Chitharal Jain Monuments [ Kanyakumari,Tamil Nadu,India ]
The Chitharal Jain Monuments; Also known as Chitharal Malai Kovil, Chitharal Cave Temple or Bhagwati Temple, Chitral; Are located on the Thiruchanattu Malai near Chitharal village, Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India. The temple monuments were likely built by Digambara Jains in the ninth century when the region was under influence of Jainism. The Travancore Archaeological Series says that Tiruchcharanattu malai, the name of the hills, means the hill of the Charanas. Charanas means Jain ascetics which were living on the hills. The votive images on the rock with inscription under each of it names an ascetic or person who carved it. carvings date back to the 9th century and are considered archaeologically significant. Amongst several exquisite rock-cut sculptures found in the cave, the prominent one is an image of Goddess Dharmadevi. The cave was converted into a goddess temple during the 13th century. At present, the Archaeological Survey of India has included it in the list of protected monuments.