Time Required : 2-3 hours
Entry Fee : No entry fee
The Jain Temples of Kanchipuram are of immense religious importance for Jain devotees located in the village of Thiruparuthikundram in Kanchipuram. One of these temples is dedicated to Bhagwan Mahavir, and the other is dedicated to Jain Teerthankaras. The temple architecture is mainly 9th-century Dravidian type of structure. These ancient temples are adorned with beautiful paintings depicting deities and stories of the Jain culture/ Jain style of art. Most of these paintings have been restored, but the beauty of the temples is very well preserved. As one explores the architecture, they are sure to feel enthralled with the beauty of fresco and the mural paintings. This structure draws not just the Jain devotees but also art and architecture lovers from all over the world.
The glorious temple is also of great historical importance denoting the era when Jainism became a way of living in Kanchipuram during the reign of the Pallava Kings who were ardent followers of the religion. Both the temples are located adjacent to one another and are maintained by the Department of Archaeology in Tamil Nadu. Since these are ancient structures, only some regions are open for tourists as the restricted areas as highly deteriorated. The temple dedicated to Bhagwan Mahavir is called the Jinaswamy Temple and the one dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras is called the Chandraprabha Temple.
According to a legend, Queen Lakshmana, the wife of Mahasen Raja, had a desire to drink a streak of the glowing moon when she was pregnant. The child who was born to the Queen had the radiance of the moon. He was thus named Prince Chandraprabha. The prince is said to have given up on all the pleasures of life very early in his life and preached the path to enlightenment to the masses. He is said to have attained nirvana as Sammetshikhar after he fasted and meditated for about a month.
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