The temple boasts a unique architecture. The dwajastamb, carved out of a single stone, can be seen from afar and the images of the 24 Tirthankaras have been carved on the
gopuram. The temple, built by King Konguvelir, is an art lover's delight. The ornately carved ceilings have images of dancing girls and flowers, and the pillars, floral motifs. A side panel depicts the cycle of birth and death. A pregnant woman, symbolising life, stands at one
end and a reclining woman, depicting death, on the other.
According to the inscriptions in Pali and Tamil found on the pillars, a few Jain munis had attained mukthi here by fasting till death. The birth of Mahavira and his life is carved on the top as a panel.
A dance mandapam, dating back to the 13th Century, is another highlight. Now, all that remains of the ruined mandapam is a dance floor. The mythological beasts carved on the outer wall are
believed to protect the sanctum sanctorum.
There are similar shrines in disrepair at Thingalur and
Seenapuram, 10 km away. The one at Thingalur is set in scenic surroundings but is a nightmare once you open the door, as it is now a haven for bats. The priest hurriedly clears up the bat droppings to reveal a
temple that must have stood out for its architecture centuries ago.
The temple at Seenapuram, a derivation of Jainapuram, is equally non-descript. The beauty of this Jain temple complex leaves you feeling sad and awe-struck at the same time for it has no power supply, no guidebooks, no one, except the