A photo of an idol of the Hindu deity Nandi found buried in the ground has been shared with the claim that it was excavated from underneath a mosque.

The image is massively viral on Facebook. The viral text associated with the image is – “हर मस्जिद -मजार की यही कहानी है..नीचे दबी हिंदुत्व की ही निशानी है.”

The same image was also viral in 2021.

It was shared on Facebook pages “मै कट्टर हिन्दू” and “पुष्पेन्द्र कुलश्रेष्ठ Fans“.

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One Rajeev Tuli tweeted the image in September 2021 and wrote, “This is the truth of every Islamic tomb or mosque.” The post had garnered over 2,800 retweets at the time of writing. (Archive link)

It was widespread on Facebook back then as well.

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We performed a reverse image search and found the original image posted by a Twitter handle named ‘Lost Temples’. The user wrote that a large Nandi idol was discovered during an excavation at Mohanur’s Sellandiamman Temple in the Namakkal district.

We also discovered that these images were first shared on social media on September 1, 2021, and this post also mentions that the images were taken at a temple in the Namakkal district.

Namakkal is located in Tamil Nadu and using this as a hint, Alt News performed a keyword search in Tamil. We found an article dated September 2 on Dinamalar about the renovation of Selandiamman Temple. An old idol of Nandi was found while workers were digging around the temple. The temple officials notified the revenue department and the concerned officials took the idol off their hands. The archaeological department is currently examining the statue currently housed at the Salem Museum.

Tamil news portal Vikatan also published a report about the Nandi idol being discovered while digging was underway around a temple in Namakkal.

Tamil news channel Puthiya Thalaimurai TV’s broadcast on the temple renovation can be watched below.

A false claim was therefore promoted on social media that a Nandi idol was found under a mosque when, in fact, the idol was dug out from underneath a temple in Tamil Nadu. This is a recurring piece of misinformation. Photos of Gwalior Fort were shared as Jain Temple discovered upon the demolition of a mosque. Another photo from MP was falsely shared as a Hanuman idol found at the allotted site for a mosque in Ayodhya. An artist’s digital creation was also similarly shared as a temple discovered upon the demolition of a mosque in Karnataka.

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