The Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, MSRS College, Shirva in Udupi district, has found an ancient idol of Vishnumurthy or Janardhana in an abandoned well near a ruined temple under the jurisdiction of 80 Badagabettu Gram Panchayat in Udupi taluk.
According to Associate Professor in the department at the college T. Murugeshi, the idol belongs to the 12the Century AD.
It was found at about a 20-ft depth in the well which was filled with laterite bricks and architectural members during an archaeological exploration just behind the panchayat office on January 31, he said in a release on Wednesday.
“The beautiful sculpture has a Karanda Mukuta (head dress), Makara Kundala (ear rings), armlets, anklets, Kaustubhahara and very nice eye brows, nose and lips which make it a master piece of Coastal Karnataka,” he said.
“It holds a pinda in the front right hand. In the back left hand, it holds a conch and its right hand is missing but, exploration is still being continued,” he said.
“In the ruined sanctum sanctorum , part of a pair of human feet remained in the middle of the peetha, but the upper part is totally missing. The sculpture stylistically belongs to 12th century AD,” he said.
The release said that it was a pre-Madhwa sculpture and the best specimen of the Bhagavatha cult of Coastal Karnataka. “But, why the temple got ruined is not known,” he said.