Ancient Buddha idol, monastery unearthed in Jajpur

Jajpur: An ancient statue of Gautama Buddha and remains of a Budhha Vihar (monastery) have been unearthed from Kesharaipur-Hatikhol village in the vicinity of world famous Lalitgiri Buddhist site in  Jajpur district.

Workers came across the articles while digging the land for a drain there three days ago, said noted Buddhist researcher Harischandra Prusty.

A meditating Buddha idol, made probably during post Gupta period, and earthen items like bowls, spout jars and broken potteries were found from the spot.

"The unearthed stone image is called Bhurisapta Padmapani, an incarnation of Lord Buddha. The idol is made of Khondolite stone and its height and width is 3 feet 2 inches and 2 feet 1 inch respectively. While one of its hands is seen in blessings giving posture, another hand holds a lotus. Both the wrists bear bungles and armlets in the arms," said Prusty.

In addition to the Buddha image, a monastery has been discovered on the foot of Kesharaipur-Hatikhol hill.

"The monastery is 30 x 30 metres size. There are four rooms each measuring 10 feet x 9 feet each. It is made of good size stones. The Buddhist monastery has been probably built in the eighth century under the patronage and propagation of a king of the Bhaumakara dynasty that flourished between eighth and the 11th century in the state," said Prusty.

"If proper excavation work is carried out, many historical findings may come out, he said.

District Collector Anil Kumar Samal said the district administration would follow up necessary excavation and conservation works. The digging work was stopped after the discovery, he said.