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The Aftereffects of Searching for Jain Temples

One of the stories from our TGDC trail was about our search for old Jain temples in Wayanad in Kerala. There are a few of them, either taken over by ASI or left to crumble, like the one we managed to visit.


After visiting the place and reading a little more about Jain temples in Kerala, a realisation dawned on us – Most temples in Kerala were earlier Jain or Buddhist temples. We had earlier read that the famous Sabarimala temple (with close to 5 crore visitors a year, it is supposed to be the second biggest annual pilgrimage after Mecca) was originally a Jain temple.

Jainism and Buddhism came to Kerala as early as 200 or 300 AD and flourished till 1000 AD. The arrival of Vedic brahmins to Kerala from 800 AD and the royal patronage they got, resulted in many of these shrines getting converted into Hindu temples. The massive Vadakkumnatha temple in the heart of Thrissur city was once a Buddhist temple. The Koodalmanikyam temple in Irinjalakkuda was a Jain temple.

It is said that all temples that are in circular shape were Buddhist temples and all those are in square shape were Jain temples.


(photo courtesy: from the website

At one level, on hindsight, the ‘Search’ per se had no meaning. Because we grew up around those very same Jain and Buddhist temples!

The arrival of Vedic brahmins led to some radical changes in Kerala society, one of them being the rigid case system. The historical bits made an interesting read. Many stories we had heard as kids have larger and different stories behind it. While searching for information on Jain temples, we also ended up discovering some interesting and informational websites and blogs.

Check out these: written by Mr Manmadhan, based in California – extensively researched and exhaustive.– a website about a particular temple in Kerala and some interesting history. (some of the information in this entry is sourced from this website)


3 Comments on “The Aftereffects of Searching for Jain Temples

  1. there are a few jain temples in wayand i think. is this the one near beenachi? (on the way from mananthavady to sulthan bathery?)

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