Deccan Chronicle

Miscreants torch junked chariot wheels of AP's Kanipakam temple

Deccan Chronicle. | DC Correspondent

Published on: January 28, 2022 | Updated on: January 28, 2022

Kanipakam temple in-charge EO P. Kasthuree disclosed that the original chariot of the temple is safe and intact

Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka Swamy Temple in Kanipakam. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka Swamy Temple in Kanipakam. (Photo: Wikipedia)

TIRUPATI: Tension prevailed across the temple town of Kanipakam in Chittoor district after unidentified persons set fire to old chariot wheels of ancient Varasiddhi Vinayaka Swamy Temple during early hours of Thursday.

Sources said the wheels had been removed from the chariot in 2007 for safety reasons. They had been kept in temple’s godown until 2014. The wheels, along with other scrap materials, were later shifted to an open place near Goshala, about half-a-kilometre from the temple.

On Thursday morning, locals noticed the chariot wheels burning. They informed temple authorities, who alerted local police. Before police reached the spot, the wheels had got completely burnt. Only charred pieces remained.

It is suspected someone may have started the fire, as there is no chance of wheels catching fire accidentally. When Deccan Chronicle contacted assistant commissioner and in-charge executive officer of Kanipakam temple P. Kasthuree, she disclosed that the original chariot of the temple is safe and intact. All equipment related to the chariot is under storage in sheds that are guarded and under CCTV surveillance. 

"We suspect some scavengers torched the wheels for their metal hub and rivets. We have launched an internal probe and also lodged a complaint with police," the EO stated.

When contacted, DSP N. Sudhakar Reddy told DC that a police team had visited the spot and collected details. CCTV footage of the temple and surroundings has been taken over and is being analysed. "We will unearth facts soon and take action against those involved," the DSP declared.

Sri Varasiddhi Vinayaka Swamy Temple in Kanipakam village is about 12 km from headquarters of Chittoor district. The temple is believed to have been built in early 11th Century CE by King Kulothunga Chola I of Chola dynasty. Regular enhancements had been made to the temple, including in 1336 by the Emperor of Vijayanagara dynasty.

Around one crore devotees annually visit this thousand-year-old shrine, which attracts visitors from all over the country.

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