Chitharal is a tiny village situated at a distance of 7 Kms.away from Marthandam and 45 Kms,away from Kanyakumari of TamilNadu, India. It is famous for the Rock-cut temple, built 1000 of years ago. Later, the Jain temple had been overtaken by the Hindus in 425 AD. Inside the temples, there are stone carvings of “thirucharanam”
The goddess worshiped here is ‘Thirucharanathu bhataariyar - Pathmavathi’.and the idols of 'Parshwanathan' and Mahavira are carved attractively in the temple. According to the Indian history and the scriptes written there in the “Vatta ezhuthu”, 'Vikramaditya Varagunan' , the founder of the temple, is the King Vikramaditya. According to an another script, highly valuable gold ornaments were offered by “Aaya gunanthangi Kuratthikal”, the devotees of Arathanemi Bhataariyar to Thricharathu Bhataariyar during the 28th ruling year of the king Vikramaditya.
The Jain monuments in Chitharal is one of the best and the most attractive sights in and around Kanyakumari, but the current state of these monuments is not good.At the foot of the Thirucharanmalai hillock, one can see a stylish Kerala Style Arch made of rocks and from there one can start his/her trip the highest hill spot.
One of the most famous attractive aspects is the cave containing the Rock-cut sculptures of Thirthankaras and attendent deities carved beautifully inside and outside, and it recalls back to 9th Century A.D. It was incarnated and converted into Bagavathy Temple during the 13th Century A.D. Vehicles can go up to the foot of the hill. From there one can reach the temple with a walk of about 10 minutes. The fact to be emphasized is the presence of the Iain images that have been well-preserved by the Central Archeological Survey of India.
According to history, Chitharal is originally known as Thirucharanathupalli – the abode of Jainmonks belonging to the Digambara sect. It is famous for the hillock which has a cave containing rock-cut sculptures of Thirthankaras and attendant deities carved inside and outside.