JEYPORE: A four-feet-high Jain idol was accidentally unearthed on Wednesday during an excavation work near Banagiri hill in Semiliguda. The idol was found just 100 metres away from Subai village where the religion had flourished two centuries back.
Sources said, the Jain relic was found when locals were digging a portion of Banagiri hill for construction of a temple. After the idol was recovered, the locals informed public representatives to shift it to a safer place. District culture officer Akshya Sethi said he has received information about recovery of the Jain idol from Subai and informed the Collector for further action on Thursday.
“We sought permission from the Collector to visit the excavation site and verify the facts,” Sethi said, adding that more details would come to the fore only after spot verification by officials. Subai is known as a historical site where Jainism flourished centuries back. Many Jain idols, temples and other artefacts dating back to the period, have been excavated from the place.
Apart from Subai, remnants of Jain culture in Koraput have been found across various pockets including Jamunda under Jeypore block, Endhanpur in Borrigumma and Pottangi. Many of them have been preserved in Jeypore and State museum. According to historical accounts, Jainism flourished due to Jain traders who ventured into tribal areas in the district to collect gem stones.