Researchers have unearthed an ancient stone sculpture depicting an idol of a dancing Shiva at Dungrapali, located on downstream of Hirakud Dam, on Mahanadi river. The artefact dates back to 7th or 8th century.
The researchers of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage discovered the sculpture while documenting both tangible and intangible heritage along both sides of the Mahanadi river. The idol has been kept in the custody of the district Collector and will be put up for display in the new museum coming up at Sambalpur. The idol depicts Lord Shiva is also known as Nataraja – the Cosmic Dancer. It is 1.2 metre high, 0.9 metre wide and weighs around 200 kilograms. The researchers informed that the idol reflects Lord Shiva in Tandava form and since it was protruding from earth, it is believed that there could be a temple beneath. It is suspected that the temple of which the ruins belong may have been damaged by invaders.
(after The New Indian Express)