Rare stone idol of Sun found during excavation in Bihar’s Saharsa
A rare black stone Sun idol has been found during excavation on the premises of Baba Mateshwar Dham Temple at Katho panchayat in Saharsa district of Bihar. The three-feet-tall idol carries lotus flowers in both the hands.
“We were digging to lay the foundation for an extension of the temple on Sunday when we found the idol,” said one of the labourers.Temple Trust chairman Arun Kumar said, “The idol is unique...We have informed the district administration. We have placed the idol in the temple and have begun worshipping it.”
Saharsa district magistrate Kaushal Kishor said, “We have directed the local administration to ensure the idol is kept safe. We are writing to the department concerned.”
Ripunjay K Thakur, a researcher in ancient history, Delhi University, whose research area is ancient temples, Gods and Goddesses, said, “The Sun idol belongs to the Pala dynasty [750 AD]...There would be many such antique statues in Kosi area.”
Purnea University professor-researcher of history Naresh Kumar Srivasatava said, “Fearing an Islamic invasion, people buried idols of their deity under the earth or immersed them in wells or ponds...that’s why they come up during excavation.”
Meanwhile, people from distant villages have started gathering at the temple to offer prayers to the idol. Saharsa-based social activist Amit Anand said the idol should be taken for archaeological examination. He said three years ago, a rare black stone idol of Goddess Saraswati of pre-Pala era was recovered at Patuwaha village during a similar excavation.