Centuries-old Vishnu idol unearthed

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Hassan (Karnataka), Mar 26 (PTI): An ancient idol of Vishnu has been unearthed at Hale Belur in Hassan district of Karnataka, said an official of the Archaeology Survey of India (ASI).

The locals were digging a pond when they discovered the idol, Dr Shivakant Bajpai, Superintending Archaeologist of Bengaluru circle, told PTI.

The idol, according to him, belongs to the Hoysala era -- the dynasty that had ruled the region from 10th century to 14th century and had built monuments such as the Chennakesava temple in Belur and Hoysaleshwara Shiva Temple in Halebeedu in Hassan district.

An ASI officer has been dispatched to look into the discovery and he may submit his report by Monday, Bajpai said.

According to him, the idol reinforces the popular notion in the area that Hale Belur was once the capital of Hoysala.

The 5.5-foot-tall statue bore the signature of Hoysala style of architecture with intricate carvings.

It shows Lord Vishnu in Chaturbhuj, meaning four hands, holding shanka (conch), chakra (disc-like weapon), Ggda (mace) and padma (lotus).

There were also two smaller idols of consorts at the feet of Lord Vishnu.

'Barring some minor damage, the statue is intact,' a local resident said. PTI GMS NVG NVG