Koyyur Jain Caves Nayanagulllu

The monolithic caves of Jain pantheon near Koyyur Village, Malharrao Mandal in the Jayashankar Bhupalpally district are set to hog the limelight with theForest Department making efforts to incorporate the structure into its ongoing eco-tourism programme.

Situated on a hillock among scenic surroundings on the banks of river Manair, the caves stand out as an example of Indian rock-cut architecture.

Hewn in solid sandstone precipice the caves testify the prevalence of Jainism in these parts during ancient times. Though the caves were found long ago, they remained uncared for. With an intention to draw public attention to these caves, Bhupalpally Forest Department officials are planning to lay pathways to ensure better connectivity to the caves called locally as ‘Nayanagulllu’.

At a distance of two km there is a Nagulamma Temple which is frequented by devotees on weekends and on auspicious occasions. It is proposed to lay a pathway from the temple and from Mainar bridge near Adavi Somanapally to the caves.

The works will be started during winter season, Suman added. “We wish to organise trekking trips to the caves so that those interested in history can visit and appreciate their historic significance.

The Jain caves will be included in the itinerary of recently released a calendar of events of eco-tourism” District Forest Officer T Ravi Kiran informed.

He hoped that the in the days to come, the caves would emerge as an important tourist destination. According to a local school teacher and history enthusiast Ch Srinivas, Jainism was prevalent in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh during the times of 12th Tirthankara Vasupujya as mentioned in the 12th century classic Dharmamrita.

There are six chambers at the caves. A verandah, an antharala (ante-chamber) and garbhalaya (sanctum sanctorum) are part of the cave structure.

There is a colourful mural painting on the ceiling of a cave, probably a depiction of Jataka tale. A carved image on the frontal portion of the cave is said to be of a Thirtankara.

In side sanctum sanctorum there is a Siva Lingam and damaged figurine of a female deity, believed to be Mahisasura Mardini, Srinivas explained.

Above the entrance of the main cave, there an epigraphy hewn in the rock.“The archeological authorities and historians must try to decipher the inscriptions to comprehend to which period the caves belong and who carved out these caves” Srinivas noted.