Ancient idols found at Thottiyam now in museum

Some of the idols and a pair of heavy 'vel' added to the Government Museum in Tiruchi.— PHOTO: B. VELANKANNI RAJ

Some of the idols and a pair of heavy 'vel' added to the Government Museum in Tiruchi.— PHOTO: B. VELANKANNI RAJ  


Eight ancient stone idols and a couple of ‘vel’ which were unearthed at the sand quarry on the banks of the Cauvery in Thottiyam and Musiri in Tiruchi district over the past two-and-a-half years have been shifted to the Government Museum in the city after adhering to the administrative procedures.

According to officials, the idols unearthed intact included a Siva lingam, two idols of Sri Ayyappan, two idols of Sri Ganapathy, one idol each of Sri Veeran, Sri Poorani, and Sri Pushpakala.

Since the process of shifting the idol from Musiri to Tiruchi involved a meticulous process, the museum authorities had to exercise extra caution for ensuring its safe shifting using crane and damage-free transit all through.

The idol of Lord Siva measures two-foot tall and was recovered intact, according to official sources. It is believed that the idol could have been either buried in the riverbed or could have been washed away from a distant place, he said.

The bigger idol of Ayyanar measures 5.5-foot tall and is seated on an elephant.

The left leg is folded and the right leg is in seated posture. An array of flames are found around the head. The smaller idol is two-foot tall holding a whip in the right hand.

While the bigger idol is said to belong to 18th century, the smaller one belongs to the 15th century, he said.

The idols of Sri Vinayagar are in usual form. One of the idols measures 2.5-foot tall and the second one, one feet. The idol of Sri Poorani, holding a flower in the right leg, is one-foot tall, he added.

The other idols, kept at the taluk office in Thottiyam, were brought to the museum here.

Funds for pedestal

According to official sources, a proposal seeking Rs. 2 lakh had been sent for arranging the idols on concrete pedestals. The large-sized ‘vel’ has been brought to the museum. While the smaller one weighs about one tonne, the bigger one is about 2 tonnes.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 9:37:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/ancient-idols-found-at-thottiyam-now-in-museum/article7907012.ece

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