While the police suspect foul play, they also said that the temple priest had found cracks in the idol a few days ago.

  • Broken Kali idol at Hoysala temple
news Heritage Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 09:32

An idol of goddess Dakshina Kali was found broken and its parts toppled at the Doddagaddavalli Chatushkuta Temple in Karnataka’s Hassan on Friday morning. The broken idol has led the police to suspect foul play, and they say it could be treasure hunters. The temple dates back to 1113 CE, built by the Hoysalas. It was one among many proposed to become UNESCO world heritage sites. 

In the early hours of Friday, Venkatesh, the temple priest who lives opposite the temple, noticed that the idol was broken. He went to the temple at 6.45 am on Friday to light the lamps and noticed that the idol was broken. 

The idol was broken into many pieces, and the torso was broken in two. According to the police, the priest took pictures and placed the torso back in its position. 

The idol is made of black granite and the Hassan SP Srinivas Gowda said that the priest, who lives with his family, locked the temple gates on Thursday evening and went home. “He and his brother Balakrishna claim they did not hear any noise at night. The idol is very heavy and it would have made some noise when it broke,” he added. 

He said that the investigation is on and it could be an act of vandalism as many believe treasure to be hidden inside the idols at Hoysala temples. “But it could also be a lack of adequate security and negligence on behalf of the caretakers,” he added.

Srinivas Gowda said that the temple lacked adequate security and is one among the 12 monuments in Hassan that is being preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). He said that the temple priest had complained to ASI and the taluk officials in Belur that the idol had allegedly been shaking and was unstable. 

According to The Hindu, ASI officials said that Venkatesh had pointed out cracks in the idol and that it was, in fact, shaking. The SP said that the ASI and Muzrai Department must deploy security guards to ensure such an incident does not recur. 

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