Rare ‘Ashtadhatu’ Idol Of Goddess Kotrakshi Stolen From Odisha Temple Brought Back

Jajpur: The rare ‘Ashtadhatu’ idol of Goddess ‘Kotrakshi’, which was stolen from a temple in Odisha’s Jajpur district two years ago, has finally been brought back to the state.

A team led by Jajpur DSP received the ancient idol, believed to be from the ninth or tenth century, and brought it back to Odisha on Friday, sources said.

The Customs officials had handed over the idol to Odisha Police in New Delhi in the presence of Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday. Dharmendra had written to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman requesting her intervention for the return of the idol, which was kept at the Custom Commissioner’s office of New Delhi Air Cargo.

Custom officials at the New Delhi airport seized the idol of the goddess while it was being exported to another country.

The idol, believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Chamunda, will be reinstalled at the temple from where it was stolen, they said.

According to sources, the rare idol, considered an antique, was stolen from a temple at Darpangarh village in Jajpur district on January 11, 2021. Maa Kotrakshi is a symbol of faith, community spirit, and heritage and is the presiding deity of Darpangarh village.

It may be noted here that the villagers had installed another idol of Maa Kotrakshi seven months after the theft. However, the idol which is around 26-inch and weighs 38 kg, will be reinstalled at the temple very soon.

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