Idols of Jain Tirthankaras belonging to 4th century unearthed

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 21 Oktober 2014 | 08.20

HYDERABAD: As many as twelve idols of Jain Tirthankaras dating back to the 4th-5th century, have been found at Keesaragutta on the city outskirts.

"Twelve panchaloha (five metal) idols of the Jain Tirthankaras were unearthed during the course of conservation work on October 18, while the pathways were being laid between two temples near steps at a depth of one foot," director of Archaeology and Museums (Telangana), B Srinivas, told reporters here.

"Twelve idols of varying sizes, along with loose circular prabharahs (aura), circular parasoles of different size, pedestals and broken elephant have been found. All the bronzes (idols and other artifacts) are in Kayotsarga (standing) posture with a hook behind to accomodate chhatras (parasole) and 'prabhavali'," he explained.

Prabhavali is an aura around the deities. "Srivasta symbol on the chest is seen prominently on some of the idols and faintly on others. Choornakuntala is seen on the head of the idols. On the basis of iconography, the Jain bronzes can be dated back to 4th-5th century AD," Srinivas said.

Keesaragutta, also known as Kesaragiri in Keesara mandal of neighbouring Ranga Reddy district of Telangana, is a hill range about 300 feet high from the planes with flat and undulating areas over the top of the hills, and was enclosed by a fort wall constructed during the Vishnukundin period.

"This is for the first time that the idols of Jain religion have been recovered in Keesaragutta, which proves that Jainism co-existed along with Hinduism at Keesaragutta during the time of Vishnukundins in 4-5th century," the official said, adding that chemical treatment would be conducted on the idols.

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