Daily Archives: March 9, 2018

INTACH team discovers 9th Century Nataraj Idol in Sambalpur

Ancient stone sculpture Nataraj IdolThe discovery of a Nataraj Idol at Bandhapara of Durgapali village here belonging to ninth century has triggered interest among intellectuals as the history of the region between seventh and fourteenth centuries is silent.

Sambalpur Collector Samarth Verma thanked the Indian National Trust on Arts, Culture and Heritage (INTACH) team which discovered the statue during a survey at the site Wednesday. He said it is a prizes possession for the proposed Sambalpur museum. The statue has been kept in the district culture office as the proposed museum is under renovation now.

The Victoria town hall building, currently under renovation, will be converted into a museum that will house such artifacts.
Verma said he is trying to rope in experts in the fields of history, culture and archeology for identification of the statue.

Historian Deepak Panda said his team was making some inquiries Wednesday at Durgapali village. He said Brundaban Pandey alias Aditya, the priest of nearby Vanadurga temple, informed them that a broken statue was found at the top of a heap of soil. He took the team to the spot.

Aditya said there are many more historical artifacts kept at a nearby Shiva temple. Deepak said the team has found a unique statue. Only a small portion of the statue was visible on the surface. He thanked local people for helping the team retrieve the statue.
The statue was found on the top of a soil heap close to a pond known as Devibandh at Bandhapara in Durgapali village. There are three more historical ponds known as Shankarbandh, Puranbandh and Kalibandh in the locality.
Deepak said he immediately informed the Collector about the finding with a request to send a JCB machine to the spot. The statue was too heavy to be lifted by hands. It weighed more than two quintals.

He said the statue and a crown of some broken temple made from khandolite stone were brought from the spot to the district culture office. They initially presumed it to be a statue of Goddess Durga as it has ten hands with several objects spread around the body. But later, it was found to be a Nataraj statue as there is a crescent moon on the top of its head besides Ganga flowing from there. The statue is in the form of a dancing Shiva.

He said the statue might have been vandalised as its face is laced with chisel marks and the left leg is broken from its knee. It seems some invaders might have destroyed the statue along with the temple. Deepak said research on the statue may throw light on the historical nature of the deity.