Universität Bonn

Abteilung für Asiatische und Islamische Kunstgeschichte


Śrī Manmohan Pārśvanātha Śvetāmbara Jaina Temple

The Śrī Manmohan Pārśvanātha Śvetāmbara Jaina Temple in the centre of Tirunelveli has communal and storage rooms at the entrance level, and a temple, consisting of a hall, followed by a large shrine space behind, on the first floor level. Unusual is that the image chamber (garbha-gr̥ha) has glass windows along the rear and overlooks a garden with a tall tree. In this instance, the tree has clearly been integrated into the design and the overall atmosphere of the large open image chamber (garbha-gr̥ha). This contrast clearly with the approach in earlier temple structures in the region, where spaces became more confined towards the shrine and where no natural light was allowed to penetrate into the sanctum sanctorum.

Frontal view of the temple © Julia A.B. Hegewald
View into inner shrine room © Julia A.B. Hegewald
A laywoman, conducting pūjā on a small metal image placed on a ritual stand © Julia A.B. Hegewald

Śrī Śaṅkeśvara Pārśvanātha Svāmī Temple

In the Śrī Śaṅkeśvara Pārśvanātha Svāmī Temple, alternatively known as the Rājendra Sūrī Jaina Temple, which also belongs to the Śvetāmbara community of Tirunelveli, there is a small shrine on the ground floor. Consequently, it combines a shrine with more mundane storage on one floor level. Worth mentioning with respect to the upper image chamber (garbha-gr̥ha), and similar to the image chamber on the first floor level of the Śrī Manmohan Pārśvanātha Śvetāmbara Jaina Temple, is the openness of the layout. Also here, light is admitted from the front of the room.

Entrance to the temple, outside view © Julia A.B. Hegewald
Entrance to the temple © Julia A.B. Hegewald
Inside view of the raised shrine © Julia A.B. Hegewald
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