Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 7:
Seven 10th Century Jain idols recovered from Biripada village under Muniguda Tehsil in Rayagada will find place in Odisha State Museum here in the capital city soon.
The district administration had informed the state Archaeology department to take the recovered items into their possession. As of now, six idols have been sent to the department and one more is still there at the Ambadola police station.
“These idols would be handed over to the State Museum in the coming days. The authorities would do the scavenging and necessary tests on it before putting it on display. The authorities have already been communicated regarding this,” a source said.
A faint impression of ancient scriptures inscribed on one of the idols has been found. Cleaning of the thick layer would help determine the civilisation to which the idols belong, he added.
“The preliminary investigation reveals that the idols are of Mahaveer and Siddhanath. While three are in sitting posture, three others are in a standing position. The metal idols range from 4-6 inch high and one of them is made of bronze. It is very difficult to ascertain the type of metal of other idols as it is coated with a thick black layer. We would be able to identify the metal object after cleaning the layer,” State Archaeology department Curator, Ashwini Kumar Satpathy said.
Notably, archaeology department officials have collected some red and black pieces of earthen objects. These would also be examined along with the idols to find out their history.
Archaeologists are of the view that there might have existed a human civilisation on the banks of Bansadhara river as records suggest that Jain followers had settled down in the undivided Koraput district centuries ago.
It may be recalled that some youth from Biripada village, along the Bansadhara river, were digging an abandoned ditch for edible roots last month. During their exploration, they stumbled upon these metal idols. The Ambadola police had taken these idols under its possession then.
After getting information from the locals, Ambadola police station IIC, Ranjib Kumar Pradhan reached the spot and had taken possession of the idols. He later informed the archaeology department officials to explore the discovery.