Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 17:
In a major breakthrough in field of research by Utkal University, the students have discovered an ancient idol of Lord Buddha with seven-head snake from Govindapur area near Banapur in Khurda district of Odisha.
While 80 percent of the five-foot statue was buried in soil, the face of Lord Buddha with seven-head snake was found outside the ground.
The varsity researchers have sought assistance from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and State Museum for more research on the statue.
The 1400-year-old idol was first found by Utkal University student Dakhineswar Jena of Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology beneath a banyan tree. After Jena discussed with his Assistant Professor Anam Behera, a team of researchers led by Prof Behera and comprising of students Minaketan Sundar Ray and Ramakant Pradhan along with Jena started digging near the tree in Govindapur area. After digging around 3 ft, they first found seven-head snake and later the Buddha statue was unearthed.
“The statue of Lord Buddha is around 1400-year-old. It has similarities with the statues discovered earlier from Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri in Jajpur district. The recent discovery shows that the Buddhists were residing in Banapur area in Khurda district earlier,” said the department professor.
According to locals’ belief, there was rain for seven days when Lord Buddha was meditating for knowledge in the area. During the period, the seven-head snake had protected him against hindrance. Such rare idol of Buddha is also found in few other places in Odisha.
Twenty years ago, a farmer had found the statue when the upper portion of the snake’s hood was hit by his bullock cart while ploughing the fields. Without digging it further, he ignored thinking it as a rock. Subsequently, people forgot the incident after a banyan tree was grown on the statue, the locals said.