An idol of Lord Vishnu, dating back probably to the 7th century, was unearthed during digging in a field at Algon Kothi village in Bhikhiwind town of Tarn Taran district on Saturday.
It has been handed over to the authorities of the local Shiva temple, who have placed it inside the place of worship. Following the discovery, residents of the area thronged not only the temple but also the field where the idol was found.
About 4 ft in height and weighing at least 400kg, the idol apparently belongs to the era of king Harshavardhana (590-647AD).
The statue is mounted on a lotus flower and is surrounded by 21 idols of other deities. Demi-goddesses Ganga and Yamuna are shown flowing from its head and lions are depicted near its feet.
Manmohan Kumar Sharma, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Tarn Taran, said, "The digging was undertaken by local resident Suba Singh to get knolls levelled in his field. The machine hit some hard object. The spot was dug up and the idol was unearthed."
The SSP said the Shiva temple authorities had said that they would intimate the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) about the idol.