While Hoysala Utsav was celebrated in a grand manner in Hassan district recently, it is ironic that several temples built by the same Hoysala kings lie neglected in Mandya district, with even instances of sculptures being stolen by miscreants in some of the temples.
Brahmeshwara temple in Kikkeri, Mandya district, which was constructed in the 11th century had 13 sculptures. The temple comes under the department of Archaeology.
A few years ago, two statues were stolen from this temple. Two months ago, six sculptures went missing, leaving only five damaged sculptures in the temple. As the gold and silver valuables and offering box have been left untouched, the theft of the statues has raised suspicions that it might be the handiwork of idol thieves.
As the statues date back to 11th century, their value is estimated to be in crores.
Villagers believe that the sculptures could not have been stolen without the help of locals. It may be recalled that the temple priest Ranganatha Bhat was arrested by the police for alleged sale of tiger pelt, recently.
The Janardhanswamy temple in the same village is also in a dilapidated condition. Volunteers themselves have repaired the front portion of the temple, strengthening it.
Growth of weeds on the temple ‘gopura’ has weakened the structure. The other temples that are in a similar condition are Panchalingeshwara temple, Venugopalaswamy temple and Lakshminarayana temple.
Hoysala period sculptures can be seen at temples in Kikkeri, Hoshalalu, Govindahalli and other places in the district.
But the government has failed to preserve these temples and transform them into tourism spots, residents of Kikkeri rue.
DH News Service