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  India   All India  03 Sep 2018  ‘Where are 16th century jewels given to Tirupati?’

‘Where are 16th century jewels given to Tirupati?’

Published : Sep 3, 2018, 12:55 am IST
Updated : Sep 3, 2018, 12:55 am IST

Acharylu said the TTD had appointed a self-appraisal committee under former Supreme Court justices DP Wadhwa and Justice Jagannadha Rao.

Central Information Commission
 Central Information Commission

New Delhi: Where are the ornaments donated by 16th century Vijayanagara ruler Sri Krishna Devaraya to the Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirupati, the CIC has asked.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has posed this question to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the Culture Ministry, the Andhra Pradesh government and the shrine of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).

Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu in a stern order also asked the Prime Minister’s Office to make public the action contemplated by the Union government to declare Tirumala temples as national monuments and to enforce international obligation to protect the world heritage structures and ornaments.

The commission was hearing the plea of one BKSR Ayyangar who had sought to know from the Prime Minister’s Office the action taken by the government on his representation for declaration of TTD Tirumala Temples as historical and as national heritage monuments. The query was transferred to various authorities but no satisfactory response was provided to Ayyangar who then approached the commission, highest appellate authority in the RTI matters, seeking directions for disclosure in the matter.

During the hearing he alleged TTD, a trust body, was not protecting the 1500-year-old structures in Tirupati as it shelved a 2011 proposal to declare the temple and temples around as ancient monuments under the provisions of Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

Citing a report of Director of Archaeology and Museums, Hyderabad in 2011, the information commissioner pointed out a 20-member team had found that inscriptions engraved on the walls of the Lord Venkateshvara Temple at Tirumala mention ornaments donated by Vijayanagara King Sri Krishna Devaraya.

The report, however, says “no ornament” with the temple tallied with any of those donated by the king, the commissioner noted.

“It is not a wild allegation of the appellant, but a major finding by the director of the Ministry of Culture, which was not acted upon since 2011,” he said.

Acharylu said the TTD had appointed a self-appraisal committee under former Supreme Court justices DP Wadhwa and Justice Jagannadha Rao.

The panel also noted the 'Tiruvabharanam' register, being maintained in Tirumala temple since 1952, had no mention of any temple ornaments received from Vijayanagara emperor Sri Krishna Devaraya and concluded all the items were intact, he said.

“The report pointed out that there was no register for the ornaments in the temple before 1952, except the information of handing over the jewels by a priest in 1939,” he noted.

He said it was not known whether all valuable ornaments were recorded in any document.    

Tags: central information commission, lord venkateswara temple