Home News Reports 16th century Brindavana of Sri Vyasaraja near Hampi in Karnataka desecrated and vandalised by unidentified miscreants

16th century Brindavana of Sri Vyasaraja near Hampi in Karnataka desecrated and vandalised by unidentified miscreants

Taking into account the manner in, which the site was dug up, the police suspected it to be an act of finding the hidden treasure buried in the ground. The incident was doubted to have occurred during the lunar eclipse early on Wednesday.

The 16th-century Brindavana (tomb) of Saint Vyasaraja Swamy, Rajaguru of Vijayanagara Emperor Krishnadevaraya was desecrated and vandalised in Anegundi near Hampi on Thursday. It was one among the nine Brindavans (of the nine saints of the tradition) at the Nava Brindavana Gadde (island) premises on the bank of River Tungabhadra in Karnataka.

The incident came to light when some followers visited the site for performing rituals on Thursday morning, a day after the lunar eclipse.

Taking into account the manner in which the site was dug up, the police suspected it to be an act of searching for hidden treasure buried in the ground. The incident was doubted to have occurred during the lunar eclipse early on Wednesday.

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Renuka K. Sukumar, Superintendent of Police, Koppal, told The Hindu, “As we received the information, our teams rushed to the spot. We prima facie feel that this is the act of treasure-hunters. We found some puja material on the spot. It is evident that some kind of puja was offered to the seat of the saint. Our scientific investigation team, including the forensic experts, are already at the spot, collecting the samples for further investigation. The dog squad is also there. I have constituted a special team headed by Circle Inspector of Police attached to Gagavathi Rural circle to crack the case. I am confident that we will lay our hands shortly on the guilty.”

This incident comes as a big jolt to the Madhwa community as this tomb belonged to one of the most celebrated saints of the Madhwa tradition. As the news of desecration spread, seers of different maths and followers of the tradition started rushing towards Nava Brindavan.

Many Twitter users have condemned the act and called it a deliberate attempt to provoke and humiliate Hindus.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Prahlad Joshi, condemning the incident instructed Koppal SP to immediately arrest the miscreants and provide security to the holy place.

The Nava Brindavan, located on an island in the Tungabhadra River comprises Brundaavanas of nine Hindu Madhva saints who belong to the Uttaradi Mutt, Sri Raghavendra mutt, Sri Vyasaraja mutt and the Sri Sri Padaraja mutt. These mutts amongst other prominent Madhwa mutts are located in an open space without any security. This place is considered to be the holiest spots for Madhwas. These premise witnesses religious activities only when followers visit them during Aradhana.

Saint Vyasaraja Tirtha, whose tomb has been vandalised, was the spiritual guru for Sri Krishnadevaraya, the mightiest emperor of the Vijayanagar Empire. He entered the Brindavan in 1539. He was the 12th Yati in the Madhwacharya lineage. His Aradhana (death anniversary) is celebrated by the Sosale Vyasaraja Mutt.

According to social media posts, by evening devotees have started reconstruction of the site.
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In a similar incident, a UNESCO world heritage site in Hampi was vandalised in February 2019. In a video that went viral on social media, three men were seen wrecking the pillars of 14th century Vishnu temple and the subsequent exultation by the trio after the pillars were broken down.

Later, the four accused reportedly admitted their guilt and were subsequently released after they remitted ₹2.8 lakhs fine and assured to re-erect the pillars in the presence of Archaeological Survey of India officials, the Hampi police inspector, and other officials.

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