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Ancient Vishnu idol with features of Ram Lalla found in Krishna river

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Raichur (K’taka), Feb 6 (PTI) An ancient idol of Lord Vishnu has been unearthed recently from the Krishna river at a village in Raichur district, in which all the 'dashavatara' or the ten incarnations are featured around its 'aura', sources said.

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The idol is remarkable given the fact that the idol has features resembling the recently consecrated statue of ‘Ram Lalla’ in the newly built temple in Ayodhya. Along with the statue, an ancient Shivalinga was also found, they added.

Speaking about the Vishnu idol, Dr Padmaja Desai, a lecturer in ancient history and archaeology at Raichur University, said this idol must have adored the sanctum sanctorum of a temple and must have been dropped in the river at the time of possible destruction of the temple.

This Vishnu idol found in the Krishna river basin has got special features, Dr Desai said, adding that the aura around Vishnu shows 'dashavatara' such as Matsya, Koorma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Rama, Parashurama, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki.

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Elaborating on the features of the idol, she said Vishnu is in the standing position and has four arms in this statue, with his two upper hands holding the 'shankha' and 'chakra' and the two lower hands in the position of granting boons ('kati hasta' and 'varada hasta').

The idol resembles Venkateshwara as mentioned in the scriptures, the lecturer said.

However, this idol does not feature Garuda, which is usually found in Vishnu idols. Instead there are two fan-bearing women. Since Vishnu is fond of decoration, this idol showing a smiling Vishnu is decorated with garlands and ornaments, she pointed out.

"This idol must have adored the sanctum sanctorum of a temple. The statue is intact barring some damage to its nose. The idol could have been thrown in the water to avoid damage to it at the time of a (possible) attack on the temple,” she explained.

Archaeologists believe that the idol belonged to 11th or 12th Century AD. PTI GMS GMS ANE

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