‘Buddha idol found in field can be kept in museum’

Updated - March 24, 2016 11:43 am IST

Published - December 24, 2015 12:00 am IST - RAMANATHAPURAM:

After the Heritage Club at SSAM Higher Secondary School discovered a stone idol of Lord Buddha in a paddy field at Sammanthavayal in Thiruvadanai taluk recently, the district unit of the State Department of Archaeology inspected the site and suggested that the idol could be preserved in the museum.

After The Hindu carried a report on the discovery earlier this month, D. Karthikeyan, Commissioner of Archaeology, and C. Vasanthi, Deputy Superintendent, instructed the district unit to conduct a survey and send them a detailed report.

Accordingly, K. Sakthivel, Curator of the district unit, inspected the site and sent a report to the Commissioner on Tuesday.

He had stated in the report that the idol, with the lower portion buried in the field, should belong to the Chola period, dating back to 9th or 10th century, and it could be preserved in a government museum.


The department could also consider the request of the villagers to allow them to offer worship after installing the idol in a temple.

The villagers had told him that they would take the idol out of the field after the harvest and start building a temple in February or March.

Mr. Sakthivel also mentioned about a Chola period Logamma Devi Amman Temple dating back to 10th or 11th century at Suthamalli near Sammanthavayal and a Hero stone with line drawings few metres away from the Buddha idol site in his report.

The discovery of the idol was yet another evidence to show that there were Buddha settlements in coastal and some interior parts of the district during the Chola period, he said.

The department had unearthed bronze and marble Buddha idols at Ariyangundu near Rameswaram sometime ago, he said. Some Buddhists from north India inspected the idol and offered to help the villagers to build a temple for Lord Buddha in the village, Mr. Sakthivel said quoting the villagers.

V. Rajaguru, an archaeological aficionado and convenor of the Heritage Club who discovered the Buddha idol, said that it should date back to 11th century and its presence in the village confirmed the district’s trade link with Sri Lanka.

The finely sculpted idol was in a sitting and meditating posture, he added.

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