The contrast is striking. Amid the thick of rain-fed coffee plantations that define much of the modern-day character of a hilly stretch in southern India lie the architectural relics of a culture that originated in the country’s dry north-western terrain 2,500 years ago. The sight at placid Panamaram is poignant, yet beautiful. In the heart of rugged Wayanad in northeast Kerala are a couple of ruined Jain temples that are estimated to be eight centuries old. Amid the luxuriant greenery in Punchavayal village, they exist today as ornately-carved black-and-grey pieces in granite, as if posing a jigsaw puzzle of sorts for the casual visitor. To be precise, Panamaram has two abandoned Jain shrines within a radius of half a kilometre. And both of them bang inside two plots of private c...Read More...
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