Structures at the Nava Brindavana in Anegundi, which is the resting place of nine Hindu saints belonging to the Uttaradi Mutt, found damaged on Thursday morning were restored by officials at the mutt along with devotees on Friday.
Thousands of devotees of the Uttaradi Mutt arrived at the site to help with the restoration of the vandalised structures. The devotees arrived on Friday morning and worked through the day to restore the resting places and idols damaged.
Koppal Deputy Commissioner Sunil Kumar is now planning to write to the Karnataka government asking it to hand over the management of the Nava Brindavana to the district administration. This comes after the administration was sharply criticised for failing to prevent the damages at the site. It is a private property under the upkeep of the Uttaradi mutt and only a caretaker tasked with maintaining the site visits it regularly.
Nava Brindavana is located on an island on the Tungabhadra river in Koppal district, around 12 km away from Hampi.
The site is the resting place of the nine saints of the Madhva community, a Brahmin sub-caste. They are mostly settled in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Goa and Maharashtra.
Police officials in Koppal district formed a special investigation team to probe the incident after the caretaker of the site alerted them about the vandalised structures. The holy site is accessible only by boat from Anegundi and Ballari during the monsoon season.
The district administration manages boats operating in and out of the island but according to the investigating police, the service closes at 4 pm and does not appear to have been used to travel to the island by those who vandalised the structures.
Police are probing whether the damage is the handiwork of 'treasure hunters' looking for the supposed treasure of Krishnadevaraya, an emperor of the Vijayanagara empire who reigned from 1509–1529. No arrests have yet been made.