Centuries-old Nandi statues excavated near Mysuru

Mysore: Villagers of Arasinakere in Jayapura Hobli of Mysuru taluk have unearthed two giant statues of Nandi (bulls) in a nondescript field that was so far marooned in water. The idols are monolithic and so far were buried deep inside the earth. While one Nandi statue measures 15ft in length and 12 ft in height, the other statue is smaller. The statues were excavated yesterday using earthmovers in a four-day long operation.

The locals, particularly the senior citizens of the village, had earlier been aware of the presence of the Nandis, whose heads appeared to peep out partially whenever the water level in the lake dipped. The complete drying up of the waterbody during summer presented the curious residents an opportunity to dig deeper. Interestingly, the name of the village Arasinakere, translated to English means ‘King’s Lake’.

A team of officials from the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, including archaeologist M.L. Gowda and engineer Satish, visited the spot on Monday. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Gowda said the statues appeared to belong to the 16th or 17th century, dating back to the post-Vijayanagar period. He said they resembled most of the sculptures carved out of the smooth soapstone during that period.

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