37 Years After Being Smuggled Out, Lord Nataraja Idol Returns From Australia To Tamil Nadu’s Kallidaikurichi TempleThe stolen Nataraja idol (@poetryinstone/twitter)

Having been traced almost a year back, a 600-year-old, two-and-a-half-foot Nataraja idol weighing around 100 kg has returned to Tamil Nadu’s Kallidaikurichi Temple today (13 September), The Hindu reports.

The idol had been handed over to the idol wing team from the state led by special officer A G Ponn Manickavel in New Delhi who then brought it to the Puratchi Thalaivar Dr M G Ramachandran Central Railway Station by train.

“There are more stolen idols (to be) recovered from foreign countries such as the USA, Australia and Singapore. We will try our best to bring back those idols in the remaining months of my tenure,” Manikavel has been quoted as saying.

Locals thronged the station to welcome the idol back with poojas being performed and a procession was taken out to mark its return after 37 years.

The Manickavel-led team had traced the idol which was stolen from the Kulasekaramudayar Aramvalartha Nayaki Amman temple (built by Kulasekara Pandian) at Kallidaikurichi on 5 July 1982 almost a year ago.

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