jainism has deep rooted in tamil land’s culture, literature, customs and art-architecture too; the fact is well attested by many scholars on literary, inscriptional and paleographical background.
jainism was once the most popular religion in initial centuries of christ era to 6-7 century ad. the fact is corroborated time to time by exploration of ancient sculptures, temples, inscriptions, cavern with bas relief and rocky beds in tamil land.
after a tidy hurricane of bhakthi movement conducted by shaiva nayanars and vishnav alwars during medieval period jainism and buddhism were declined by laity in tamil land.
the movement conducted by nayanars and alwars had a venomous agenda to convert forcibly, persecution of other faith and appropriation of their pantheons.
jainism was not completely abolished from tamil land but confined to some particular area of tamilnadu and lot of its heritage were either converted or appropriated.
thirunageswaram: – thirungeswaram is situated near kumbkonam in thanjavur district of modern tamilnadu state. the place is about 8 kms from kumbkonam in eastward direction.
although thirunageswaram is renowned for its hindu temple today but the place was a great center of jainism in ancient time. currently there is no ancient jain temple but have some jain sculptures and a pillar containing ancient jain inscription in a hindu temple.
the picture shown images of jaina teerthankara are situated at premise of a hindu temple and worshipped as muniswarar. the pillar shown in picture has clear image of jaina teerthankar along with epigraph engraved on hero stone.
inscription of thirunageswaram :- the inscription of thirungeswaram was found at a pillar lying in mandapa at the end of street in front of nagnatha swami temple of shiva cult.the inscription is hailed from era of aditya chola i and written in tamil language. the inscription records that endowment was done by perunagarattar (merchant community) of kumarmattandapuram in tiraimurnadu for the renovation of the surrounding hall (tiruchchurralai) and gopura in the jain temple known as miladudaiyarpalli.
kumarmartanda seems the surname of monarch nandivarman iii of pallava dynasty.
kumarmattandapuram was named after king nandivarman iii of pallava dynasty. king aditya chola i married to daughter of nandivarman iii whose name was kadavarkonpavai.
the date of this inscription should be from 871-907 ad
please note the original source of article as below.