Jajpur: Many valuable ancient stone-made idols were found Sunday afternoon near Dashaswamedha ghat of Baitarani river under Jajpur town in this district.
A private source said that the priest of nearby Saptamatruka temple named Bholanath Panda had gone to the ghat for washing his hands after attending nature’s call. While washing his hands in Baitarani river, all of a sudden, Panda felt that one of his foot was touching a smooth but stubborn object. Out of curiosity, he lifted the object and found it to be an ancient stone-made Shivling.
Later, following thorough search by a few others who were present nearby, idols of Kaliya Dalana, Narasingha, Narayana, Chamunda, Krushnakali and Bhairavi were also found.
“We all request Jajpur Collector Chakravarti Singh Rathore to make necessary arrangements and keep these recovered ancient stone-made idols in a museum of our district,” many locals said.
Previously, many such ancient idols were also found from Baitarani riverbed. However, adequate steps were not taken for their upkeep. Several idols and artifacts were recovered when the construction of a barrage was underway in the same area. Local residents had drawn attention of the district administration at that time.
Subsequently, Jajpur administration recovered the idols and artifacts and ordered for a probe, but state Archeology department did not take any step thenafter, the residents rued.
It is pertinent to mention, a Shivling and a few ancient sculptures were unearthed March 25, 2021 from Baitarani riverbed at Devigada ghat of Jajpur district. An ancient Shivling and remains of a temple had surfaced from River Baitarani near Dasarathpur in the district a few days earlier.
The stone-made Shivling and other remnants of an ancient temple were found during lifting of sand from the riverbed by excavators engaged at a work site near Dasarathpur. Along with the Shivling, a Nandi and an idol of goddess Lakshmi made from black marble stone were then unraveled.
Locals had demanded State government’s intervention for restoring the rare artefacts. The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is in deep slumber, some locals had fumed.
“Jajpur district is an ancient region and there are thousands of historic sculptures and artifacts scattered all around the Baitarani riverbank and riverbed. ASI does not care to excavate the significant spots,” a local villager Samarjit Mohanty had reacted.
“ASI does not bother to come here and take stock of the remains, which speaks volumes of their apathy,” Mohanty had added.
Previous idols recovered March 25, 2021 date back to Bhouma-Kar dynasty between 8th and 10th Century, some villagers stated. Some local intelligentsia had put it differently saying that the sculptures date back to Soma Dynasty between 9th and 12th Century.