Civic officials shocked as this neglected Panchaloha Gandhi statue has 40kg of gold in it

Years of neglect was telling on a five-foot-tall Gandhi statue at a park near the Four-Road junction at Panruti.

Published: 20th September 2016 05:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2016 08:35 AM   |  A+A-

CUDDALORE: Years of neglect was telling on a five-foot-tall Gandhi statue at a park near the Four-Road junction at Panruti. Dust had accumulated on the layers of paintwork, haphazardly done in bursts of administrative energy. When the civic body officials  swung into action to give the park a much-needed facelift, little did they know that amid the thick outgrowth of weeds was hidden a treasure trove.

The statue that braved the elements for over six decades was found to be made of Panchaloha - an amalgamation of five precious metals and alloys - worth several crores of rupees, with gold comprising around 25 per cent of the statue’s 200-odd kg weight.

Gandhi.jpgSources said that the statue was installed in the park around six decades ago, when the present Panruti municipality was only a village panchayat. Apart from the few and far between maintenance, the park was largely ignored for nearly 60 years until Panruti municipal chairman Paneer Selvam decided to renovate the recreation spot for `30 lakh.

Around 10 days ago, the statue was relocated from its mandapam and the area was given a fresh coat of paint and patchwork. With Gandhi Jayanti approaching, the municipality engineers felt the need for a fresh coat of paint on the statue.

While the painters were scrapping off the old coat, they reached the surface and were surprised to see it glittering. On information, municipal chairman Paneer Selvam rushed to the spot with a team of goldsmiths, headed by a jeweller S V Vairakannu, who confirmed the statue to be made of Panchaloha.

“The statue weighs around 200 kg. The team said the proportion of gold in the statue might be 25 per cent. If true, there could be around 40 kg gold, making the statue worth several crores,” a municipal official told Express.

As the news spread, traders and residents thronged the park to see the statue that they hitherto did not even spare a glance for. Paneer Selvan and municipal commissioner Perumal have decided to spruce up the security by installing CCTV cameras, iron gates and appointing security guards.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp