Dilip Kumar

Bhubaneswar: The Archaeological Survey of  India (ASI) on Thursday unearthed a base made of ancient stones which are believed to be the remains of an ancient temple in the vicinity of Suka-Sari Temples near 11th century Lingaraj shrine here in the city.

The ancient structure was unearthed during excavation drive carried out by the ASI as a part of the Ekamra Kshetra heritage project for beautification of Lingaraj temple and its surroundings.

“We have found the base of an ancient temple. Another portion of the structure has also been excavated. A portion of wall containing some beautifully engraved statues of danseuses of the temple which was earlier buried under the campus of the demolished Sanskrit college has been exposed during the excavation. Another side of the wall is being dug out,” ASI superintendent Arun Mallick said.

"The structures especially the carvings and arts will be a treat to watch for visitors once they are completely excavated," said Mallick.

[caption id="attachment_513215" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Side wall of the exposed structure[/caption]

The ASI scientific team will take around 10 days to complete the excavation works. Then only, the portion of the temple buried under ground can be ascertained, he pointed out.

What was a cause of concern is major parts of the structure might have sustained damages as machines were engaged in digging the area.

The scientific team of ASI has carried out the excavation and scientific cleaning of the Suka-Sari temple complex. Many temples are believed to have gone underground with the passage of time, sources said.

As many as 28 ancient temples in Bhubaneswar have been declared as centrally protected monuments. These temples are looked after by the ASI.

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