Odisha: Ancient temple believed to be 500 years old resurfaces in Nayagarh district
An old temple, inundated in river Mahanadi for a long time, has reappeared in Nayagarh district of Odisha. The temple is presumed to be about 500 years old.
Not long ago, the archaeological survey team of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage claimed that they found an ancient submerged temple in Cuttack’s Mahanadi upstream.
The tip of the inundated temple was found mid-river close to Baideswar in the Padmavati village. The 60 feet submerged temple dates back to late 15th or early 16th century, in view of the construction style of the Mastaka and meterial used for the construction.
“The 60-ft temple which belong to Lord Gopinath, a form of Lord Vishnu dates back to late 15th or early 16th century,” Archaeologists Deepak kumar Nayak said.
The area where the temple has been discovered used to be considered as ‘Satapatana’. Padmabati village was part of Satapatana which is a amalgam of seven villages. The temple was dedicated to Lord Gopinath Dev.
With the changing course of the river because of flooding 150 years ago, its flow changed and the entire village was submerged in 19th century.
Residents of Padmabati village stated that there are around 22 temples in the area which are under water but only ‘mastaka’ of Gopinath Deba temple was visible for some years as it was the tallest.
Deepak Nayak who with help of local heritage enthusiast Rabindra Rana located the temple, was aware of its existence as the submerged top portion used to be seen during summer.
The last time the ‘mastaka’ was seen was about eleven years ago.
“In the past one year, it was seen for 4 to 5 days due to changing water level,” said Rabindra Rana
Project Coordinator of the Mahanadi Project (INTACH), Anil Dhir told, “We have been documenting monuments of Mahanadi, from the starting point of Mahanadi to sea, both banks of radius of 5kms whatever heritage are submerged, we are documenting on it. People already knew there was a shrine beneath it, but since last 25 years, it was not resurfacing.”
Sub-collector, Nayagarh, Lagnajit Rout stated that, “We have found an old temple under Mahanadi. We have asked villagers not to venture in the river to see the temple.”