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Updated: October 24, 2013 13:51 IST

Attempt to steal bronze idol from Rockfort Temple

R. Rajaram
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A bronze idol of goddess Tripurasundari at Malaikottai Thaumanaswamy temple in Tiruchi on Wednesday. Photo: G. Gnanavelmurugan
The Hindu A bronze idol of goddess Tripurasundari at Malaikottai Thaumanaswamy temple in Tiruchi on Wednesday. Photo: G. Gnanavelmurugan

As the idol weighed close to 100-kg, the burglars, unable to carry it in a backpack, left it in the temple premises itself

Unidentified persons made an attempt to steal a bronze idol of Goddess Tripurasundari from the famous Rockfort Arulmigu Thayumanaswamy Temple located in the heart of the city on Wednesday.

Unable to take away the idol, weighing about 100-kg, after having placed it inside a backpack type bag, the culprits left it at the temple premises itself.

The ‘utsava’ idol, said to have been made in the 19th century, was kept on a ‘medai’ (stage) within the ‘praharam’ of Lord Thayumanaswamy’s shrine situated in the middle part of the rock-cut temple which attracts thousands of devotees everyday.

The idol is about two feet and a half tall but weighs nearly 100 kg.

At the base of the hillock is the shrine of Lord Manicka Vinayagar, while the shrine of Lord Ucchi Pillaiyar is situated on top of the hillock. The temple has a separate shrine for Goddess ‘Mattuvar Kuzhali Amman’ and other sannidhis.

The burglary bid came to light at around 8 am after a devotee noticed the idol missing from the stage and found a black bag at the spot.

Getting suspicious, the devotee raised an alarm alerting the temple staff, said the shrine employees. Upon opening the bag that was stuffed with an unclean and foul-smelling pant and a shirt, the temple staff found the idol inside.

Upon getting information, police officers inspected the spot and conducted enquiries. The investigators have taken possession of the bag and the temple authorities have filed a complaint with the Fort (Crime) police.

The idol is taken out in a procession within the Lord Thayumanaswamy praharam every Friday. Temple staff said the grille gate of the stage, where the idol was kept, is usually opened in the morning hours to offer ‘neivedhyam’ for the idol once the pooja for Lord Thayumanaswamy is over.

A ‘parihara’ pooja was immediately performed in the shrine following the burglary bid.

A temple official said this was the first time that a theft attempt was made there.

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