Historic Shaligrams stolen from Parbat templeAs many as 49 Shaligrams (ammonite fossils), holding great significance in the Hindu religion, have been stolen from Nrisingha Temple in Modibeni, Parbat.
As many as 49 Shaligrams (ammonite fossils), holding great significance in the Hindu religion, have been stolen from Nrisingha Temple in Modibeni, Parbat.
A group of unidentified people broke into the temple and stole the Shaligrams along with a stone statue of Lord Nrisingha on Saturday night. Gopal Das Paudel, chairman of Nrisingha Temple Management Committee, said the robbery might have taken place around midnight.
The temple management committee claimed that the
stolen Shaligrams were as old as 400 years, with their weight ranging from 1 kg to 5 kg. The temple was home to the Shaligrams after the shrine was constructed in 1890 BS, according to Paudel.
Shaligrams are special fossil stones found mainly on the banks of the Kaligandaki River. Besides its religious importance, Shaligrams are also considered important for geologists who argue that the spherical carvings
are fossils of the aquatic insect named ammonite—now extinct.
The incident came to light only when the priest, Tikaram Bairagi, reached the temple at around 4am to perform his puja and found the door open.
The security personnel recovered some iron tools, photos of some gods and goddess kept inside the temple, a hammer and gloves in a forest nearby. “The donation box stolen from the temple was found on the way towards Kushma, the district headquarters. The thieves might have fled to Kushma after the crime. Investigation of the crime is underway,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Bhuwaneshwor Tiwari.
Keshav Das Bairagi, chairman of Medibeni Dham, estimates the worth of the stolen Shaligrams to be around Rs 1 million.