Kancheepuram (TN): Fourteen bronze idols dating to the 16th century and consecrated by medieval king Krishnadevaraya have been discovered in an underground vault of a temple near Tirupati.
A team of researchers in inscriptions led by R Nagaswami, former Archaeological Survey India Director, Kanchi Junior Acharya Vijayendra Saraswathi and Acharya, member, National Sanskrit Commission, stumbled on the idols yesterday when they had gone to study the inscriptions of the Kariya Manicka Perumal temple at Nagalapuram.
The temple staff had informed them about the inscriptions.
The idols dating to 1524 AD had been consecrated by King Krishnadevaraya who had built the village of Nagalapuram in his mother's memory, Nagaswami said.
"The 14 idols, 60 cm in height, in standing posture and some bearing weapons, are well preserved," Nagaswami said. According to Nagaswami, one of the idols was that of Veda Vyasa, depicted as carrying a palm leaf made of bronze rivetted to his palm, displaying a couplet from the 'Vishnu Sahasranamam' (couplets in praise of Lord Vishnu). The scripts were in 'Tamil Grantham' (ancient Tamil script), he said.
'There are also idols of Lord Ganesha and Dhakshinamurthi (Lord Shiva) and Lord Vishnu as Mathsyavathaar (Lord in fish form -- one of the ten avatars).'
The study of scripts told the story of Krishnadevaraya building the pillar of victory in the temple to celebrate his victory over King Gajapathi.
"As per the scripts, the king is stated to have proceeded to Kumbakonam after consecrating the idols, to participate in the Mahamakam festival (similar to Kumbh Mela)," he said.
King Krishnadevaraya ruled the medieval empire of Vijayanagaram in south India from 1509 to 1529.
First Published: Saturday, June 05, 2010, 10:09