Kendrapara, Jan 15 ( Odisha.in) The remains of a Buddha vihar along with some stone images of Lord Ganesh and others were unearthed from a cremation ground in village Palei 15 km from here on Sunday.
Some workers stumbled across the ancient Buddha Vihar while they were digging earth to construct a wall after the railway authority acquired the area to build railway line from Haridaspur to Paradeep .
The workers stumbled upon a Buddha vihar beneath the earth after they dug five feet.
A two feet high decapitated image of Lord Ganesh having four hands, three feet long meditating Buddha image, an ancient three foot thick brick wall , many ceramic hoards, high framed earthen bowls tiny bowls, begging bowls, spout jars, terracotta lamps, many broken potteries, some stones with in scri ptions.
After the discovery of the remains of a Buddha vihar and other images and ancient things , many villagers stopped the digging work as hundreds of curious villagers gathered to witness the unearthing objects.
“The unearthed Buddhist monastery had perhaps been built in 8th century AD under the active royal patronage and propagation of a Buddhist king of Bhaumakura dynasty flourished within 8th to 11th, century AD in Orissa.
But, in 12th century, Hindu Rajas of Somabanshi and Gangs of Orissa were anti- Buddhism and pro- Bramahanical who could have possible demolished the Buddhist monastery at Palei and constructed a Shiva or Mahakala temple on the ruins of the Buddha vihar.
But, later on in 16th, century Muslim invaders demolished the Shiva or Mahakala temple as the Muslim rulers demolished and attacked many temples.
Hindu kings had also demolished Buddha vihars and constructed Mahakala temples on the ruins of Buddha vihar in Ratnagiri and Udayagiri two famous Buddhist monasteries in the area.
Four years back, the officials of Archeological Survey of India stumbled across a giant Buddha vihar beneath the Mahakala temple at Ratnagiri while the temple ‘s renovation works were going on “, said Dr Harischandra Prusti a noted Buddhist researcher .
The unearthed decapitated stone image of Lord Ganesh with four hands is a rare discovery in the state as the Lord Ganesh sits in “Maharajalilasana” posture” in the temple.
Out of four hands, one right hand holds a rosary. Another left hand holds a laddo. Third hand holds a noose (Brajapasana) The fourth hand which is missing perhaps held a Khadi (earthen pen). The stone image of Ganesh was carved out from a Khondolite stone”, added Dr Prusti.
But both the Archeological Survey of India (ASI)and State Archeological Department (SAD) have been paying only little attention about the small unknown Buddhist sites for which many Buddha images and other archeological findings are gathering dusts in many villages.
In many cases, the antique lifters managed to pilfer the rare images in these areas ,said Bebarta Ajaya Ballava Das the vice-president of ‘Buddhayan’ an organization of Lalitagiri to protect the ancient Buddhist monasteries and artifacts.
Some unearthed objects like some Silas were stolen from Palei on Sunday night for which the police shifted the unearthed Ganesh image and other artifacts to the police station of Balichandrapur, said Sanata Nathasharma the officer-in-charge of Balichandrapur police station.