Sharmili Mallick

Nayagarh: An ancient temple, believed to be around 500-year-old in Nayagarh district, which had been submerged in the waters of Mahanadi River has emerged again.

A survey team of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has located the temple in Mahanadi waters near Padmabati village under Bhapur block of Nayagarh.

Archaeologists believe the 60-feet temple which belong to Lord Gopinath, a form of Lord Vishnu dates back to late 15th or early 16th century, considering the ‘mastaka’ (top portion) of the shrine and materials used in the construction of the temple, said reports.

The top of the Gopinath Dev Temple was reportedly last seen some 11 years ago and it has re-appeared due to the reduction in the water-level of Mahanadi River in the area.

Earlier, a village named Padmabati was located on the site. After, Mahanadi River changed its course after 1933 flood, the village was submerged under the waters and the villagers moved to higher places to set up a new village renamed as Padmabati. The deity of the temple was however taken by the villagers and installed in another temple in their present village, said archaeological expert Padmabati Pabitra Kumar Subudhi.

Meanwhile, the local villagers have requested the government to make efforts so that the temple can be recovered.

“The administration should make efforts to relocate the temple from the riverbed and restore it. As the temple is centuries-old, it will attract tourists besides, many historical data and articles might also be present inside the temple,” said a local of modern Padmabati village, Srikant Sahoo

The INTACH had launched a one-of-its-kind project on the Documentation of the Heritage of the Mahanadi Valley under the supervision of historian Anil Dhir and the discovery of Gopinath Temple is also a part of the project.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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