Samanar Hills, situated in the city of Madurai, is a serene and historically significant site that encapsulates the rich cultural tapestry of the region. Also known as Samanar Malai or Jain Hills, this archaeological and spiritual destination holds remnants of ancient Jain caves and sculptures, offering a glimpse into the diverse religious heritage of Madurai.

Samanar Hills has a deep-rooted historical background that dates back to the ancient times when Jainism thrived in the Tamil region. Jain monks, known as Samanars, established a presence in this area, choosing the hills as a place for meditation, contemplation, and spiritual activities. The caves and sculptures carved into the rocky hillsides bear witness to the historical footprint of Jainism in Madurai.

The hills are adorned with numerous rock-cut caves, some of which are believed to have been excavated over two thousand years ago. These caves served as dwelling places for Jain monks and are adorned with intricate carvings and inscriptions. The sculptures within the caves depict Tirthankaras, spiritual teachers in Jainism, as well as other motifs related to the Jain faith. The archaeological significance of Samanar Hills lies in its preservation of ancient Jain art and architecture.

Cultural and Spiritual Heritage

Samanar Hills serves as a repository of the cultural and spiritual heritage of Madurai. The Jain caves and sculptures, nestled amidst the natural beauty of the hills, create an ambiance of historical resonance and contemplative tranquility. The site is a testament to the religious diversity that has shaped the cultural landscape of Madurai over the centuries.

Pilgrimage Destination

While Samanar Hills are of immense archaeological importance, they also attract pilgrims and tourists interested in exploring the religious heritage of Jainism. Devotees and history enthusiasts visit the site to witness the ancient caves, pay homage to the Tirthankara sculptures, and experience the spiritual energy that emanates from the hills.

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    Timings and Guidelines

    • Time : before 6 PM
    • Visit Duration: 1 hour to 2 hours
    • Dress Code Men : Men the Dress Code is Shirt & Trouser, Dhoti or Pyjamas.
    • Dress Code Women : Women the Preferred Dress Code is Saree or Half-Saree With Blouse or Chudidhar with Pyjama.


    985 Pillars

    Carving of Mahavira

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