From Valliyoorkkavu Temple, I went on to visit the centuries-old Jain Temple in Bathery. It is also called Tirthankar Temple, a temple constructed with granite slabs. There is a cave inside this temple. It is said that this cave extends till Mysore. During the military assault of Tipu Sultan, the followers of Jainism were driven out and the cave was turned into Tipu’s armory.
It is believed that that is how the place called Ganapathi Vattam became Sulthan Bathery. The temple has the image of a snake on a pillar in this temple. There was a belief that this temple has hidden treasure and this led to the destruction of most parts of the temple by antisocial elements.
Snake On Pillar
The world famous Edakkal Caves are located on Ambukuthi Hill, at a distance of 1 km from Bathery, on Ambalavayal Route. The caves were discovered by a foreigner by name Fawcett. People believe that Lord Ram shot an arrow and created a fissure and that is how Ambukuthi Mala got its name. Fawcett, while on a hunting trip, shot at a tiger. He did not miss the target.
The shot tiger ran and the foreigner also ran after it. Later, he found the dead tiger in a cave. It is said that this is how the cave was discovered. Along with pictorial carvings, Brahmi Script, which existed during the reign of Veda Kings, can also be seen in Edakkal Caves. This has been drawn using sharp stones. These ancient scripts are evidence of a vibrant Gotra Culture.
Brahmi Script Inside Cave
The literal meaning of Edakkal Caves is ‘a stone in between.’ Its appearance is such that 1 boulder miraculously wedged in between 2 bigger boulders to create a cave. There is beautiful scenery when viewed from the front of the cave.
After enjoying its beauty, I visited the Phantom Rock which lies on Meenangadi – Ambalavayal Route. This is a beautiful place with huge phantom-shaped rocks. There is an ancient temple named Pulpally Seethadevi Temple where the deities are Lord Ram, Seethadevi and Lava and Kusha.
Chedattinkavu lies at a distance of 1 km from here.
Pulpally Seethadevi Temple
The deity here is Seethadevi. According to legend, it is here that earth dramatically split open and took Seethadevi away. The spot where earth opened up is still there. It is believed that when Seethadevi went inside, Lord Ram tried to stop her from entering the earth, but could catch her hair only. Leaving a tuft of hair in the hands of Lord Ram, Seethadevi returned to the lap of her Mother Earth.
Till some time recently, the trees in this place had hair-like fibrils hanging from them; this has disappeared recently. The name Jadayattakavu was shortened and now the place is called Chedattinkavu. The temple is built in Kerala architectural style called Thachu-Shastra. The images of banana flower and jackfruit carved on a rafter are impressive.
Spot Where Seethadevi Returned To The Lap Of Her Mother Earth
The rest of the narration is in part III....