Chola I king idol worth Rs 100 cr recovered

By NT Bureau Published on May 30, 2018 04:06 PM IST

Chennai: Two missing panchaloha idols of Chola King Rajaraja Chola I and his wife Ulagamahadevi, dating back to the 10th century, were recovered from the Calico Museum and Sarabhai Foundation in Ahmedabad last night.

A team, led by Inspector General of Police Idol Wing Pon Manickavel traced the idols that went missing 50 years back.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Idol Wing, Venkatraman, and his team are in the process of bringing back the stolen artefacts to the city.

The Chola King donated two of the copper idols to Thanjavur temple during his reign. The king had donated a total of 66 copper idols to Thanjavur and Thiruvaiyaru temples during his rule.

The idols included Kolgai Devar, Chetta Balan and Vasudevan. The records reveal that the Chola King had also donated silver articles to the temples.

During the investigation, the team found that the Chola King's idol, measuring two-and-a-half inches and his wife Ulagamahadevi (2 inches) went missing from the Thanjavur temple.

The administration staff sold the idols to Rao Bahadur Srinivasan of the same place five decades back. In turn, Srinivasan sold the two figurines to Gowtham Sarabhai based in Chennai.

"The idols had changed hands several times and found their current place in the museum in Ahmedabad. The sleuths interrogated persons above 70 years to trace its trail. We have recovered the idols and are bringing them back to the State," a police officer said.

It is said the Chola King's idol is worth over Rs 100 crore and the other figurine holds a market value of Rs 50 crore.