Rare shiva linga found near Ambur

A group of workers laying the foundations of a house on land belonging to a dairy farmer in Thuthipattu village near Ambur in Tirupattur have unearthed a 500-year-old shiva linga.

A team of officials from the Government Museum in Vellore, led by curator K. Saravanan, inspected the linga on Saturday and traced its origin to the late Vijayanagara era in the 16th century. “We found a similar greenstone lingam on land in Arani [in Tiruvannamalai district] a decade and a half ago,” Mr. Saravanan said. The Hindu.

To build a small concrete house for Farmer S. Ramesh, workers were deepening part of the land to lay the foundation when one of them struck a stone idol at a depth of seven feet. The workers alerted the owner, who informed the police and the village administrative officer.

Workers lifted the stone idol with a mechanized crane in the presence of tax officials and police. The shiva linga, which is two feet tall and 1.5 feet wide, has no structural damage.

Officials said that under the Indian Treasure Trove Act of 1878, anything below a depth of one foot belongs to the government. This treasure must be handed over to the district treasury, the tax collector being the sole custodian.

In this case, a report from Vellore Government Museum will be sent to Chennai Museums Director and Tirupattur Collector. Museum officials said the collector would be invited to display the linga at the Vellore Museum for students and others to learn about the area’s rich past.

The shiva linga, according to archaeologists, is around 500 years old and belonged to the Vijayanagara era as it was during this time that the region saw more temple construction. Additionally, most of the sculptures and idols in the area, including the idols worshiping at Jalakanteshwara Temple, an ASI-protected monument in Vellore, belong to this period and are made of green stones found in abundance along from the hills of Jawadhu to Tiruvannamalai.

Like Sriperumbudur (the birthplace of Saint Ramanuja), the region along the Palar was a great center for Vaishnavites and Shaivaites. The green stone linga found near Ambur is a detachable linga, another feature of the time. With the discovery of the linga, the area was set aside for excavation, officials said.

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