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Durga idol found in Ekamrakhetra, Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: A stone idol of Devi Durga (Mahisasuramardini) with intricate carving has been found by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) while clearing the sanctum sanctorum of the recently discovered temple in the premises of Suka Sari temple complex behind the Bhabani Shankar temple.

The idol of the Mahisasuramardini is the central deity of the temple.

“It’s difficult to estimate the exact date of the idol, after analysis we could conclude,” said a senior archaeologist working at the site.

A few days back, sculptures of Ardhanarishvara, Lord Vishnu, a decorative panel were also discovered from the site. Several inscriptions in the Brahmi script were also found on the walls of the temple.

Archeologists believe that the temple was deliberately buried. “This is for the first we witnessed such a temple which has been preserved in a planned way. It was deliberately packed, as a laterite stone wall was constructed around the temple before sealing it. This could be an example of burying a temple instead of demolishing it,” shared ASI Superintending Archaeologist (Bhubaneswar circle) Arun Malik.

The architectural structure of the temple is similar to the 7th-century Parashurameshvara Temple, however, archaeologists believe this temple could be from the 6th century or earlier than that.

“It is an interesting discovery and we have a long way to go. The carvings found on the edge of the temple roof are also uniquely depicting stories of Sundarkand, teaching systems, rituals, among others. After a detailed analysis only we could know the reason why the temple was demolished and buried,” he added.

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