(Last Updated on : 03/10/2015)
Ponnur Hill Jain Temples located at Kundakunda Nagar in Tamil Nadu
is a famous pilgrimage centre of the Jains
. It is the Tapobhumi of Acharya Kundakunda
who lived 2000 years ago. It is situated in Thiruvannamalai District
of Tamil Nadu State. Acharya Kundakunda by his penances and spiritual practices made the place holy and sublime and pilgrims who visit the place feel the sacred vibrations which along with the scenic beauty and solitude of the place help them in their spiritual quest for self realization and enlightenment.
History of Ponnur Hill Jain Temples
According to the history 'Ponnur Hill Tapobhumi Nilayam Teerth Kshetra' is more then 2000 years ancient. The place serves as the Tapobhumi of great Digambara
Jain Acharya Kundakunda. He was a celebrated Jain Acharya as well as a Jain scholar monk of the 2nd century AD. His original name was Padmanandi but he was referred to as Kundakunda because he was born in a place named Kundakunda in South India. He was a highly knowledgeable man who is credited with composing many divine classics. Acharya Kundakunda practiced for penance, for self-recognition and purification here. He belonged to the Mula Sangh order. He later went to 'Videh Kshetra' and remained there for 7 days and nights. He received spiritual precepts from there. Later he wrote 'Panch Paramagamas' called as 'Dwiteeya Shruta Skandha' that includes the real philosophy of world, 'Samay Sara', 'Pravachan Sara', 'Niyam Sara', 'Ashta Pahud' and 'Panchastikaya Samgraha'. As per history these 'Pancha Paramagamas' were written at Ponnur Hills. These texts motivate the pilgrims to follow the Jain principles
of Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct.
Jain Temples at Ponnur Hills
The temples at Ponnur Hills are very ancient. The foot images of Acharya Kundakunda are present here. They are revered and worshiped by devotees coming from different places. Apart from this there are 2 ancient Digambar Jain Temples located here.
The first temple is known as "Shri Adinath Mandir" that is located at the foothills. The principal deity of the temple is Lord Adinath or Bhagwan Rishabh Dev
. The temple has been magnificently decorated with architectural designs. It is also adorned with sky high spires. An ancient idol of Lord Mahavira
is also installed here. It is carved beautifully on a flat stone. An artistic umbrella can be seen over the head of idol. Attractive statues of whisk bearing Devas have been constructed on both sides of the idol. One can also see the foot images of Acharya Kundakunda installed here.
The second temple located here is known as "Shri Ajitnath Mandir". It is situated at a distance of half km from hills. Other than this there are some caves on Ponnur Hill. It is believed that Acharya Kundakunda lived there. Goddess Ambika declared the truth of Digambar Jain Dharma and after it; pilgrimage of Acharya Kundakunda with their 594 scholars took place first.
How to Reach Ponnur Hill Jain Temples
The temples are well connected to road, rail and air. Buses and taxies are available from Chennai
etc. for Ponnur Hills. The nearest railway station here is Chennai Railway Station located at a distance of 100 km. The nearest airport is also located at Chennai.