Wednesday, October 10, 2007

2nd largest Vishnu idol in Bihar

The largest idol of Lord Vishnu in North India has been spotted at Samas village in Sheikhpura district. The Bihar State Board of Religious Trusts has urged the state government to construct a mini-Tirupati temple in the village on the pattern of the one at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.

The idol is made of black granite and measures 7.5 feet in length and 3.5 feet in width. It belongs to the Gupta period and was recovered during the excavation of an old village tank in 1992. Its four arms carry a "sankh (conch)", a "chakra (discus)", a "gada (club)" and a "padma (lotus)".

The idol has been installed in a makeshift temple on a sprawling 15-bigha campus of the tank. Samas village is located five km from Barbigha subdivision town and 25 km from Biharsharif. This village appears to be a great centre of iconography because a large number of idols have been recovered from here and its neighbouring regions in the recent years.

There are two figures — one masculine and another feminine — below the left and right arms of the idol. An idol of Goddess Laxmi was also recovered during the excavation but it was stolen about 40 years back.

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