Idols found in field near Budalur

A stone Dwarabalaka idol found at Kamadevamangalam in Nandhavanapatti panchayat in Thanjavur district.   | Photo Credit: Handout

A stone idol of Dwarabalakar and the upper portion of a lingam, believed to be of Chola period, have been found in an agricultural field at Kamadevamangalam in Nandhavanapatti near Budalar in the district.

A farmer, Kamarajar, who owns the land, first discovered the lingam while tilling the land, when his plough hit a hard object. The lingam without its lower portion is about two-and-a-half foot in height from the ground, according to Mani. Maran, Tamil Pundit, Saraswathi Mahal Library, Thanjavur, who visited the field on being alerted by local history enthusiasts Buddhar, Jayapal, Ramamurthy, Saravanan and Kannaiyan.

On inspection of the site, Mr. Maran and others found a small portion of a stone idol protruding from the ground about 15 feet away from where the lingam was found. Removing the mud around the structure, they found it to be an idol of a Dwarabalakar.

“The idol is about five feet in height and its hands and legs are found to be damaged. But the face is beautifully sculpted with the teeth exposed in a smile. As the idol was buried deep, we could not fully excavate for fear of damaging it. The idol with clear artistic features of the Chola period and the lingam belongs to 10th century C.E.,” Mr. Maran told The Hindu.

Dwarabalakar sculptures are usually found outside the sanctum sanctorum of temples. Though there is no temple in the immediate vicinity of the site where the idol was found, a temple could have existed there in ancient times. Further excavation at the site can lead to discovery of more idols including another Dwarabalakar and lower half of the lingam, Mr. Maran said.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 2:31:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/idols-found-in-field-near-budalur/article32631982.ece

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