An Offbeat Trip: Sithanavasal, Kudumiyan Malai and Pachchamalai – Part 1
Posted on: February 4, 2011. Comments ( 34 )

Author: B. Chandrasekar, Chennai.

Part 2 Part 3

Seldom, I travel alone. This happened to me during the holidays in December last year. My wife and my daughter had gone on a women and kids only trip to Mysore for 4 days. I did not want to miss the opportunity and so in the afternoon of the day they left, I began driving my car to a village, Pachchaiperumal Patti, close to Thurayur near Trichy. I was the only one in the car and driving and travelling alone for 4 days was a different experience.
Alathudayan Patti Lake near Pachchaiperumal Patti where I stayed
Pachchaiperumal Patti is on the way to Puliancholai, a picinic spot on the Kolli hils, from Thurayur. I stayed at my friend’s uncle place in the village and traveled around Trichy the next couple of days. I visited Sittannavasal and Kudimiyan Malai first and then to Pachchaimalai.

Sittannavasal is an ancient abode of Jains dating back to the 2nd Century B.C. The place is around 16 KM from Pudukottai. The Rock–cut cave temple here has beautiful fresco Paintings in natural colours as in Ajanta. The Natural cavern with stone beds in which the Jain monks were said to have sought refuge for meditation. This cave contains lithic record (Brahmi Script of 2nd Century B.C.)

While they allow people to visit the place, the people from Archeological Department do not let visitors to take pictures of the paintings. The one that I have included here is an image that I took from other sources to showcase the beauty of the art created over 2000 years ago.

There are a few sculptures of Jain Thirthanharas in the ardhamandapam and the inner shrine of the cave temple. The ceiling of the ardhamandapam contains fresco paintings of the 9th Centure A.D. The cave temple is said to have been excavated in 9th century A.D. and it is a pandya creation and art. Sittannavasal is one of the oldest habitations of man in the district and is rich in megalithic sites.

Unfortunately the Archeological Survey of India took over the preservation aspects of this place only in 1959 and until then the value of this paintings were not known to the local population who used the place for cattle grazing and over 80% of the paintings have vanished.

Adjacent to that is a natural rock-cut cave that rises to 70m high which was used as natural shelter by the Jains since 1st Century BC. Inside this cave are the seventeen polished stone berths aligned in rows each with a raised part which were used as rock beds by the Jains with stone pillows. The largest of these ascetic beds contains inscriptions in Brahmi script, Tamil language from 1st Century BC.

Path up the hill to the rock bed cave Path leading to the rock bed cave
The rock cut on the hill which served as a shelter for the Jains The largest of the Rock Bed inside the cave that served as beds for the Jains
View from the top of the Rock hill Another view from the top of the rock hill

Part 2 Part 3

Comments (34)


    Anuradha R says:

    Very nice place and pictures thanks for sharing.
    Please let me know if any ‘pick your own vegetables and fruits farm ‘ are there near Chennai.

    Juliet Netto says:

    Cool! Thanks for the info, will definitely try to go when trip to South.

    Sureshkumar says:

    useful details

    Kalpesh.vinodchand.parikh says:

    Nice place

    good information

    anjali rani says:

    thanks for giving us another place to visit in driving range…looks very interesting will surely check out this place..and once again thanks for ur guidance.

    Venkateswaran says:

    Nice photos , valid info, worth to visit. we can easily reach Pudukkottai – 55 km by road from Trichi . Good accomodation is available @ Pudukkottai & make a trip to Both Kudumiyanmali (famous for Shiva Temple ) 16 km and Chittannavasal- another 7 km distance only. It is hardly a day visit. And also we can make visit in town itself ( Famous Thirukokarnam Temple & Sri Bhuvaneshwari Temple ). All are historical places.

    Lalitha says:


    Ashfaq Zaki says:

    very nice location.where to stay and visit it.please post

      Chandrasekar says:

      I stayed in a village near Thurayu. However, the best place would be Trichy as you have a number of options to stay and driver around to these places.


