A greenstone tub dating back to the Vijayanagara period, discovered a week ago in the Government Veterinary Hospital in Ranipet, has been inducted into the Government Museum, here. The artifact was shifted to the Government Museum in the Vellore Fort, following directions from district collector Ajay Yadav to K Saravanan, curator of the museum. It has been kept on public display at the museum since Friday. “This is a unique piece that belongs to the 15th or 16th century,” said Saravanan.
The tub was found a week back at the veterinary hospital premises, where it was lying for several years, when one of the officials noticed the inscriptions carved on it, revealing its historical significance.
Pointing out that the tub resembled those found inside the sanctum sanctorum of Sri Jalagandeeswarar Temple in the Vellore Fort, Saravanan said the tub may have been used to collect and store water and fruits for abhishekam.
The tub that measures 34 cm in height, 54 cm in diameter and 5 cm in thickness, carries bas-relief sculptures of a lingam with a trisoolam on its right and Nandhi on its left. The tub has a hole measuring around 1.5 cm in diameter, to pour out water after cleaning.
The Sun and crescent moon were also found on either side of the lingam with Telugu inscriptions. However, the inscriptions were not clear, Saravanan added. “We are planning to take estampage of the inscriptions to find out whether it was a donation to any temple and decipher the message they carry,” Saravanan said.