Dhaka, July 12 : A 10th century statue of Lord Vishnu has been found during the digging of a pond at Brahmanbaria Sadar upazila in Bangladesh.
According to a report in The Daily Star, the statue was found five meters below the ground by local journalists and cultural activists contacted Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (ASB) and urged them to help preserve the statue properly.Manjurul Alam, Editor of Smatat Barta, a local daily of Brahmanbaria, "We thought it is our responsibility to protect our heritage from the clutches of smugglers." Chairman of ASB Prof Sirajul Islam along with archaeological experts rushed there to have a look at the statue.
The experts claimed that the five feet high and 2.6 feet wide statute of Lord Vishnu, weighing 262 kg, is an artefact of 10th century made during the Chandra dynasty's rule of Samatat Kingdom, now the greater Comilla district.
Archaeologist AKM Zakaria went to the spot to look at the artefact just after it was discovered on June 14.
"It is a unique piece of art made with superior quality black stone, andcould be made of high-quality Basalt. It is one of the finest and one of the largest artefacts discovered in the country," he said.
"The decoration of the artefact follows the school of art developed during the Pala dynasty. However, I suspect it was made during the rule of Kalyan Chandra, of the Chandra dynasty, who ruled the ancient Samatat region during the 10th century," he added.The halo of the statute confirms that it was made before 11th century. However, the excess use of decorations indicates that it was not made before 10th century. Other features of the statute follow the 10th century trends," according to Zakaria.
On why the artefact was found five metres under the ground, Zakaria said that it was a practice of the ancient Hindu community to bury the image of a deity, when a part of it was distorted.
Of the four hands, two hands and the nose of the Vishnu statute are broken.
According to Shafiqul Alam, Director of the Department of Archaeology, "The recently discovered Lord Vishnu's statute should be preserved at Mainamati Museum at Comilla along with the other artefacts of the region."