PRESIDING DEITY AND LOCATION :
Sri Mahavir Bhagwan in white color, seated in semi-lotus posture and of height 75 Cms in a shrine located at the base of Ponnurmalai on Vandavasi-Chetpet road (Dig).
ANTIQUITY AND SALIENT FEATURES :
The history of this shrine is believed to be commencing from the 1st century A.D. when the most well known and the top most Acharya of the age, Sri Kundkund also profound scholar made it his adobe for practicing austerities. It is possible therefore that numerous Jain saints at an earlier period also may have resided here.
At present at the base of Ponnurmalai this is the only temple and on the mountain however, are installed holy Foot-Prints of Sri Kundkundacharya. In Digamber enlightenment of Jain scriptures the name of Kundkundacharya is most significant. He is believed to be so pre-eminent as to be accepted as one who was founder of a distinct age and traditions after him came to be known as Kundkund Amnaya. At the commencement of any auspicious activity his name is first remembered. The famous “Shloka” commemoration is as follows :
Mangalam Bhagwan Virou, Mangalam Goutamo Gani |
Mangalam Kundkundaryou, Jain Dharmostu Mangalam ||
Acharya Bhagwant Sri Kundkundacharya was a king among saints and he belonged to Dravid Sangh,. In Jain canons, his name has been shown also as Elacharya. He was born in the village of Kondkonda near Guntakal city in Andhra Pradesh. By making this place as his abode for austerities, the Acharya has enhanced the prestige of not only this area but also of the whole of Tamil Nadu state. It is said that the popular principal volume in Tamil literature entitled “ Tirukkural” was composed by him. In Jain literature, he has been also shown as having other names such as Bakragriv, Ailacharya, Gauddhapuchchha, Pakshanandi etc., . Indeed it can be stated without any exaggeration that by his inspired, illustrious and spiritual life here on this land, he has made every of possible sand and stone and the whole atmosphere holy and pure deserving worship.
In scriptures this area has been described as Malay Pradesh, this mountain as Nilgiri and the village of Ponnur as Hemgram. At present a large area of South and North Arcot districts enveloped by a range of Eastern Ghats is known as Malay Pradesh. Nilgiri mountain is known as Ponnurmalai and Hemgram as the village of Ponnur. Ancient Foot-Prints of Acharya Bhagwant still appear today on the mountain as freshly embossed on a rock which are really worth seeing,
Every year on Posh Sukla Dasami, a festival fair is held here.
On the mountain top the natural scenery and peaceful atmosphere encaptures the mind. The soul experiences immutable quietude on account of the prevailing pure and holy vibrations of the air it breathes.
APPROACH – ROUTE :
The nearby railway station of Tindivanam is 40Kms away. From the city of Chennai, this shrine is 130 Kms and from Vandavasi on Chetpet road it is only 10Kms away Buses and taxis from all these places are available to come here. Buses and cars can go upto the temple base. To reach the top, one has to climb 330 steps from the base. Chair carrier are available for the elders to climb the top. The shrine is 3 Kms away from the village of Ponnur. There is a direct bus from the city of Chennai.
AMENITIES FOR JAIN PILGRIMS :
There is a dharamshala and a guest house at the base of Ponnurmalai Mount near the temple, where all facilities are available. Bhojanshala for meals is also available.
MANAGED BY :
Acharya Kundkund Jain Sanskriti Centre
Ponnurmalai, Kundkund Nagar,
P.O. Vandanakkampadi - 604 505
Dist : North Arcot, Tamil Nadu
Tel : 04183-25033