A heritage research group team today claimed that it had stumbled upon the possible ruins of an ancient temple of 13-14th century Common Era in Odisha’s Puri district.
The four-member team of the Rediscover Lost Heritage, which is currently listing the archaeological monuments of the Ratnachira Valley, found the ruins near the mouth of the Bhargavi river in Balanga area, 31 km from Puri city.
Project coordinator Deepak Nayak said the remains of the ancient temple were found scattered, both inside the river bed and the surrounding areas.
The temple may date back to 13th-14th century Common Era or earlier, considering the iconography of the antiquities, Nayak said in a release.
Many of the blocks have also been carted away by the villagers for construction. A stairway from the river bed to the steep bank has around two dozen of these carved ancient temple blocks, it stated.
According to team leader Anil Dhir, the Ratnachira Valley is a treasure house of many archaeological wonders, most of them being obscure and unknown as they have not been documented.
Legend has it that Lord Rama had drawn the Ratnachira river to quench Sita’s thirst, using her pearl ring to chart its course. The ancient river, which now runs dry for most of the year, has many myths and legends with flourishing heritage on both sides of its short stretch.
The team found broken images, pillars, door jambs and a multitude of minor broken artifacts. They also discovered carved stone panels, some of which have been affixed in the sides of the nearby Akhandalamani temple, which was made about a century ago.
We came across an intricately carved lintel section of a broken door jamb. The central figure is a beautiful Goddess Gajalaxmi image, Nayak said.