Treasure hunting on the rise in Raylaseema region

Gangs are luring public and politicos with demos, maps.

ANANTAPUR: Hidden treasure hunting teams on rise in Raylaseema region following widespread rumours over excavations at Chennampalli Fort area in Kurnool district. Several treasure hunting gangs were luring the enthusiasts of hidden treasures with fake documents and maps about the treasures. Devotees and nature lovers are in a fear of damaging of old structures mostly temples and historic forts in the region.

Archaeological department officials express inability to protect historic structures and temples following rise of treasure hunters who were damaging the idols suspecting diamonds and gold in them. The five-century-old Lord Krishna and Radha statue from Salakam Cheruvu was stolen by hunters. The black stone statue has both Radha and Krishna features on each side, was a sentiment for the villagers who were offering poojas during all special occasions. They couldn’t celebrate Krishnastami this year after the statue was looted by hunters.

Speculations and fake documents of maps and scripts of palm leaf manuscripts over hideouts of rich gold and diamonds were attracting even the politicians who were leading the hunting for the past few days. The gangs were attracting with effective demonstrations about the machinery available with them to dig out the treasures from a depth of even 100 ft. The spread rumours over shifting of gold and diamonds from Hampi during Vijayanagar era.

Sri Ramalingeswara Swamy temple of Madakasira hill was targeted by treasure at least thrice, “Every time we installed centuries old Shiva Lingam, now the stone-carved dwaja stambam was damaged by the hunters. We have to install a new one,” a devotee K. Ramu observed. Police have to keep regular vigil at the Penukonda Fort. Ghanagiri Parirakshana Samithi activist Prathap Reddy, opined that encouragement of digging for treasures was encouraging hunters to damage more temples and forts.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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