Locals and BDA officials were surprised early on Friday morning when a Shaneshwara idol was exhumed from the Varthur lakebed.
The idol was found when the lake’s northeastern side was dug up to create a waste water weir. Locals who worship lord Shaneshwara did not want to let the badly damaged statue to be discarded. The statue is said to be 15-20 years old.
The unprecedented discovery in a lakebed is owed to the BDA digging up to 20 feet for the first time for the waste weir. Historical relics such as cannons and idols were found before while digging the ground for metro.
BDA executive engineer Mahadeva Gowda said he did not know the statue’s provenance and added that no one had claimed ownership. While no decision has been made on what to do with the statue, the BDA said it would discuss the matter with its commissioner and chairman. The statue has been kept near the construction site. Gowda believed someone immersed the idol in the lake since it was damaged, pointing to the absence of temples closer to the waterbody.
Locals said they would keep the statue at an important place. They pointed out that there are two Shaneshwara temples in villages around the Varthur Lake. One of them was built 15 years ago in Tarunte village near Rajabavi.
As worshipers of Shaneshwara, locals feel superstitious about the statue. Since the idol was not made of black stone — which is typically used in making such idols — they say it was not worshipped before.