Three antique idols seized from a temple in Nagapattinam

The executive officer at the temple said he was unaware of the presence of the idols and there were no records about them

October 28, 2022 12:30 am | Updated 12:30 am IST - CHENNAI

Three “unaccounted” antique idols were seized by Idol Wing CID  from Pannaka Parameswara Swamy temple in Pannatheru, Thirukkuvalai taluk, Nagapattinam district. These antique idols were lying stashed inside a cupboard on the precincts of the temple.

Following information from a source, a team of officers reached the temple and traced the suspected cupboard in which the idols were  concealed. When the cupboard was broken open, three antique bronze idols of Valli, Bhuvaneswari Amman and Thirugnana Sambanthar were found. 

The details of the idols were not in any records maintained at the temple. The executive officer of the temple was not aware of the presence of the idols and he informed the special team that the idols might not belong to the temple as the they had never been worshipped at the temple, said a press release from the office of the Director- General of Police, Idol Wing CID, K. Jayanth Murali. 

Recently, a probe by the Idol Wing CID police into the theft of a Ganesha idol of the same temple stolen 50 years ago led to the chance discovery of 11 more antique idols that had got stolen from the temple. Interestingly, the temple staff were unaware of the theft until the officers of the Idol Wing reached there and began investigation. The Ganesha idol stolen from the same temple was traced to the Norton Simon Museum in the U.S. and another stolen Devi idol of the same temple was recently traced to Sotheby's, New York. 

According to experts, the three unaccounted idols were of high value dating back to the Cholas of the 12th to 15th century A.D. 

The case is under investigation to find out the temples to which the unaccounted idols belong as well as their antiquity and how and when the idols found their way into the mystery cupboard at the Pannaka Parameswara Swamy Temple, said a senior officer.

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