Stone idol of the Hindu god with the elephant head, created 800 years ago, has been unearthed in an Indian village
A 12th-century idol representing the Hindu god Ganesh was discovered by accident in southeastern India.
A farmer in Motupalli village in Prakasam district tripped over the stone statue while working his land.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is represented as a portly figure with an elephant’s head and four arms.
He is considered the god of wisdom, the patron of science and art, and the clearer of obstacles.
The idol is about 18 inches tall and depicts Ganesh sitting cross-legged, known as the ‘Padmasana’ pose, on a lotus pedestal.
Two of the idol’s hands are broken – in one remaining hand he holds his broken tusk and in the other a sweet Indian dumpling known as a modaka.
The announcement of the idol’s discovery came during the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival, when Hindus celebrate the birth of Lord Ganesh.
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A 13-inch stone idol of Ganesh, the Hindu clearer of obstacles, was discovered in Andhra Pradesh on the eve of a festival celebrating the birth of the elephant-headed god
Farmer Siripudi Venkateswaralu discovered the idol on September 9 while working his farm in Motupalli, a village in the Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, The Hindu reported.
The 800-year-old idol was found on the eve of a festival dedicated to Ganesh and attracted crowds of locals and visitors.
Ganesh Chaturthi runs from September 10 to 19 this year and is celebrated with fasts, offerings and prayers.
Later, modaka is distributed and public parties and martial arts exhibitions are held.
Ganesh is usually presented with four arms, with an ax in his right hand, a noose in his left hand, and sweet dumplings in the bottom left corner. His broken tusk is often shown in the lower right, although sometimes the hand is extended to the viewer in a pose of enlightenment.
On the tenth day, the idols of Ganesh are carried in a public procession and immersed in a nearby river or sea.
The statue found at Motupall is 42 inches tall, 30 inches wide and 18 inches tall, and lacks Ganesh’s typical mukut or crown, according to archaeologist E. Sivanagi Reddy.
Reddy dated the icon to the 12th century, when Andhra Pradesh was ruled by the Chola dynasty, based on the style and inscriptions found in the ruins of the nearby Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple.
The Chola Dynasty was a Tamil Empire that ruled South India until the 13th century.
Ganesh Chaturthi runs from September 10 to 19 and celebrates the birth of Ganesh with fasts and prayers, followed by feasts, martial arts exhibitions and a public procession
On the tenth day of Ganesh Chaturthi, idols of the elephant-headed deity are immersed in a nearby river or sea
In Hindu iconography, Ganesh is usually depicted with an elephant’s head and a sturdy human body with four arms.
Each appendage carries an item of ritual significance: an ax in his upper right hand, and his broken tusk, or ‘danta’, in his lower right corner. (In one story, Ganesh’s tusk was broken by an ax thrown by a warrior who wanted to attack his father, Shiva.)
A noose is in his upper left hand and candies are in the lower left.
The idol was brought to the temple by the Motupalli Heritage Society, although its final destination is unknown.
In August, archaeologist E. Sivanagi Reddy (center) found a 14th-century Tamil inscription at Kodanda Ramaswamy Temple, near where the idol was discovered
In August, Reddy was part of a team of archaeologists who found a Tamil inscription in the temple dedicated to Prataparudra, emperor of the Kakatiya dynasty who supplanted the Chola.
The inscription dates to the early 14th century and records the land as a gift “for the merit of the king.” Deccan Chronicle reported.
Prataparudra was the last Kakatiya ruler: he died during an invasion in 1323 that annexed the kingdom to the Muslim sultanate of Delhi.