Hatkoti Ganesha Theft
A stone sculpture of the Hindu god Ganesha was stolen and possibly smuggled out of the country from the Devi temple at Hatkoti 100 kilometres to the east of Shimla on 12/13 February 2006. The theft was registered with the police on 13 February 2006 at the police station Jubbal under FIR No. 11/06.
The sculpture was built into a niche on the left side of the (restored) stairs leading up to the main shrine.
Hatkoti is a celebrated religious centre in the Pabbar river valley, a tributary of the Tons. This area was under the control of the Imperial Pratiharas in the past. Ganesha datable to the tenth century, was published by Hari Chauhan of the Language and Culture Department of Himachal Pradesh in an article entitled "Hatkoti: Religious Sanctity and Cultural Heritage", Marg, Volume 53, March 2002, Issue No.3, Fig. 3. The photograph illustrated here is courtesy of the author of the article. Chauhan describes the sculpture as wearing "a small crown, necklace, bracelet, sarpayajnovita (sacred thread in the form of a serpent), and a loincloth. He is shown as usual, pot-bellied and has a single tusk with trunk turned to his left. The deity has eight arms. He holds a snake above his head. The right upper hand in tarjani mudra carries an aksasutra (rosary); the right lower hand holds a mushroom-like object, most likely a parasol, while the lowermost right hand holds an axe. The left upper hand holds a radish, the lower left hand holds a modak (sweet), while the lowermost hand is broken. At the foot of the image are two attendants on either side while on the upper portion two female figures, most probably Ganesha's consorts Riddhi and Siddhi, are depicted."
This Ganesha, stolen in 2006 may have already appeared in the market. It is being put on the web to alert anyone who may have collected it even in ignorance, that it is a stolen piece. He must give up possession at once by reporting it to the Indian diplomatic mission in his country or INTERPOL.