The discovery of a three-foot-tall stone Hanuman idol while clearing muck in Vrishabhavathi valley on Saturday sent residents and civic authorities into a tizzy: While residents described it as an ancient idol and favoured building a temple at the spot, the civic agency maintained it was an idol recently left behind by a sculptor.
High drama prevailed near Gali Anjaneya Temple, off Mysuru Road, in the afternoon when the earth-digging machine that was cleaning the storm water drain adjacent to Venkateshwara slum pulled out a stone from the mud. The machine operators stopped work to inspect the sculpture. They realised it was a Hanuman idol. Soon word spread to nearby Hampinagar locality about “Hanuman being found in the gutter” and residents started gathering at the spot.
They lifted the idol and and started washing it with packaged water. “I think we have found a very old idol. We are going to build a small temple here and worship it. We will, in fact, celebrate this finding tomorrow,” said C Nanjappa, president of Karnataka Aadhijambaava Kshema Abhivrudhi Sangha.
Locals called a nearby temple priest and told him to perform puja for the idol. They draped an orange sari around the idol, garlanded it with betel leaves and applied vermilion. However, not all were enthused. Hampinagar (ward no. 133) corporator Anand said the idol was not as old as being made out to be, adding that it was disposed of by a sculptor who was working there.
“A few months ago, this sculptor was working in the locality; it is his creation. Residents are needlessly getting excited about it, but I know the sculptor and this is the truth,” said Anand Hosur.
Meanwhile, some residents have demanded the BBMP send the idol to Archaeological Survey of India to ascertain its origin.