JAJPUR: At least six antique idols were recovered from Baitarani river near Dashashwamedh ghat here on Sunday evening. The rare idols are of Kaliya Dalana, Narasingha, Narayan, Chamunda, Krushnakali and Bhairavi. All these are made of precious stones.
Sources said priest of the local Saptamatruka temple Bholanath Panda had gone to Dashashwamedh ghat in the afternoon. While bathing in the river, his feet touched an object. He lifted it and found the object to be an ancient Shivaling made of black chlorite stone.
He then searched the area along with some locals and recovered five other antique idols from the river in the evening. All the idols were taken to the premises of nearby Baraha temple. As the news of the recovery of the idols spread, locals made a beeline for the temple to catch a glimpse of the ancient artifacts. They even started worshipping the idols.
Last year, many such ancient idols were recovered from the river bed of Baitarani. A Shivaling and other rare sculptures were unearthed from the river bed at Devigada ghat in March last year. Similarly, another Shivaling and remains of a temple had surfaced near Dasarathpur. The remnants of the ancient temple were found during excavation of sand from the river bed.
However, steps for preservation of the idols unearthed last year are yet to be taken. Following the recovery, locals had drawn the attention of Jajpur administration towards upkeep of the antique idols. Subsequently, the administration ordered a probe by the State Archaeology wing but it yielded no result.