In one of the rare seizures made by the Customs Department in Chennai, its sleuths on Wednesday seized a more than 400-year-old brass idol of Lord Ganapati from a house in neighbouring Kancheepuram district.
Acting on specific inputs that an export consignment was to be shipped, the sleuths seized the large “Nritya” (dancing) Ganapati idol.
Measuring 5.25 feet in height and weighing 130 kg, the idol was not registered with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act. The idol was with fine details and was warped adhering to mythological traditions based on ancient techniques, a press release said.
Marks of wear and tear were found on the idol indicating the usage for a long time, the release said, adding seizure of the idol was the largest by the Customs Department.
During investigation, it emerged that the idol was sent by an exporter from Chennai to Kancheepuram for treating it as per the requirement of the client to facilitate smuggling, the release said. ASI officials, who examined the idol, declared it to be of more than 400 years old dating to the Vijayanagara-Nayak period based on the iconographic details.
“Nritya” (dancing) Ganapati was regarded as the 15th among the different forms of Lord Ganapati and worshipping this form was believed to give proficiency and success in dance and fine arts. The form of Ganapati was seen mainly as a stone sculpture and the metallic form of Nritya Ganapati of this size was also considered rare, the release said.