An idol of Nandi in a 500-year-old temple of Lord Shiva in the village of Devalampeta in the Palaman Mandal, 50 km from here, is said to have disappeared a week ago.
The episode came to light on Sunday and caused flutter in several wooded villages nearby.
According to the Palamaner Police, the ancient Shiva temple, which is located deep in the Jagamarla forests near the Moghili Ghat section, attracts a large number of devotees during the Maha Shivaratri celebrations, but would for the rest of the year in silence.
Some villagers had turned to the police on Saturday and said that the idol had not been found since March 26th. A team of police officers visited the village to inquire about the incident.
“It is a stone idol from Nandi that is located in front of the main temple. A police officer said it was not yet clear when the idol disappeared. The villagers have filed a complaint and an investigation is ongoing, ”said one police officer.
In the past, incidents have been reported by some temples in the Chittoor district of breaking Nandi idols believed to have been committed by treasure hunters. Following the infamous Ramatheertham episode, Chittoor Police took action and installed digital surveillance at hundreds of endangered temples across the district.