Idol stolen from Jain temple in Davangere

Third theft at Jain temples in the State in recent times
Last Updated 22 October 2013, 19:25 IST

 Close on the heels of a theft at a Jain temple in Akkipet, Bangalore, where burglars decamped with hundi cash and ornaments worth Rs 20 lakh, an antique idol of Parshwanath, the 23rd Jain thirthankara, was stolen from the Rameshwara temple in Siddanamutt village near Santhebennur of Channagiri Taluk in the wee hours of Tuesday.

According to the police, two people made a forced entry into the temple, threatened local villagers Shekarappa and Surol Rudrappa who were sleeping there, and fled with the idol.

The shoulder and foot parts of the idol were damaged after their efforts to remove the idol wholly from the Panipeeth, a base on which it was fixed, did not yield the desired result.

Other idols intact The burglars came with sole intention of stealing the Parshwanath idol as the other idols are intact, police added.

A case has been registered at the Santhebennur Police Station.

Superintendent of Police Prakash told Deccan Herald that the police had recovered the damaged parts of the Parshwanath idols.

“They will collect information pertaining to the incident and investigate it from all angles. If need be, we will link the incident to the series of Parshwanath idols theft,” he said.

This is the latest in a series of thefts of Parshwanath idols  The theft at Siddanamutt gains significance in the wake of a series of such incidents in Mudabidare - the Jaina Kashi, and in the Bangalore Rural district.  

Idol is of 10th century, says historian

Historian Sumatheendra Nadig of Santhebennur in Davangere district said the Parshwanath idol was spotted 25 years ago at a farm in Siddanmutt. The villagers took the idol and installed it in the inner sanctum of the Rameshwar temple called Sukhanasini.

The black-stone idol dates back to 10th Century and is said to be worth Rs 25 lakh in the international market, added Nadig.

Many idols belonging to Jain sect were found in the villages of Basavapatna, Elebethur, Honnali, Shabanur, Channagiri and other places in Davangere district. But, Parshwanath idols are rarely seen in the Hindu temples of the region. 

The presence of Jain idols indicates the existence of Jainism in the region. The local people might have converted to Veerashivism from Jainism. But this needs to be corroborated from more research, Nadig said.

(Published 22 October 2013, 19:25 IST)

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