An idol resembling the famous Channakeshava of Hoysala temple at Belur was found during sand extraction at Hale Belur in Sakleshpur taluk recently. The local people noticed the idol while extracting sand on the bank of river Hemavathi on Tuesday.
The idol suffered dents as it was hit by an earthmover employed for sand extraction. The local people carried the idol to the Channakeshava temple in the village, and informed the Revenue Department officials. The idol is about 4.5 ft tall and said to be of the 12th century, the period when famous Hoysala temples were built.
H.B. Jaikumar, Sakleshpur Tahsildar, and other officers visited the village on Wednesday and collected details about the idol from the villagers. The officer said he would bring the issue to the notice of senior officers and take further action necessary to protect the idol.
Kumar H.C., curator of the Archaeology Museum in Hassan, visited the spot on Thursday. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Kumar said the idol had been kept in the premises of the Channakeshava temple, which is being renovated, in the village. “Barring minor dents, the idol is in good condition. I will submit a report to the Director of Museums about the idol and seek his directions for preserving it”, he said.
He also interacted with the villagers and appealed to them to hand the idol over to the museum. “As broken idols cannot be worshipped, I have appealed them to hand it over. At present, it would remain in the village. The villagers have kept it in a secure place”, he said.
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