‘The exercise is in the interest of rationality’

Nidumamidi Math seer Veerabhadra Chennamalla Swami, who is known for his rational views, is set to embark on a fact-finding exploration on Monday to discover the truth behind the belief among the local people that there is a ‘hidden treasure’ below a rock on the premises of the 1,000-year-old math in Goolur village of Bagepally taluk in Chickballapur district.

The exploration will take place in a transparent manner in full public view with the presence of government officials and media representatives.

“Though we are in a scientific age, it is depressing to see beliefs such as ancient structures have hidden treasure. What has become a cause for concern is that several ancient structures, especially religious stone sculptures, are being destroyed by the curious and greedy who want to unearth the hidden treasure,” the seer told The Hindu .

He said rumours about the hidden treasure on the math premises had posed a serious threat to the security of the ancient structures there as treasure hunters and thieves were trying to gain entry into the math and take up illegal exportation.

“Treasure hunters end up breaking ancient statues and structures assuming there is treasure hidden in them. Two shikharas and two statues of Nandi dating back to the Vijayanagar era on the Goolur Math premises have been broken. These statues are believed to have been sculpted in 13th or 14th century,” he said.

“We decided to take up the exploration to put an end to the curiosity among people about the possibility of hidden wealth. This is in the interest of the security of the math and in the interest of rationality. Also, it is an effort to set a trend in these kinds of matters by maintaining transparency by taking up exploration work in public gaze in the presence of the government representatives,” he said.

Asked what he would do if the exploration does indeed reveal hidden treasure, he said: “First, we will hand it over to the government for valuation. Later, we want to request the government to provide 50 per cent of the treasure for the development of the math considering the service it has been rendering for the welfare of the oppressed sections in various fields including education. We also like to request the government to dedicate another 50 per cent of the funds for providing permanent drinking water supply to Bagepally taluk which is badly affected by the fluoride content in groundwater. If the quantum of wealth is really enormous, then it should also be used for drinking water project for the entire Chickballapur district.”

‘The exercise is

in the interest

of rationality’