Friday, January 30, 2009
The Mahatma Gandhi Museum and the Jain Temple
It was easily one of the best museums I have visited - the Gandhi Memorial Museum and Library in Ananthapuram, near Kalpetta, Wayanad. Mahatma Gandhi took rest at a boarding near the Jain Temple; that boarding is today the Gandhi Memorial Museum and Library. Neat and clean and impeccably maintained, this is how our museums should be.
We stood in awe before the small room where Gandhiji sat. Photography is not allowed inside and, so, all I could take were pictures of the entrance to the museum and a long shot of the Jain Temple, also known as the Sree Anantha Natha Swami Temple.
The temple is one of the oldest Jain temples in the district, it was located in old Kalpetta till 1926. Its guardian was Payappa Tharakan, a Jain planter. It is said that the temple was built about 1,000 years ago when Wayanad was part of Karnataka. After the death of Payappa Tharakan, the temple was handed over to Mandhappa Gowder, who later formed a trust to maintain it. Krishna Gowder, Maniyankode, moved the temple in 1933 to its present spot. The main deity is Ananda Natha Swami (the 14th Theerthankara); Padmavathi Devi, Jwala Malini Devi and other Theerthankaras are also present.