Madurai: A PIL seeking declaration of Tirumalai hill in Sivaganga district as an ancient monument was filed in the Madras High Court bench here on Thursday.

Admitting the PIL, Justices Chitra Venkatraman and Karuppiah ordered issue of notice to the Central and State Archaeological Department heads, among others, returnable within 15 days.

The petitioner contended that the hill in Tirumalai Konneripatti village in Sivaganga district had rock paintings, Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions, Jain beds and also a rock cut temple of Kluntheerswarar and Bagampiriya Ammai temple, dating back to the eighth century AD.

He said all Jain abodes throughout India had been declared as monuments. This particular one was unique as both Jain inscriptions and temples were found in the same place. There were also 30 Tamil inscriptions of 13th Century. Similar rock paintings are not found anywhere in Tamil Nadu and only in another place in Madhya Pradesh, he said.

Though he had made representations to the government on various occasions last year to protect the monument and declare it as an archaeological site, no action had been taken, he said.

The petitioner also alleged that anti-socials are vandalising and defacing the monument.

Assistant Advocate General Chellapandian submitted that Superintendent of Police had been asked to provide protection for the temple.

The Judges then ordered notice to officials of the archaeological department of the state and centre.

(Agencies)