There are certain hidden gems within every destination that is lesser known to the world. For a traveller, the thrill of exploration lies in discovering these veiled slices of wonder. When it comes to Kanniyakumari, this hidden gem rests in the hills – a temple atop a rock and covered in the affluence of greenery that takes you to an entirely different world. The Chitharal Jain Rock Cut Temple is one of the most divine and picturesque temples in Tamil Nadu, all waiting to welcome you.
Located in the village of Chitharal in Kanniyakumari district, the temple and its surroundings comprises stone beds with many inscriptions and two amazing monuments. One of these is a rock-cut Jain temple with outer wall reliefs and the other is a Hindu goddess temple complete in rock cut and stone. The temple is believed to have been built around the 9th century. The temple occupies an important place in Jainism. It is said that Jain saints used to come to this region and meditate in the caves. The temple itself was carved out of a natural cave. The inner part of the temple includes a pillared Mandapa and three sanctums. The temple for goddess Bhagavathy used to be an active place of worship for Hindus.
By the 19th century, the condition of the temple and the immediate surroundings had worsened. However, the monument was subsequently cleaned up, with many parts of it rebuilt and restored. There is also a natural heart-shaped pond below the temple.