      Rajendran says:

      These places are 10Km away from Pudukottai. One can also visit Bhuvaneshwari temple at Pudukottai.

    Kulandiyesu Chetty says:

    it very good to see that even school like st annes is share knowledge to the society throw their own site (yokibu) it interesting .

    Arathi says:


    Venkat Narayanan says:

    Dear readers,
    In fact about 30 years back when I visited the annavasal / chithannavasal, there was an another route to come down from the top right through the middle of the hills shortest route, where they walk earlier days and in fact, I passed thro the same with the help of the guide those days, but I doubt, is it there now, also there was one water sunai at the top which also I witnessed

    Balu says:

    Nice place, but unfortunate to note that 80% vanished. Thanks for sharing.

    Sathiyanarayanan says:

    Thanx for sharing your wonderful experience with us, when we read , we percieved a lot about this fantastic place .
    We will be interested to visit this place.

    Khadeer Mohideen says:

    Excellant, Thanks for your information



    Venkateswara Rao says:

    Thanks for sharing such type of beautiful places and moments. We will try to visit these places definitely.

    Venkateswara Rao says:

    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful moments. We will try to visit definitely.

    Jyoti Bandagale says:

    Very interesting n beautiful pics! Information is really valuable. Wish I would go there!

    Jyoti Bandagale says:

    Very interesting n beautiful pics!

    sujatha says:

    thanks for information

    Bernadette Fernandes says:

    Excellent!! very interesting information. Thanks

    Adaikkalavan says:

    thanks, good information

    Muraleedharan says:

    thanks for the information

    Kumaresan says:

    Very nice pics and details.

    அனைவடைய மனதையும் மகிழ்விக்கிறது வாழ்த்துக்கள்…



    Kumar says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Would have never realised that a place like this exists. When it comes to travelling we often keep wondering where to visit when there are so many intresting locations with a flavour of our rich culture and heritage. Will definetly visit this place. Can you tell me how far is it in terms of distance and time from Trichy. Guess we have to keep Trichy as our base, whether we can stay in and around the places you had been – boarding and lodging, etc. thanks – regards

      Chandrasekar says:

      Yes, you can stay in Trichy and drive to this place. This place is near Pudukottai which will probably be an hour and half drive from Trichy. Kudumiyanmalai is around 15KMs from Sittannavasal. So you can cover both places in a day and return back to Tichy.


    Gayathrinandini says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Would have never realised that a place like this exists. When it comes to travelling we often keep wondering where to visit when there are so many intresting locations with a flavour of our rich culture and heritage. Will definetly visit this place. Can you tell me how far is it in terms of distance and time from Trichy. Guess we have to keep Trichy as our base

    Poovaragamoorthy says:

    it was nice place to see i was very interested to take
    my children to kudumiyanmalai and pachchamalai

    thanks for given your experience to us

    Krishnaveni says:

    very nice pictures. article is more nice than regular articles in HINDU. it is my long plan to visit these site probably motivated more to see immediately. thanks to u sir

    S. Gurunathan says:

    good review.

    Karuppaiah says:

    I really excited when i read this article that too kolli hills and pacchamalai are near to my native place (pachaperumalpatty), and I could see the “eari” with full of water at Alathudayanpatti. When i was small boy we use to swim in the ‘eari’. It is a fntastic place to be with the nature as we could see many birds during the season. Near ‘eari’ there is a siva tmpl very old. Very nice. thk you.

    Mathi Ezhil Arasu says:

    We had been on a tour at Sigiriya Rock at SriLanka a few months back.
    The Sigiriya and almost the whole of SriLanka has a lot of Buddhist temples.
    This rock, paintings, views from the hill top are very similar to the Sigiriya experience.
    Very nice pics and details.
    Mathi Ezhil Arasu

      Viji says:

      Great information & great ideas shared on a wonderful platform.

      Thank you all for the wonderful reviews. Have added the place to our visiting list.

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