The Jain temples of Wayanad are a chief point of attraction for travelers and vacationers. Jainism first came into in Kerala around the 3rd century BC. The initial immigrants travelled from Mysore in Karnataka and settled at Panamaram on the banks of Kabani River. From there the Jain groups moved to different parts of Wayanad.
Anantnatha Swami Temple is a Jain temple located at Puliyarmala. It is around 6 km from Kalpetta in the Wayanad district in the state of Kerala. This temple is devoted to Anantnath aSwami, the fourteenth Tirthankara of the Jain faith. It is on Mandavadi road from Kalpetta and should be on top of your list of things to do in Wayanad.
This temple has a beautiful statue of Lord Ananthatha Swami. The statue is in an upright pose, also called Khadasan. And it is very rare to find the Lord Ananthatha Swami statue in a standing position which makes the temple quite different and unique. If you are able to visit this temple on a Sunday morning, you can witness the Mysore style prayer ceremony and rituals which are worth a watch. There is a marriage hall present on site and it is surrounded by lush greenery and vegetation.
It is believed that the temple was formerly located at Kalpetta, which was earlier known as Kalpavathy. But Mandappa Gowder, who later took over the supervision of the temple, shifted it to the beautiful hillock, Puliyar Mala in 1931. Since then, the temple is situated on the same small hillock and the adjacent acres of coffee plantations add to its rustic gorgeousness.
The temple is built in old-style Dravidian tradition and the carvings on the entrance doors will capture your attention just as you enter the premises. The huge engraved stonework pillar near the front gate and the decorative carvings of the stupa are other beautiful features of the temple. A carving of Lord Mahavir, other Jain idols and symbols engraved in stone are few of the other highlights of this temple.
The temple’s stone slab roof is supported by numerous engraved square columns sitting on an elevated platform. Elaborate cornices run all along the sides. The inner shrine surrounded by an open veranda embraces a large rectangular granite slab with carvings of Lord Mahavir. Other cues of Jain inspiration include a small Jain temple perched atop a rocky, extension a little way from Kalpetta.
The Ananthanatha Swami Jain temple one of the most important among various historical remains spread across the state of Kerala. These ruins provide affirmation about a duration of strong Jain presence in this region.
During March every year, many devotees scale the slopes to perform pooja in the small shrine. The temples at Punchavayal and Puthenangadi are other significant Jain remnants in Wayanad. In spite of there being so many Jain places of worship in the district, there are only around 1500 Jain families in Wayanad today.
Highlighting the impact of the Jain community, there is another important Jain temple in Sulthan Bathery, which is an ancient religious center, constructed in the 13th century.
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