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Chitharal-A tranquill spot-where history and religion meets-mindblowing picturesque-Jain Temples

Chitharal- A small village located 55km away from Kanyakumari. The place is well-known for its hillocks and ancient Jain Temples. These temples of Jain Deities' which were considered to be built in 9th century AD, and these sculptures are the main attraction in Chitharal. Also these sculptures are historically known as Thirucharanathupalli, and are situated inside the caves  on a very long Hill. 

At the foot of the Thirucharanmalai hillock, one can see a stylish Kerala Style Arch made of rocks and is the starting point of your Trek. The atmosphere and the indications at the foot will not give you any indication of a Hard Climb ahead. So be prepared for a hard steep climb of a 800 meters. 

It will be better, if you select a day with sun is not too sharp. All over the trekking time one can see several cement benches to sit, but the hottest sun will not allow you to sit on them. Colorful flowers and some trees with red and yellow flowers around these benches complets the picturesque. 

Now, a question will arise in you, why we suffer all these...? The answer is, after these steep climb you are going to another era. Because, Chitharal is one of the last few vestiges of Jainism. Some years before, this rock shrine was a pilgrim center for the Jains'. 

Around the period of the decline of Jainism during the rule of the Cholas in the 11th Century, it is believed that Chandragupta Maurya, along with a Jain ascetic Badrabhahu, reached Sravanabelagola in 298 BC. Their disciples travelled to this region to spread Jainism and chose the hillock for meditation. It was, however, converted into a Hindu temple in 1250A.D., and an image of Bhagavathy was installed. 

The top hill, thus named, Thirucharanmalai, means `the hill holy to the charanas'

When you reach the top of the hill, you can see or feel the enchanting beauty of Chitharal. The cave which made Chitharal more famous, is also a natural beauty to explore...! 

From the top, one can see or enjoy the beauty of winding rivers, lakes, fields, clusters of villages, coconut fields, tall church spires, and the lines of Western Ghat covered with white clouds; and is a mind blowing scenery, which you won't get from anywhere. 

Another main attraction at the top hill is two large rocks facing each other, and one can explore whole beauty of the foot through the small window created by these rocks. Also at the top hill, one can see some ruined or parts of ancient temples, which is believed to be of Charanas.

The whole rocky area is carved with Jain deities' images and is also a part of ancient era.

How to get there: Chitharal (also spelt Chidaral) is 55km from Kanyakumari, 36km from Nagercoil and 7km from Marthandam. The approach road is from Kandapuram, leading to Elanthavilas. Chitharal is located exactly 4km North East of Kuzhithurai.
The district administration is busy giving the place a face lift. Many tourists have begun visiting the spot to catch a glimpse of the frescos and the panoramic view of the hills.  So please don't miss the ancient beauty, while planning a trip to KanyaKumari...!


Deguide said...

We missed visiting this place despite our research, the cab driver did not want to take us there, since our rates were fixed. Good coverage of this Jain heritage

PVS Nambiar said...

Thank u Deguide, next time try to visit that place too...

Rajesh said...

Its in my own native place, But i dont know the history of this holly place. I have visited here a lot of times in the age of 18 to 25. Now i am 34 years old now again i want to go and sit there for a long time.
Here you are not mentioned about the sucker rock its amazing, if we suck in the rock we can get very sweet and pure water. and also a small pond with a lot of fishes.

PVS Nambiar said...

Thank U Rajesh, thank u for reviewing the post. I'll add those things u said, with dat post. actually i'm not aware of those things. thats y... sorry for that. Expecting more and more reviews from u...!

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