April 9, 2013

Jain Temples of Wayanad...!!



It was recently that I had my knowledge updated on the spread of Jainism in Wayanad. Though Jains are very sparsely populated across Kerala, Jainism has quite a prominence in Wayanad and this can be seen from the numerous Jain temples spread across the district. Jainism ventured into Kerala in the 12th century and many temples that you see in Wayanad are a proof of the same. However the decline was quite soon from the 16th century onward.  There has been many reasons behind their decline and the main ones seem to be the resurgence of Vaishnavism and Shaivism and the attacks of Tipu Sulthan. Over a period of time many got converted into Hindu temples while the other remained 

Inner sanctum

There are numerous Jain temples on the Kalpetta- Mananthavady road, most of which remain dilapidated and neglected. The Jain temple in Sulthan Bathery remains the most famous of the lot and is also considered one of the most important temples of the Jains in Kerala. The 13th century Jain temple in Sulthan Bathery is quite well maintained and is a beautiful remnant of Jainism in Wayanad. This Basadi (Jain temple) also played a big role during the historical times as an ammunition for Tipu Sulthan. It is also sometimes referred to as Tipu's fort for the same reason.

Jain Basadi at Sulthan Bathery



The Basadi has been beautifully built with wonderful architecture and carved pillars. The inner sanctum has a carving of Mahavir Jain. There is also a raised platform with chiseled pillars in front of the main sanctum. Though most of it is in ruins, efforts have been made by the authorities to the maintain the temple. However the case is not the same with other Jain Basadis of Wayanad. They look dilapidated due to negligence and need to be given given attention. The beautiful architecture and engravings are covered with bushes and over grown creepers. Hopefully the concerned authorities would look into it and maintain them as beautifully as the one in Sulthan Bathery.


Signing Note- Ruined, dilapidated, neglected...yet beautiful...!!

Location- Sulthan Bathery and Kalpetta- Mananthavady road.

39 comments:

  1. Nice account. I never knew about the existence of Jainism in kerala! Nice photos too. :)

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  2. I had been to Sulthan Bathery when I visited Edakal Caves. I didn't know about this temple. Well, these ancient temples look goos as they are. Many places these are renovated by locals to look like 20th century ones :) BTW, nice find.

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    1. Thanks Kusum. It is right on the highway in Sulthan Bathery. Head there next time you are in Wayanad.

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  3. Now that's a neat one. The next time you are in Wayanad, check this one out - http://www.dnambiartravelblog.com/2011/01/jain-temple-history-in-stone.html

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    1. It's in ruins and is in a super- quiet place. It has a charm of its own. Remember -- to ask for kal ambalam when you take directions; that's what we call it ;).

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    2. Thanks Divya. That is an awesome temple. I have heard about this, but couldnt visit it. Will definitely head there next time am in Wayanad. Can you tell me where exactly it is? in Bathery or Kalpetta?

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    3. You'll be going down from Bangalore, most probably, alle? So, when you get to Bathery, take the Beenachi-Nadavayal route to Mananthavady. A little after this place called Nadavayal, you get to Punchavayal (which is before Panamaram town). There you take a right on the road to Neervaram. This temple is a couple of kms down that road. You won't miss it. It' juts out into the road.
      (Just to be sure you're in the right path, you might want to talk to somebody at Punchavayal.)
      Have a good 'ride (?)' :)

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    4. Thanks a lot Divya. I will definitely visit this place next time am in Wayanad.

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  4. This is great! What a discovery! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. The temple looks old and interesting.


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  6. Beautiful architect of temples...lovely post...

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  7. There is one more ruined temple located somewhere near Kuruva island in Wayanad . I don't remember exact location . Compared to that one this one quite cleanly maintained .

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    1. There are lots of ruined jain temples closer to Panamaram and Kalpetta. The one in Sulthan Bathery is one of the well maintained ones.

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  8. Good Architecture made of huge stones. Sorry to read that these are in neglected state . Signing note was awesome .

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    1. Thanks Vishal. This is quite well maintained, but others are in a sorry state.

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  9. nice shots !!imformative post and comments and replies too :)

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  10. They look so ancient and majestic through your lens.

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  11. nice pictures...If i go kerala anyday then i will definitely visit this place..

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  12. Nice coverage of Jain temples in Wynad, got to see this destination some time in the near future.

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  13. Wonderful post. I believe that Jainism came to Kerala much earlier.

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  14. Excellent Poat

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  15. Lovely photos and great post, looks like a very interesting area.

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  16. Lovely photos and very informative. I have not travelled much around Kerala and I somehow thought it was more of Eco tourism there but now it looks like there is some history too. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you. Kerala does have a plethora of places for the traveller.

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  17. Wow! Jainism extended till Kerala! I've known of it till Pudukottai. Thanks for this!!! :)
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    1. Gla that you liked it. You can now extend your journey to Kerala too in search of such remote temples.

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