RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh archaeology and culture department claims to have done a survey, on a unique discovery of 1000-year-old Ganesha idol, located on the zenith of Dholkal mountain in the interiors of Maoist hotbed south Bastar, in January this year.
This age old six-foot idol of the 10th century was discovered by a local journalist in September 2012, following which the archaeology department had formed a committee, ensuring that a researched survey was conducted on the place.
Talking to TOI, in-charge curator (Jagdalpur) J R Bhagat, said: “The survey was done on January 17, but the report is not yet ready, it would be submitted to the department soon. He added that the idol is located at a height of 13,000 feet, amid dense forest. It is presumed that the idol was made long ago during the time of Nagvanshi dynasty in the 9th or 10th century. We have also found traces of early man and few of their stone weapons, which means the place hasn’t had frequent visitors and remained isolated all these years, Bhagat said.
According to Rajeev Ranjan Prasad, a local author and researcher, the idol is located on the zenith of a huge dhol shaped mountain, which seems like a place, impossible to reach. This place was discovered for the first time by an English geologist Crookshank in 1934 at the time when Bailadila mining was under survey.
After studying Crookshank’s geological report of south Bastar, “I matched the historical evidences of the place and compiled the photographs. Though this idol is located high above, it remained unnoticed due to dense forest and tough routes.
Moreover, the Maoists dominance in the region, hushes away the population, Ranjan told TOI. He said that as the place is on the top of a mountain, about 13km high, it is a tough terrain to reach or to hang around for long. He said that evidences of ancient colonies existing around the mountain have also come to light.
Researching for years now, Ranjan said that Bastar has many such places that need attention and conservation but due to lack of enthusiasm, they remain ignored. “There were many important idols, temples, which have been excavated off their existence or destroyed forever. The ancient place initially doomed with backwardness and now with Maoists, calls for attention and grooming from the government,” he said.
Bastar has been considered a place of scenic beauty with thousands of archaeological and historical secrets hidden in its torso. “Few locals, who chance upon new findings, bring it to the notice of officials but many put a curtain, assuming that revealing it would disturb the ambience of their place with archaeologists, media and foreigners digging all over,” an archaeologist remarked.