Andhra Pradesh

Neglect takes its toll on Jain relics in East Godavari

The Jain idol found at Turpupolam near Draksharamam in East Godavari district.- Photo: Special Arrangement  

East Godavari district is among the few districts in the State where the historians found the traces of Jainism long ago.

According to the history, Vardhamana Mahavira, who was on a mission to propagate Jainism, took out a ‘Padayatra’ from Sravasthi and visited the Godavari region before culminating his campaign at Machilipatnam way back in the period nearing 500 BC.

Thought a good number of idols and relics of Jainsim were spotted in different parts of the district, no concrete steps has been taken so far to preserve them under one roof. As a result, the statues, bricks and utensils are remained scattered in the rural pockets.

In some areas, there is no shade to the idols, as they are places on the premises of local temples of the Hindu faith. However, in places where the prevalence of Jain population is there, small temples were constructed and annual events were being celebrated.

Turpupolam village near Draksharama, Vegayammapeta, Kuyyeru and Vella villages near Ramachandrapuram, Seetammavari Metta near Tetagunta, Neudnuru, Aryavatam, Pedabrahmadevam, Chebrolu, Pithapuram, Kajuluru and Seela were the villages where the idols and relics were spotted in good shape. Jalluru, Gummileru, Indrapalem, Kanupuru, Ateyrapuram and Tatipaka too were the places where the villagers spotted the relics of Jainism long back. “The prevalence of Buddhism and Jainism were noticed in East Godavari district. As compared to the relics of Jainism, Buddhist sites are in a better shape here. Ironically, no one is taking care of the relics of the Jainism, which are in a dilapidated condition now,” observes Merapala Narayana Rao, a school teacher and Buddhist scholar from Tuni. Temples were built for placing the historic idols at Arthamuru, Aryavatam, Jalluru and Sivakodu villages by the local Jain community representatives.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 10:00:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/Neglect-takes-its-toll-on-Jain-relics-in-East-Godavari/article13980735.ece

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