India has a rich cultural heritage ~ there are many Temples that were built by opulent Kings more than thousands of years ago ! At Marina beach and elsewhere on Masi Magam day, thousands thronged to have darshan of Swami and have holy dip in sacred waters. Here is a photo taken at Marina.
Asian Civilisations Museum is an institution which forms a part of the four museums in Singapore, it is one of the pioneering museums in the region to specialise in pan-Asian cultures and civilisations.
Ariyalur is believed to have obtained its name from Hari Nindra Oor, meaning the place where Hindu god Vishnu had his presence. Ariyalur was a part of the erstwhile Trichinopoly District until India's independence in 1947 now a part of the newly formed Ariyalur district. The town is a part of the fertile Cauvery Delta and the major profession in the town is agriculture. Ariyalur is administered by a municipality established in 1994.
In 1741 the Marathas invaded Tiruchirappalli and took Chanda Saheb as captive. Chanda Saheb succeeded in securing freedom in 1748 and soon got involved in famous Carnatic war. Nawab of Arcot annexed the two palayams of Ariyalur and Udayarpalayam located with troops were in the Ariyalur district on the grounds of default in payment of Tributes.
Every village has a temple – the tranquil place of worship. Beautiful idols are there in the Temple being worshipped – and sadly some are not in their designated places. The Govt Dept would conveniently say that it is not safe to keep the idols in some Temples and sadly in some places, many idols are kept together in the same premises, which does not augur well for the Temple or the agama sastras.
Some beautiful idols have been stolen and sold as artefacts. One ancient idol, stolen from the Shiva Temple in Sripuranthan village, was smuggled to the USA, where it was sold at Kapoor’s former New York City gallery ‘Art of the Past’. Later, ACM, an institution of the National Heritage Board at Singapore, had purchased it in 2007 at a cost of $650,000, unaware that the idol was illicitly trafficked. After it emerged that the idol was stolen from Tamil Nadu, the Museum had officially returned the idol of the Hindu goddess to ASI officials at Singapore on November 6 last year. Finally, it arrived in Delhi on December 16, 2015.
Despite the 1,000-year-old Uma Parameshwari idol having been retrieved from Singapore Museum, the Panchaloha idol, smuggled out by the international art smuggler Subhash Kapoor, is yet to be returned to the temple in Ariyalur reportedly waiting till security features in the temple pass the muster of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The idol is one of the eight stolen from the Brihadeeswarar temple in Sripuranthan village in Ariyalur district about a decade ago. Presently, the Uma Parameshwari idol is with the ASI in New Delhi after the Singapore-based Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) returned it in December last. According to ASI sources, the idol-wing of the Tamil Nadu Police have approached the ASI, seeking possession of the retrieved idol.
Asked whether the stolen idol would be returned to the temple at Ariyalur, ASI sources clarified that the temple authorities must stake claims for the idol. However, the (Uma Parameshwari) idol would be returned only if the ASI was satisfied with security arrangements to safeguard the idol, as it was already stolen once, they added. “Till that time, the idol may be continued to be kept in the ASI Museum in Chennai,” the official added. As per procedures, any artefact retrieved through the ASI from abroad will be kept at the Central Antiquity Collection in Delhi before transported to their respective ASI Museum from the region, where the idol originated.
With Tamil Nadu being the place of origin in the case of the Uma Parameshwari idol, it would be ferried to the ASI Museum located in Chennai ~ and when ? – not ordinary mortals can answer!!.
With regards – S. Sampathkumar
25th Feb 2016
PS: In the 1951 General elections to the Madras Assembly, at Ariyalur – total votes were 39262 of which Palaniandi Independent candidate securing 11422