valli. The temple is built about 200 feet high on the Velimalai hill. The main deities in this temple are Lord Muruga and Mother Valli. Hindus consider the small village of Kumarakoil as one of the holiest places for worship. It is located around 45-50km from Trivandrum airport, 15km from Nagercoil, 34km from the town of Kanyakumari, 3-5km from Thucalay town, and very close to the Noorul Islam University. In the surroundings of the temple is a big water body. Numerous devotees worship in the temple but most of them are from the state of Kerala. A lot of children get their first Oonu Kodupu in this temple.

Velimalai Kumarakovil Murugan TempleVelimalai Murugan Temple’s History

The age of the temple is difficult to ascertain. The wedding between Mother Valli and Lord Muruga took place here. Kerala was formerly known as Malai Nadu and Veli Malai was formerly known as Velvi Malai and before that, it was called Merkadamalai which means the last part of the Western Ghats. A stone carving with writings on it that reads “Rajaathitha Thevan Perumpadai Nayagar Malai Nattu Nanthikarai Puthur” was discovered about 10 miles from the small village, Kumarakoil in Thirunanthikarai and another which reads “Malaimandalathu Ravivarmaraya Kulasekaraperuman Peruntheruvil Chetti Velayuthaperuman” discovered at Thiruvithangode. This evidence upholds the claim of Nachinarkiniyar that Earagam is definitely Malai Nattu Oru Thirupathi.

Temple’s Specialty

The amazing 10 feet tall deity of Lord Muruga stands in the temple. The Valli Kalyanam took place here, that is, the wedding of Lord Muruga with Valli. Lord Muruga looks after His devotees by endowing them with all they ask for like when the devotees sought the acceptance of Lord Muruga for professional growth, children, health, wedding, and education. Lord Muruga endows blessings, happiness and peace of mind to His devotees. These prayers are done by performing Pongal (offering pudding), tonsuring, covering the deity with sandal paste, performing Panchamirtha and Abishek, performing Tulabaram (offering coins equal to the weight of the devotee), Annadhanam (arranging feeding and offering milk), carrying Kavadi and milk pots and lighting the ghee lamps in the temple.

Temple’s Festivals

  • The Vaikasi Visakam Festival is always celebrated for 10 days in Anuradha in the month of Panguni.
  • The Tirukkalyanam Festival is the re-enactment of the wedding of Lord Muruga and Mother Valli and is always celebrated in the month of Panguni. It is attended by a large number of pilgrims.
  • The Pushpabishekam Festival is always celebrated on the last Friday in the Aavani month. During this period, Kumaran’s image is covered with many baskets of flowers presented by the attending pilgrims.
  • The Kerala Tantram is celebrated on the last Fridays in the Tamil month. It is considered as a very sacred time.

Velimalai Murugan Temple Timings

The temple is always open during the normal hours during the day.