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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Perumal idols stolen from Kuruvithurai recovered !

In this famed land of ours, there are thousands of Temple –  it is our religious duty to visit Temple and do kainkaryam unto Him.  The temples in Tamil Nadu are administered by HR&CE department.  While all the revenue that is received in Temples goes to the Govt and used for purposes far different than intended, many temples are very poorly maintained.

சோழவந்தானை அடுத்த குருவித்துறை வைகையாற்றங் கரையோரம் வரலாற்று சிறப்புமிக்க சித்திர ரத வல்லப பெருமாள் திருக்கோவில் அமைந்துள்ளது. இந்த கோவில் முன்பு தவக்கோலத்தில் குருபகவான் தனிச்சன்னதியில் வீற்றிருக்கிறார். இங்கு ஆண்டுதோறும் குருபெயர்ச்சி விழா வெகு சிறப்பாக நடைபெறுவது வழக்கம்.

In Madurai near Cholavandhan is the temple : - Sri Chitraradha Perumal Temple, in Kuruvithurai – 625 207, Vadipatti Taluk,  Madurai district.  This temple attracts huge crowds on the transition of zodiac specifically Guru.  This is the sthalam where Guru penance Sriman Narayana.  Sri Chakkarathalwar) also is a swayambumurthy in the temple.  

The temple website which has info in anglicized form states that Chitra starrers pray to Lord of the temple for relief from adverse planetary aspects, especially those facing adverse Jupiter aspects and take up remedial pujas. According to astrology, favourable Jupiter aspect alone would help settling happy marriages and offer child boon. Practical experiences also confirm this theory. his temple is administrated by The Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department Tamilnadu.

You don’t get to see a better hero on screen even – the man on mission, the most respected   Inspector General of Police (Idol Wing) Pon Manickavel has been engaging in the recovery of idols and other artefacts that were stolen from the State.

Not many would have read or felt for the news item that appeared in Indian Express and some other idea of four panchaloga idols getting stolen from  Chitra Ratha Valabha Perumal Temple, famously known as Kuruvithurai Gurubhagavan Temple, on Saturday night.  The missing ‘Ucharva’ idols of Perumal, Panchamurthi, Sridevi and Boodevi were centuries old and have been placed in front of the main deity of Chitra Ratha Valabha Perumal.  Sources said that the idol of Perumal weighed around 8.36 kg and was about 45 cm in height and 17 cm in breadth. It was reported that the  miscreants gained entry into the temple by climbing over the 20-feet-tall boundary wall and later entered the ‘Karpagraha’ by breaking open a grill gate.

Police said that it was a well-executed plan and that a few persons might have hidden inside the temple in the night hours itself. However, the modus operandi is not yet clear.  “The incident happened between 12.20 and 1.10 am. The CCTV footage reveals the presence of two miscreants. A few more persons might also be involved in the looting,” they said.  Meanwhile, the security guards of the temple, on condition of anonymity, said that when they were sleeping outside the temple they heard the alarm blaring between 12 and 1 am. “We thought the alarm was set off by the monkeys and did not take it seriously,” said a security personnel. Later in the morning upon seeing the cotton clothes near the compound wall along the bank of Vaigai river, they alerted the temple authorities.

Both fingerprint experts and dog squad immediately rushed to the spot. Superintendent of Police N Manivannan directed to form special teams to nab the miscreants. Idol Wing personnel also inspected the spot. Suspecting that the thieves might have hidden the idols in nearby wells, the police along with fire service personnel  checked  the wells in the area.

Not sure how worried were the Officials who administer nor is their action detailed anywhere – but today comes the happy news  (Times of India, Chennai edition) that Police have recovered four panchaloha idols which were stolen from the Kuruvithurai Chitraradha Vallaba Perumal temple. The idols were recovered from a village near Uthappanaickanur on Monday night, after a villager, who found them abandoned on the roadside, alerted the police. The Madurai district police had formed 10 teams to trace gang that had stolen the idols, said south zone inspector general of police K P Shanmuga Rajeswaran. Rajeswaran along with idol wing IG Pon Manickavel inspected the temple, located in a village near Sholavandan. Madurai district superintendent of police N Manivannan was also present.

Addressing reporters here, Rajeswaran while lauding the police said they have received crucial information about the thieves. “They would be arrested soon,” he said adding that the idols were abandoned since police had closed in on them.  However, one part of the report reads that the Perumal idol was damaged by the thieves. 

Mr Pon Manickavel said the worth of each of the four idols could be around Rs 1 crore in international market. He said there had not been enough security for the idols in the temple. In the absence of strong room, only a pad lock worth a few hundred rupees was used to keep the idols locked. Moreover, CCTV cameras installed on the premises were outdated ones and did not prove to be of much use in this case, he said. Manickavel said he would recommend a reward of Rs 1 lakh for Ganesan, the villager who alerted police.

Perumal is back ~ hopefully, authorities, administrators and local devotees would do all that is necessary for redoing any damage and conduct pujas .. .. .. fact remains, that little care is taken to prevent thefts, little less action when any crime happens .. .. sad is the state of affairs and devotees can only express their anguish.

~ devotee with grief
17th Oct 2018

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