Chitharal Rock Cut Temple & Jain Monument

I am much interested to say about one of my favorite places Chitharal Rock Cut Temple or Chitharal Malai Kovil (ചിതറാല്‍ പാറ കോവില്‍ in Malayalam, சிதறால் மலை கோவில் in Tamil). I have more things to share with you about it. I came to know about this place by my wife. She was a teacher of Excel Central School, Thiruvattar. As a study trip she has taken her students to this place. According to her information my self and colleague planned to have a trip on Sunday here. Actually we planned to start at 6am, because of some reasons we became late. So we started our journey at 7.30am from Thiruvananathapuram.

There are many ways to reach here. We selected the way Marthandam-Attoor. From Marthandam we sent our vehicle to Kulasekharam road. When we traveled 4 km, we reached Attoor junction. From there turn left to go to Chitharal. Again we traveled 2km to Chitharal junction. Locally this temple is known as ‘Malai Kovil’. We traveled about one more kilometer from the junction. It was a remote area. 

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When we reached the place there was an arch to invite us. We parked the vehicle in the parking area and started to walk to the temple. There were so many steps to climb. Now time is 9am, sun started to attack us. Both the sides of the way they planted different kinds of plants and many trees, that too medicinal value plants and trees. Also we could find more cashew-nut trees. Since there were many trees we walked in the fresh and cool breeze.

In a single walk we can’t reach to the temple. On the way often we took rest and also taken some snaps of the beauty of nature. I think, nearly 25 minutes we walked through the steps and reached the temple. Anyway the way is very cruel.

Here the specialty goes to the rocks. Because, here rocks seems like somebody has taken risk to keep the rock over another rock. Also the rocks are very huge.

There was an information board on the way to temple, from that we came to know that recently the temple has been brought under the Archeological Survey of India, and the researches are going on about the place and temple.

From there we turn left to another rock. From the top of the hill if you see around you can enjoy the real beauty of the nature. Also from there we can see the Marthandam town in a side and the part of Thiruvattar on other.

Far view of Marthandam Town

Far view of Excel Central School, Thiruvattar

Far view of Thamraparni River (Kuzhithurai River)

We stayed few minutes there and turn back to information board and followed the way to temple.

We saw a banyan tree with so many branches near by it. Since there are many tourists visit the place, they stamp there names over the entire tree. Also many boys were sitting on the tree and making different sounds, singing songs they were enjoying. Few minutes we accompanied with them.

We turned to left and climb a rock. Now we are in top of the temple. From there we have the far view of surrounding.

Top of the Temple

Top of the Temple

Top of the Temple

Top of the Temple

Now we back to banyan tree. The entrance of the temple was made with only three stones without any attachment or fixing. Through that way we went inside.

The way is between two huge rocks, and it is very small and short. We have to go one by one through the way also we cannot go straight, we have to bent our body to pass the way. In the first sight we thought, can we go by this way? Because the way was just like a tunnel.

After passing the way immediately few small stone steps. When we cross the steps, we will come to the left side of the temple. In the wall (that to made by rock) We found the Sri Mahavir and his student's sculpture.

Actually this is a Bhagavathy temple. But how does Mahavir connected with this ? We asked our doubt to the guard. He told us, “To spread fine religion among the people, Mahavir’s students came here and made this temple in the rock. But the people were not ready to change. So this place and temple were unknown to the people. So they kept Bhagavathy idol here to attract the people to temple. After that it became famous. Presently, everyday morning and evening pooja is going on here. Many people used come here to pray”.

After getting this information we followed the way. Again few small steps were there to get down. When we got down, we saw that, the rock has been cut in different shape to build some thing, but it was incomplete, that too fine to see. Then we went to the temple. 

Now the temple is under the control of Devasom Board. We got permission to go inside the temple. We entered through main door. Inside of temple there are 3 rooms. In the middle room Goddess Bhagavathy’s idol and the other two rooms were empty. But still pooja is going on all three rooms. Inside the temple itself many stone pillars were there. Few minutes we stayed in the temple.

In front of the temple there is a pond with so many fishes. It is a fresh water pond, but it looks like dirty water. Because, the people used to put the plastic and other waste into the pond. So the pond is polluted. It is very bad. We must know it’s our duty to protect our nature and surrounding.

Old scripts in rocks

Tamil scripts in stone

Malayalam scripts in stone

Near by this, in the bottom of the rock there is another one rock named as Urunchi Paarai (sucking rock). The local people say that, there is a hole in the rock. When we fix our nose in the hole and suck, water will come out by the hole. But the particular shape of the nose only will support to get the water. Since the way was very danger, we didn’t go there. Whether it is true or not we didn’t try.

Really it is a beautiful and wonderful place to visit. Now it is time to go back. But we don’t have mind to leave the place. We were very thirsty. We didn’t take water or food with us. So we left the place. According to my view, the place is very beautiful and enjoyable. But not safe and little dangerous. No proper facility for the tourist people, even local people are also very less for any help. So if anybody have the plan to visit this place, please go with a group or family with proper planning. Better don’t choose the sunny time as well as sunny season. You must be much aware of children.

Nearby Attoor(3km), Thiruvattar(5km), Marthandam(7km), Kanyakumari district, Tamilnadu
Latitude and Longitude: 8.332824,77.238497

How to reach
Trivandrum(0)-Marthandam(39)-Attoor(4)-Chitharal Jn(2)-Chitharal Malai Kovil(1)  - 46km
Nearest Railway Station: Kuzhithurai
Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport

Nearby Attractions
Thiruvattar Adikesava Perumal Temple, Mathur Aqueduct, Padmanabhapuram Palace, Thirparappu Water Falls, Petchipaarai Dam, Perunchani Dam