Detail of an inscription at Ennayiramalai. The letters are Brahmi, the lan- guage is Tamil. See next page.
A fascinating place of great antiquity, but little-known and difficult to locate. At some remote period it was the centre of a famous order of Digambara monks where hundreds of naked ascetics – popular belief speaks of eight thousand-used to gather.
Its locality a hill of boulders of enormous size – lies about thirty kilometres to the – south-east of Gingee. Illustration 86 (above) shows one of six rock-sheltered ‘rooms’ which provide a total of thirty-five such polished beds with raised pillow-like mouldings.
The uppermost bed of each ‘compartment’ was reserved for the leader of the respective group of monks. More such shelters are known in other regions of Tamilnadu. The inscriptions found at these ascetics’ abodes date from the third century BC to the early centuries AD.
In the rock-cut inscription (detail see ill. 85) at the lower end of the above pictured row of beds, a donor pays homage to the Jinas and commits himself to materially supporting the sangha (order of monks).
Tamilnadu, North and South Arcot Districts.
6-Kil-Sathan Sngal in