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Updated: June 14, 2014 22:59 IST

Pala period Vishnu idol unearthed

Shiv Sahay Sigh
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A peek into the past: The Vishnu idol recovered from Beldanga in Murshidabad district on Saturday.
Special Arrangement A peek into the past: The Vishnu idol recovered from Beldanga in Murshidabad district on Saturday.

Preliminary examination of the idol suggests that it is an imitation of a Pala idol

A stone idol of Lord Vishnu resembling the idols of Pala and Sen period was recovered from Beldanga in the State’s Murshidabad district on Saturday. Locals who were digging up in a field for construction of a toilet at Kapasdanga village under the Beldanga police station found the idol buried.

The idol which is about 4.5 feet high and 2.7 feet wide is carved out of chloride schist, a metamorphic rock. The idol has been kept at a local police station.

Though a detailed analysis of the idol is yet to be done, Amal Ray, deputy director Directorate of Archaeology & Museums, West Bengal government told The Hindu that preliminary examination of the idol suggests that it is an imitation of a Pala idol.

“I have only seen the photograph and it appears that the sculpture is not complete. The anatomical balance also seems lacking,” Mr. Ray said. He said a number of such idols from the Pala period have been found in Murshidabad dating 11th to 12th century AD in the district.

“This idol appears to be crafted by an artisan in the late medieval period after 15 the century AD,” Mr. Ray said, adding that it might have been used for religious purposes.

Meanwhile, the idol will be kept at the District Museum at Ziaganj in the Murshidabad district. According to archaeologists idols resembling the one which was unearthed today have been recovered at Manigram at Sagardihi area in the district a few years ago.

Murshidabad served as the capital of Pala dynasty for about four hundred years and lot of artefacts of the period are found in the district.

It is also believed that the district located on the bank of Ganga was under the administration of Sena dynasty.

Evidence of the district’s rich historical past is Karnasubarna, where a Buddhist Mahavihara has been unearthed dating to sixth century AD. Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang had referred to his monastery in his memoirs.

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