A Shiva idol was today unearthed from Harwan reservoir, on the outskirts of Srinagar, by employees during a dredging operation.
The idol was swiftly seized by police and later handed over to a team of Department of Archives, Archeology and Museums. Experts have termed the accidental find as a valuable addition to rare set of statues present with the department.
“Today employees of flood and irrigation department were busy in dredging the reservoir bed and during the cleaning operation they stumbled upon the idol. They informed us about the find, we quickly reached the spot and took custody of the idol,” said SHO HarwanZaffar Iqbal. “It is around three feet long.”
The police informed the Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums and requested them to send a team to inspect the idol.
“Our team identified the idol as a rare Ekhmukhlinga statue of Hindu god Shiva,” said M S Zahid, director Archives, Archaeology and Museums. “The find is a significant one due to many unique features of this idol. According to our preliminary findings the idol is from 6th to 7th century.”
According to experts the idol is older than similar artefacts earlier recovered at Kasbayar, Pulwama by the department. “It is many centuries older than a similar looking statue with us,” said Zahid. “The stone used to carve the idol is also a different one indicating that it is not local to Harwan and must have been brought from some other place.”
The director said that the best part of the find is that the idol is in a good condition and neatly preserved perhaps for centuries in the reservoir bed. Harwan is a known archeological site and previously many artefacts have been recovered from the area.
“We have taken the idol into our custody and shifted it to our museum. Now a team of experts will study the idol and come out with a report in due course of time,” said Zahid.