Gold-covered mast of Kerala’s Sabarimala temple found damaged; 3 held

Three persons were taken into custody in connection with the incident, officials of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the hill shrine, said.

By: PTI | Sabarimala | Updated: June 25, 2017 7:12 pm
Kerala, Sabarimala temple, Sabarimala temple damage, Lord Ayyappa Temple, Lord Ayyappa Temple damage, india news Kerala: The base (panchavargathara) of the new golden temple mast installed at Sabarimala Ayyappa temple was found destroyed using mercury. (Source: ANI photo)

The newly-installed gold plated mast at the famed Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala was found damaged on Sunday, triggering widespread concern among devotees. Three persons were taken into custody in connection with the incident, officials of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the hill shrine, said. Sabarimala, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, attracts millions of devotees across the country and abroad during the three-month annual pilgrimage season from November-January.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed police to carry out a detailed inquiry into the incident and apprehend the culprits. “Top police officials and forensic experts have rushed to the sannidhanam (temple premises),” he said in a Facebook post. The ‘panchavargathara’, the square base, of the mast was found damaged on Sunday afternoon by using some chemical, suspected to be mercury.

The teakwood mast, covered using 9.16 kg of gold, 300 kg of copper and 17 kg of silver, was ceremonially installed by the head priest, Kandararu Rajeevararu after performing purification rituals in the morning. The damage was noticed in the afternoon after the rituals were over, temple sources said. TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan said temple guards had apprehended three persons, including an elderly man in this connection after examining CCTV visuals at the shrine.

“The CCTV visuals showed that three persons were seen spraying some liquid at the bottom of panchavargathara. We suspect that the liquid was ‘rasam’ (mercury),” he told reporters. He said the persons were handed over to police and further details would be known only after a detailed probe. Meanwhile, state Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the damaging of the panchavargathara using mercury or some other such chemical substance was “mysterious”.

The preliminary assumption of police was that the incident occurred after the afternoon pooja rituals, he said. “We have to find out the motive behind the serious crime. All CCTV visuals at the temple premises are being examined. It will be ensured that the culprits are found out and punished,” the minister added. The 10-day festival at the Sabarimala temple is scheduled to begin on June 28. The shrine will be closed on July 7 after the ‘aarattu’ ritual, which marks the end of the festival.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. G
    George Cruz
    Jun 25, 2017 at 9:55 pm
    For decades the Kerala a majority Hindu state with rich Hindu culture has been hijacked by the communists and their supporters Christians/Muslims who are blinded by their religion, but the good news is the the large Hindu population want to control their destiny from these communists/Christians/Muslims who are NOT SECULAR nor INCLUSIVE and are the biggest hypocrites.
    Reply
    1. N
      Nishanth
      Jun 25, 2017 at 9:47 pm
      When bhakards can throw beef at temple to create communal tension....anything is possible....
      Reply
      1. J
        Jim
        Jun 26, 2017 at 12:01 am
        Go sell your ma ki phudee
        Reply
      2. A
        Antony
        Jun 25, 2017 at 8:53 pm
        Blood thirsty Sanghis are trying their best to destroy the centuries old communal harmony in Kerala. Last month another the main dietys head was destroyed in temple and RSS try to put the blame on the local Muslims. Luckily kerala police arrested the culprit who is a Hindu and was hired by Sanghis to create communal trouble. We can expect many similar incident s likes this as RSS attempts to get foothold in the state. But their communal game plan is not going to work there where people are educated and clearly knows what is happening in bjp ruled states ! People doesn't want this blood thirsty Taliban Sanghis to destroy our state and create another UP or MP where innocent people are killed in the name of beef !
        Reply
        1. M
          MPV
          Jun 26, 2017 at 8:49 am
          As per your comments, looks like you were present at the exact location and that you are very intelligent person, knows a lot about Kerala Politics. Let us recall what Mahatma Gandhiji, Father of Nation had to tell about Christian Conversion of Indians with source and date: "My fear is that though Christian friends nowadays do not say or admit it that Hindu religion is untrue, they must harbour in their breast that Hinduism is an error and that Christianity, as they believe it, is the only true religion. So far as one can understand the present (Christian) effort, it is to uproot Hinduism from her very foundation and replace it by another faith."(Harijan: March 13,1937)
          Reply
        2. A
          Antony
          Jun 25, 2017 at 8:52 pm
          Blood thirsty Sanghis are trying their best to destroy the centuries old communal harmony in Kerala. Last month another the main dietys head was destroyed in temple and RSS try to put the blame on the local Muslims. Luckily kerala police arrested the culprit who is a Hindu and was hired by Sanghis to create communal trouble. We can expect many similar incident s likes this as RSS attempts to get foothold in the state. But their communal game plan is not going to work there where people are educated and clearly knows what is happening in bjp ruled states ! People doesn't want this blood thirsty Taliban Sanghis to destroy our state and create another UP or MP where innocent people are killed in the name of beef !
          Reply
          1. A
            Anad
            Jun 25, 2017 at 8:19 pm
            Why the press utes who show overenthusiasm when similar cases of minorities are defiled by some miscrenant ,publish the names of the 3 miscrenants caught ? Either the miscrenants are from minority community or CPM goons who wants to create communal hatred. Most likely it will be the work of CPM goons who are bend up on destroying anything related to hindu culture and belief. CBI should take the case immediately
            Reply
            1. T
              Tushar
              Jun 25, 2017 at 9:48 pm
              No .people in Kerala would do such a f O O lish Ness ,coz they got many other things to do here ...They don't do such unproductive things which will end up in behind bar.. Coz kerala police are super smart. ... Neither CPM nor Muslims will do this coz. They wudnt want to get into such a sensitive issue ... C P M won't do it because Temple is under the protection of Kerala government devaswam board .. So it will b like cutting own branch .. Muslims are not permitted inside too ..so don't boil ur blood bro .let's wait
              Reply
            2. T
              Tushar
              Jun 25, 2017 at 8:15 pm
              Yup ... CM was spot on it ..and appreciate the temple guards effort ... Most probably the aim behind was robbery
              Reply
              1. M
                Mohan P Katti.
                Jun 25, 2017 at 7:48 pm
                The culprit /culprits must be apprehended and be given severe punishment. We are very much pained at the same time appreciate action taken by the chief minister.
                Reply
                1. Load More Comments