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Submitted by Team TOI on 23 February 2017
A ninth century Jain temple with sculptures and carved stone image of ‘Parshavanath’ has been discovered at Idaiyamadam in SP Pattinam, near Thondi, by the Ramanathapuram Archaeological and Historical Conservation Centre. V.Rajaguru, an archaeological enthusiast and founder of the Centre, and his team of school teachers who follow archaeology keenly discovered the dilapidated temple at the tributary of Pambaru. It was found in a forest of ‘kaattu karuvai’ trees during a routine field visit. The temple has three composite parts – a sanctum sanctorum, mandapam and a flag post, all in ruins, said Mr Rajaguru, a teacher at the SSAM Government Higher Secondary School, Thiruvadanai. The sculptures and the ‘Parshavanath’ image indicated that it was a ninth-century structure. The Parshvanath carved out on the stone on the wall with 27 cm by 17 cm frame was similar to one found in Pechipallam, near Keelakuyilkudi. This pointed to the temple possibly dating back to the ninth century, he says.

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