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A Khajuraho-like temple in Jharkhand?

April 25, 2008 10:25 IST

A 45-cm-tall ancient statue, similar to the ones found at the Konark Sun temple and Khajuraho, has to the ones found at the Konark Sun temple and Khajurao, has been found by the Archaeological Survey of India from Benisagar in Jharkhand's West Singhbhum district, indicating existence of yet another undiscovered temple.

"We stumbled on the erotic figure during a scientific clearance work by the Ranchi circle of ASI recently," Superintendent Archaeologist, T J Baidya, told PTI in Ranchi.

The statue, which could date back to the 12th century, was found at the Benisagar, which is close to the Orissa border, he said.

Stating that the Benisagar tank named after local legendary ruler Benu Raja, the official said, the sculpture could be a part of a temple believed to have existed here, "but is yet to be discovered."

The figure, standing in an erotic pose, was 45 cm in height and 30 cm wide at the base, Baidya said, adding that it was similar to ones found at Konark and Khajuraho.

The ASI also found a terracotta seal depicting a seated lion.

Brick structures and architectural fragments, along with the sculptures of Ganesha, Mahisasurmardini, Hanuman at the eastern and southern sides of the Benisagar tank were also discovered.

Baidya said nine shrines of various sizes had been found, which indicated that a panchayan type of temple might have existed at the spot, which falls in the present day Majhgaon block of the district.

According to Assistant Archaeologist Niraj Kumar Singh, occult practices must have been flourished in the area as the finds included a vedi and a brick kund, which pointed to it.

Last year the same ASI team had discovered two inscriptions in "shell script" at Benisagar, closely resembling those seen on Ashokan pillars in Vaisali and Rajgir in Bihar.

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