A Bicycle Was Carved on An Old Temple Wall, But Not 2000 Years Ago

Photos of an ancient temple carving are going viral, with the claim that the bicycle was discovered in India.

Updated
WebQoof
3 min read
 Don’t fall for fake news, <a href="https://www.thequint.com/news/webqoof">click here</a> to check out The Quint’s WebQoof stories. &nbsp;
Don’t fall for fake news, click here to check out The Quint’s WebQoof stories.  

CLAIM:

Photos and videos of an ancient temple carving showing a man seated on a bicycle are going viral, with the claim that the vehicle was discovered in India.

The carving was found at the Panchavarna Swamy temple in Tamil Nadu's Woraiyur. The video of the carving was uploaded by one Praveen Mohan. In the video, Mohan is heard saying that the bicycle was carved over 2,000 years ago, and was hence known to Indians even then, as against its invention 200 years ago by the Germans.

A Bicycle Was Carved on An Old Temple Wall, But Not 2000 Years Ago
(Photo: The Quint)

The message along with the photo, sent in to us by a reader, said:

This photograph is taken from the Temple called Panchavarna Swamy. Temple in Uraiyur, in Trichy. This temple is supposed to be built in the 7th century. Approximately 1300 years back this statue of cycle has been chiseled. But it is said that only English invented bicycle 200 years back. It is a matter of pride that bicycle was known to us even 1300 years back 🙏🙏 (sic).

Several news websites, not just Indian, have suscribed to this claim.

A Bicycle Was Carved on An Old Temple Wall, But Not 2000 Years Ago
A Bicycle Was Carved on An Old Temple Wall, But Not 2000 Years Ago
A Bicycle Was Carved on An Old Temple Wall, But Not 2000 Years Ago

True or False?

FALSE.

According to a report by The Hindu, neither history researchers nor officials concerned with the temple were able to explain the carving. However, Dr Kalaikovan, an ophthalmologist and a history enthusiast, dug deeper into the carving to reach the conclusion that the carving could have emerged around the 1920s, when the temple was renovated.

Perhaps the sculptor had seen someone on a cycle, was impressed by it and had recorded it forever on stone.

Fake news debunker SMHoaxSlayer corroborated Dr Kalaikovan's theory by speaking to the head of the Centre of History Research. Quoting him, SMHoaxSlayer reported that the carving was most likely a relic from the British era.

Hardly the First Time

According to Snopes, this is hardly the first time a "modern" object has been depicted on the walls of an ancient structure. Photographs of a carving depicting an astronaut on the walls of an ancient 12th century Spanish Cathedral went viral as an "unexplained" phenomenon.

However, it was later proven that the carving was added in the 1900s during a renovation, much as in the case of the bicycle.

(Not convinced of a story you came across on social media and want it verified? Send us the details at WebQoof@TheQuint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)

Published: 
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!