Two antique idols of Lord Buddha were recovered from Baitarani river bed in Bhadrak district on Monday by locals while carrying out sand lifting works.
As per reports, Pritam Mohanty, a native of Mudhipada village under Bhandaripokhari along with one of his co-villager, found the two ancient sculptures while lifting sand from the river bed. Pritam took the collection and kept it at his home.
However, after learning about the discovery, a member of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and researcher of a local museum in Buddha/Boudha Vihar, Biswambar Rout obtained the idols from Mohanty and later handed them over to the local museum.
"The two idols emerged from the river bed while we were excavating sand through a machine. I kept them at my home. Later, I informed Biswambar Rout and handed over the sculptures to him," said Pritam Mohanty.
Meanwhile, Biswambar Rout said, "It is indeed a proud moment for all of us as the ancient idols were discovered on World Tourism Day. After being informed about the discovery, I went to his (Pritam) house to inspect the idols. Later, I handed over them to the local museum to ensure their proper conservation."
Meanwhile, people from all over the region thronged the museum to witness the rare discovery.
As per the preliminary study of the two idols, the one with the head is Harsmukh Buddha while the other is Gajmukh Singhasan idol of Buddha Goddess. In the second idol which is missing its lower part, the Goddess could be seen seated on a throne flanked by two Gandharvas on either side holding garlands in their hands.
It is speculated that both the sculptures date back around the 8th century. The researchers have also informed that the idols are made from Khondalite stone and they strongly believe that it belongs to the era of Bhaumik Sashan in Solampur's Boudha Vihar.
Meanwhile, locals have urged for more research on the antique and rare idols, so that more related theories can be discovered.