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Emerald in deity’s crown goes missing, Telangana govt orders probe


MAY 6, 2019

The Telangana government on Monday ordered a probe into a missing emerald from the crown of the presiding deity in the famous Gnana Saraswati temple at Basar in Adilabad district, 200 km north of Hyderabad.

Temple priests, who entered the sanctum sanctorum of the temple in the morning, noticed that an emerald stone embedded in the crown of the deity was missing. Initially, they suspected that it could have fallen from the crown while cleansing the idol. But they could not find it despite searching for it.

Some devotees who noticed that the stone in the crown was missing, informed the temple authorities. The devotees expressed concern at lack of safety to the main idol in the sanctum sanctorum.

Executive Officer of the temple, Sandhya Rani told the local reporters that the crown was donated by a donor from Hyderabad in 2006 and it was studded with “nava ratnas” (nine precious stones).

“Though they are not very costly, missing of one of the stones is alarming. We are taking all precautions to ensure safety and security of the temple,” she said.

State endowments minister A Indrakaran Reddy ordered an inquiry into the incident. He directed that the endowment commissioner submit a detailed report into the episode and take appropriate action against the persons responsible.

Last year, the temple ran into a controversy, when a idol of the goddess used in processions was allegedly taken to Nalgonda district for performing ‘Aksharabhyasam’ (initiation of children to education) in a school. An inquiry into the disappearance of the idol revealed that a priest was involved in shifting it to outside the temple. He was suspended from duties for his role in the incident.

The Gnana Saraswati temple at Basar, located on the right bank of Godavari, is famous for Aksharabhyasams. The temple earns revenue of three to four crore rupees per annum. More than a million pilgrims from various parts of Telangana and neighbouring states visit the temple every year.