INTACH Team Stumbles Upon 1700-Yr-Old Hanuman Idol In Odisha’s Paralakhemundi

Berhampur: The researchers of Odisha chapter of Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage (INTACH) have discovered a ‘neglected and dilapidated’ ancient Hanuman idol dating back to 4th or 5th century at Patikota village near JITM, on the outskirt of Paralakhemundi in Odisha’s Gajapati district, about 130-km from here.

According to INTACH researchers, the idol dates back to the period when ‘Mathara’ dynasty had flourished near Mahendragiri area and is more than 1700 years old. The idol structure which is lying under a tree is in a very neglected state and it might break into pieces if conservation steps are not initiated at the earliest, they added.

INTACH has requested the Odisha Government to initiate proper steps to preserve the ancient Hanuman idol.

The INTACH team including project coordinator Anil Dhir, Dipak Kumar Naik and Bikram Kumar Naik visited the place. They were accompanied by the local heritage and cultural researcher Bishnu Mohan Adhikari.

According to Bishnu Mohan Adhikari, rulers of ‘Mathara’ dynasty, including Ananta Verma, Chanda Verma and others, have had established many idols of Hanuman, Shiva and Bishnu in and around Mahendragiri area. “We still have 9 ancient idols of Hanuman at Paralakhemundi and more than 20 in Mahendragiri area,” he said.

He further claimed that the name of the present Patikota village was Parikutagada and every ruler of ‘Mathara’ dynasty worshipped the Hanuman idol prior to setting out for the battlefield. “The Hanuman was also called Paikaray Swamy for the purpose,” he added.

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