Newsworthy

Six ancient idols stolen from Ramanathapuram temple

Six ancient idols stolen from Ramanathapuram temple

Six brass idols and a spear were stolen from the 1,000-year-old Adhi Ratneswarar temple at Tiruvadanai in Ramanathapuram district on Monday night.

The idols stolen — of Vinayaka, Murugan, Bhavani, Sita, Chandrasekar (Shiva) and Soolapidari (Kali) — were one foot and two feet tall and belonged to the Pandya period. The theft was noticed after the temple was opened on Monday morning and the authorities filed a complaint with Thiruvadanai police. Fingerprints have been collected and sniffer dogs were pressed into service.

TN government had said closed circuit cameras (CCTVs) would be installed in big temples, after the spate of thefts in recent years. But many temples including Adhi Ratneswarar do not have CCTVs yet.


“It is only due to renovation of the temple that the miscreants were able to get access to the idols. We will strengthen security in temples across the state,” said a senior Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) official in Chennai. “The stolen idols have been photo-documented and we will be able to provide evidence about the idols to investigating authorities,” said the official.

Locals suspected to be involved in idol thefts

Ramanathapuram SP N M Mayilvahanan said, “It is only based on the photos provided by the HR&CE department we came to know that the idols are made of brass, not panchaloha.” He ruled out the involvement of any international gang as the idols were not that of the main deity.

“We suspect the handiwork of locals in the theft. A special team has been formed to nab the culprits. We will be able to secure the stolen idols soon,” said Mayilvahanan.

The temple has Adhi Ratneswarar (Lord Shiva) and Snehavalli (Parvathi) as the main deity. Other idols are taken around the temple during festivals or important days.

“Saint Thirugnanasambandar has sung about the deities in his famous treatise Thevaram. The temple was renovated by the later rulers of Madurai, Nayak and Sethupathis. The idols are certainly antique no matter which era, Pandya, Nayak or Sethupathis,” said retired archaeologist V Vedachalam.

This is one of the Shiva temples where pujas are conducted for Sun god.

Sun is said to have worshipped Lord Shiva placing him on a stage made of sapphire gems, hence the name Adhi Ratneswarar, said a temple historian.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

css.php
More in Newsworthy
Ban on cow, buffalo slaughter should be country-wide: Maneka Gandhi
Ban on cow, buffalo slaughter should be country-wide: Maneka Gandhi

Pitching for a country-wide ban on cow...

Another Hindu Priest attacked and stripped off of his sacred thread
Another Hindu Priest attacked and his sacred thread stripped

Atleast three incidents of attacks on Brahmins...

MHA asks states to transfer amount to affected farmers' Jan Dhan accounts
MHA asks states to transfer amount to affected farmers’ Jan Dhan accounts

Utilising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet scheme,...

gandhi-name-removed
Modi government drops Indira Gandhi’s, Rajiv Gandhi’s names from Hindi Diwas awards

The MHA has removed the names of...

Close