1,000-yr-old Hassan temple's idol broken

1,000-yr-old Hassan temple's idol broken

The broken idol.

The destruction of the idol of Dakshina Kali or Bhadrakali at Doddagaddavalli Chatushkuta Temple, which dates back to 1113 CE, in Hassan has prompted an investigation by the district police following allegations of foul play.

Balakrishna D J, a Carnatic musician, who lives opposite to the temple in Doddagaddavalli, told DH that the idol was found broken in two pieces on Friday morning.

"The idol was intact and my brother Venkatesh had performed pooja yesterday evening. Today (Friday), around 6.45 am, while lighting the lamp he saw the idol had fallen on its face and broken in two," he said.

A shocked Venkatesh took the upper part of the face and placed it in an upright position. "It's a heavy idol made of Krishna Shile (black granite). We don't know what caused this. We did not hear any noise at night," Balakrishna added.

Manoj G, archaeologist and Indology researcher said the temple has a special place in the culture and archeological history of the state. "It is the only Hoysala temple with four garbhagruhas (sanctum sanctorum). Unfortunately, it was not well protected. The Archeological Survey of India could have done better by installing steel doors to the temple," he said.

The temple, he said, was built by Mallishetty, a trader, and his wife who visited Kolhapur in Maharashtra. "They dreamed of building a 'Dakshina Kolhapura'. We have lost a treasure of history and archaelology. It is time the officials wake up," he said.

Archeological Survey of India's Bangalore Circle superintending archaeologist Shivakant Bajpai said the police have begun an investigation into the issue.

Former minister C T Ravi said the 'desecration of the idol' needs to be investigated and urged the home minister to set up a special team.

To a question, Hassan superintendent of police R Srinivasa Gowda said the temple had no guard and the doors were not locked. "As of now, we cannot comment on who destroyed the idol," he said.

Balakrishna said an ASI official used to visit the temple but stopped coming about four months ago.