Chakarnagar, Etawah

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Buddhist idols

The Times of India, April 3, 2016

Some statues of Lord Mahavira, formed in black stone, found in Etawah; Picture courtesy: The Times of India, April 3, 2016

Faiz Rahman Siddiqui | Apr 3, 2016

Some statues of Lord Mahavir, made in black stone, found in Etawah

500 ancient Jain, Buddhist idols found

Nearly 400 to 500 ancient Jain and Buddhist idols were unearthed from a farmland in Uttar Pradesh's Etawah district.

According to district authorities, Matadeen Rajput's field was being ploughed on Friday afternoon when the tractor hit the ancient idols. Tractor driver Brijesh Kumar alerted Rajput who apprised the district officials.

On the orders of district magistrate Nitin Bansal, sub-divisional magistrate of Chakarnagar, Mahendra Singh visited the spot and ordered further digging. "The people of the local Jain community claimed the idols are 1,200 years old. Majority of these are of Jain deities besides Lord Buddha in various 'mudras'. Around 400 to 500 in numbers, most of the idols, carved on black, red and white stones, are two to three-feet-high. Semi-precious stones are used as ornaments, household objects and ritualistic objects were also found," Singh said.

The most interesting recoveries were the idols of Lord Mahavir, made in black stone. "Two statues of Lord Mahavir are carved on a black marble seated in 'dhyan mudra'," he added. A team of archaeological experts is likely to visit the spot on Monday. Other details would be known after archaeological examination, Bansal said.

The sleepy village has become centre of attraction and people from far and near have started making a beeline to take darshan of the idols. The villagers said that such a huge recovery of ancient idols in the area pointed to the fact that there could be more such ancient treasure hidden there and wanted the government to take up extensive excavation.

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