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Thursday, June 9, 2016

heist at Thanjavur - sad tale of jewels of Sri Devathirajar stolen at Karappankadu !!

Our belief is immeasurable ! – we are the devotees of Lord Sriman Narayana. For the devout, visiting temples and having darshan of Him  is the ultimate and for the Srivaishnavaites divyadesa yathirai is of utmost importance. Centuries earlier, when transportation was not even at its nascent stage, the Saintly Azhwars went from place to place and sang hymns in praise of the Lord. Besides these holy places there are Abhimana sthalams related to Acharyas.  In Tamilnadu, most temples (infact all revenue earning temples) are administered by the TN Govt through Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowment Board – the revenue running to the coffers of the non believers and those who speak ill of God and Hinduism.

Have never been to this Temple – but have read about this place near Thanjavur.  Panchagramams, as they are collectively known in Pattukottai taluka  — Karappankadu, Nammankurichi, Puliakkudi, Serankulam and Peravurani, have added significance being the place preceptors. Of them, Karappankadu is 30 km. from Mannargudi, and can be reached by travelling via the Mannargudi-Pattukkottai bus route.  Many Kalakshepa adhikaris hailed from this place, most recent perhaps was Sri U.Ve. Karappankadu Venkatachariyar swami. 

According to legend, centuries ago, a band of Vaishnavite scholars returning on `SethuYatra' from  Thiruppullani (Darbhasayanam), back to Kanchipuram, were provided houses and other facilities by the chieftain.  They by divine intervention found the idol of Lord in a  Tulsi garden on the banks of a tank and placed Him in the place which is also known as `DakshinaNaimisaranyam'.  The Moolavar  here is the Lord of Thirukachi -  Devadhirajan’ the Uthsavar is AbeeshtaVaradan or UchishtaVaradan.

Now, this is no post on the history of the temple but on the sordid present tense.  The New Indian Express Chennai edition reported  today that in one  of the biggest heists, thieves decamped with 316 sovereigns of jewellery from an ancient temple in the district in the wee hours of Tuesday.

According to sources, the archakas who came to the Varadharajaperumal temple in Kaarappankadu village near Madukkur on Tuesday found the locks of the sanctum sanctorum  of the temple broken and the valuables missing. The Madukkur police was informed, so were the officials of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department. They checked the valuable jewels kept in an almirah near the sanctum sanctorum and found 2 kg and 528 gm of gold jewels (316 sovereign) stolen.

Superintendent of Police, visited the temple and held enquiries. Earlier, Aravind Menon, the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Pattukkottai,  visited the scene for investigation.  Forensic experts from Thanjavur arrived and collected evidence from the spot, including fingerprints. A sniffer dog too was pressed into service. Special teams have been formed to catch the culprits, said police officials

It comes as a shock and makes us grieve to read about the theft in the temple…..  this should shock all the Asthigas; unfortunately there has not even been an whimper. There is need for some reaction and for protecting our temples.  At least spread the message and make everyone aware of this dreadful sin.

With sorrow – Adiyen Srinivasadhasan
8th June 2016.

Photo credit : from old issues of The Hindu; the news credit : The New Indian Express.

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