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Residents in different villages falling under Sheikhpur, an otherwise sleepy district in eastern Bihar now have the chance to raise their voice more promptly.
The village beds which proved to be treasure troves of ancient historical remains, find many important archaeological evidences of ancient times. The problem is that rampant theft of such ancient historical remains and lackadaisical attitude of both the state archaeological department along with concerned state machineries.
In recent development, during digging of a community pond at village Pahna Pahari, some ancient sculptures were recovered. Villagers in apprehension of the threat of stealing of such important items, kept the sculptures at village’s Durga temple at Koshra village under tight vigilant. “We shift wise deployed group of villagers at the temple so that no one could steal such unique heritages,” said Birendra Kumar, a villager.
A unique black stone idol of Shiva-Parvati which early recovered from the village was stolen some year back at Koshra village, recalled Sako Thakur, another villager.
Chief minister, Nitish Kumar early twice visited the villages at Sheikhpura and instructed officials of the department concerned to take proper measures for protection of the ancient remains. But, nothing has done so far in this direction and the state archaeological department failed to take any step.
Earlier on May 15, a 4 feet high idol of Lord Vishnu was recovered from Lodipur-Deshwa village under Sadar block of Seikhpura. Villagers who were digging a pond in the village, found the sculpture there.
It is pertinent to note here that earlier on 1992 a black stone idol of Lord Vishnu was recovered near village Saamas at Seikhpura. It is said that the idol of Lord Vishnu is the second largest idol standing 7.5 feet high made in the historic times (the largest one being the idol of Lord Venkateshwara, standing 9 feet high, in tha Balaji temple, Tirupati, AP).
The recent recovery of a black stone sculpture of a deity which is said to be from dated back 9-12 century BCE, is claimed to be the idol of Bajra Tara, a deity worshipped by the followers of Tantric Buddhism. “The Poto Bengala script which inscribed on the sculpture, mentioned that one peson donated the idol after his desires were fulfilled, village sources said.
Prof. Anil, a senior faculty member of department of archaeology, Visva Bhrati University, Shantiniketan under whose guidance the excavation of Lali Pahari, Lakhisarai was started, said that recovery of such ancient items from neighbouring parts of Seikhpura district is not a new phenomena. He said that like Lakhisarai, all such sculptures recovered from Seikhpura district are from dated back 9 to 12 century BCE, ie the Pala periods. Besides, some idols found there are from Gupta periods also.
“Lakhisarai which known as Krimila, was a power center of Pala dynasty and also remained as an important Buddhist center in ancient times. The excavation so far done at Lali Pahari is proved it already. Since places Like Seikhpura is located in between the corridor that connect Vikramshila- Lakhisarai- Bodh Gaya, it is obvious that such ancient remains could automatically be found there,” he observed.
Prof Anil however urged for the proper conservation of such sculptures and edifices of the ancient times and also urged for its proper protection.
Villagers urged the government to take care of the ancient sculptures and other objects having archaeological significances. They also demanded for a district museum for conservation of their heritages.