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Puri temple deities stolen

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Yes, Lord Jagannatha was stolen. Apparently one person who was greedy for the Lord, placed him in his heart and carried him across the ocean to foreign lands. But rather than keeping this treasure to himself, he distributed it around the world where ever he went. Now Lord Jagannatha is worshipped in all directions, with Ratha Yatras every year, in countries around the world. Jaya Jagannatha Posted Image



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Jagannath idols stolen from Sri Jagannath temple



Close on the heels of the burglary at the 11th century Lingaraj temple at Bhubaneswar a week ago, miscreants stole two idols including that of lord Madan Mohan from the Sri Jagannath temple here early Sunday, police said.


The two feet high 'ashtadhatu' (eight metal) idol, regarded as the representative of lord Jagannath, was found missing when sevayats came to open the sanctum sanctorum of the 12th century shrine at dawn Sunday.


The silver idol of Narayani -- considered the deity of the new moon day -- was also untraceable, temple administration sources said.


The "ratna bhandar" of the temple, where huge quantities of precious jewellery and ornaments of the deities were kept, was found to be safe, the sources said.


Police, however, described the act as a definite attempt to rob the "ratna bhandar" which had failed.


Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, revenue and law minister Biswabhushan Harichandan and senior police officials have rushed here from Bhubaneswar to take stock of the situation.


The temple administrator, Bhabani Shankar Panda said that the lock on a side entrance of the sanctum sanctorum, inside which the deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are kept on the 'ratna simhasan' had been found broken.


The thieves had also broken locks of two offices within the temple complex but no valuables were kept there.


The morning rituals of the deities were delayed due to the incident as the idol of Madan Mohan was associated with all rituals of the shrine.


Even the 'mangala arati' supposed to commence at 5.00 am, had not begun till noon, temple sources said.


The sources said the 'mukti mandap', the highest policy making body of the temple, was being consulted to find a way out to commence the rituals. Police had sealed the sanctum sanctorum even as thousands of people thronged the temple to have "darshan" of the deities on the occasion of 'ekadasi' day in the auspicious Oriya month of Kartika Sunday.


Temple sources said as per tradition, three sevayats -- 'mudra sevak', 'muduli' and 'talachhua mahapatra' -- had locked and sealed different gates of the main temple after the last ritual of 'pahuda' (sleeping of the deities) was completed.


After that the temple was cleared of all visitors at around 2.00 am. Early in the morning, when some sevayats went inside to open the door, they found it open with the lock smashed. The police was then informed.


On Monday night, thieves had stolen about ten kg of silver ornaments, some gold and four costly saris of goddess Parvati from the 11th century Lingaraj temple at Bhubaneswar. Police was yet to make any breakthrough in the case.


According to official sources, one havildar and eight constables of state police had been deployed at different places inside the temple complex last night. Besides, three personnel of Jagannath temple police were also on duty near the 'beherana dwar' inside the shrine.


Sevayats, stunned over the development, described the burglary from the sri Jagannath temple on the 'ekadasi' day as "a bad omen for the state". The miscreants had also struck at the Lingaraj temple on Monday night, considered an auspicious day, they said. The Orissa police and the temple

police are responsible for the security of the shrine, the maintenance of which has been entrusted to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).


The shrine, besides the sanctum sanctorum, comprised of over thirty smaller temples within its sprawling premises. Even as the pilgrim city -- also a magnificent sea resort police had sealed all entry and exit points from the city.


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Madan Mohan idol recovered from inside temple


The idol of Madan Mohan, found missing from Sri Jagannath temple, was recovered from inside a well in the temple complex Monday, official sources said.


However, another idol of Narayani, also missing since Sunday, is yet to be traced. The two feet high 'astadhatu' (eight metals) idol of Madan Mohan, regarded as representative of lord Jagannath was sighted in a well inside nilachal upabana in the 12th century temple complex, the sources said.


Fire brigade personnel pumped out the water and retrieved the idol, the disappearance of which had caused commotion in the temple town forcing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to seek a CBI probe.


There are over a dozen wells inside the shrine complex and efforts were on to pump out water from them to trace the idol of Narayani, the sources added.


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The thieves are probably just low-level criminals who would be selling it for scrap, if they could. They may have been drinking alcohol. They are probably very scared now, and will want to cut it up and melt it, or even throw it away.


The best way to get it back intact is this:


The police should try to make it seem like they have very good leads and that they will find the correct thieves and even frame them if they have to. If the item does not get recovered, then the thieves are in big trouble. This will make the thieves think that they have nothing to gain by selling or destroying the item.


The state should offer a complete amnesty covering this and all the thieves other former crimes, and protection from the police and a reward for whoever returns it. The temple priests should start a propaganda campaign, saying that they feel responsible for being negligent and that if the thieves return the item, then the thieves are not very bad and will be forgiven.


[This message has been edited by darwin (edited 11-12-2001).]

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Temple monkey leads police to stolen idol


Jatindra Dash in Bhubaneswar


A monkey played a key role in the recovery of one of two idols stolen from

the world-famous Jagannath temple in Puri, 56km from the state capital

Bhubaneswar, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday.


The idol of Madan Mohan, made of ashtadhatu, an alloy of eight metals

including gold and silver and weighing 18 kilograms, was found in a well

inside the 12th century temple complex on Monday.


Idols of Madan Mohan and Narayan, both avatars of the god Jagannath, were

stolen on Sunday, shocking Hindus who rushed to the temple town from all

parts of the state for a glimpse of the shrine. Some 30,000 devotees also

began a fast, ending it only after the recovery of one of the idols.

The Oriya language daily Dharitri reported that had it not been for a monkey

that lives in the temple complex the police would still be searching for the

Madan Mohan idol.


While police were searching the temple complex, the monkey kept raising its

paw and making sounds to attract the attention of the officer supervising

the work, the paper reported.


The officer, Ajit Das, did not take the animal seriously. But some priests

advised him to approach it. As Das walked towards the animal it again raised

its paws and pointed towards a well.


Taking the cue, the police pumped water out from the well to find the idol

at the bottom, the paper reported.


Monkeys are often in the news in Orissa, but for all the wrong reasons. Only

two days ago the same newspaper had reported an incident where a monkey had

plunged an entire town into darkness by causing a short circuit at a



The entire state has been put on high alert and police are checking vehicles

and even interrogating people accused of idol smuggling in the past.

Thirteen policemen have been sacked and the four who guarded the temple

complex have been arrested.


"We suspect that the second idol may also be inside the temple premises. We

are pumping out water from all the 11 wells located inside the complex,"

state police chief N C Padhi said.


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How much security is there in these temples?


Note: For some reason I was not able to use Internet for the last few days. I used to post earlier in a different user name. I don't have any intentions of confusing people by using two user names. Now I will not be using my previous username at all.


jndas ji,

Please make me senior member fast.

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