VIJAYAWADA: A rare miniature sculpture of Maheswara Murthy, an aspect of Lord Siva, supposed to be dating back to the 4th century, was discovered in the fields by Jagannadham, a priest of Durgi village in Palnadu of Guntur district.
E Siva Nagi Reddy, an archaeological expert and CEO of Cultural Centre of Vijayawada and Amaravati (CCVA), who went to Palnadu area on July 12, looking for archaeological remains, was shown the miniature sculpture by Jagannadham.
“Though Jagannadham, a priest by profession, is very much interested in ancient lore and could be called an amateur explorer of archaeological sites. On that day, when we were discussing the archaeological potential of Palnadu region, he told me about his latest find, which he had kept in his place of worship,” Reddy said. The priest found the sculpture a week prior to his meeting with Reddy.
When the small soapstone sculpture measuring three inches height and three inches width was shown to him, Siva Naga Reddy was surprised. After studying it for sometime, he concluded that it is a rare sculpture of Lord Siva.
“It was the earliest specimen found in Palnadu area, which is known as cradle of early Shaivite art,” he said.The sculpture of Maheswara Murthy depicting the head from the neck to Jata Mukuta (hair locks), has three faces, with one looking straight and the other two being in side postures facing right and left.
“It is in art style of post Ikshvaku period and resembles the iconographic features of the Panchavira plaques reported earlier from Kondamodu (Piduguralla) in Guntur, Darsi in Prakasam, Vijayawada and Peddamudium,” he said.