MANDYA: Another Jain centre is being excavated at Arthipura village in Mandya by archaeologists of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) who believe that the site under excavation could be older than Shravanabelagola in Hassan.
Archaeologists have established that there are similarities between the relics found at Arthipura and Shravan abelagola as far as location is concerned.
Assistant Archaeologist Aravazhai who is supervising excavation works at the site, told Deccan Chronicle on Thursday that basadis are located on a hillock while a statue of Bahubali about 13-foot is located on another hillock opposite the basadis in Arthipura. Similarly basadis and a gigantic statue of Bahubali have also been found in two hillocks facing each other.
Bahubali sculpture excavated at Arthipura in Mandya by ASI officials (Photo: DC)
“These basadis might belong to the early Ganga period rulers who ruled the region from the 3rd century to 9th century. Later on, Hoysala kings might have developed these basadis,” observed Mr Aravazhai adding that kings of Ganga dynasty might have used the same concept of Arthipura at Shravanabelagola.
Since the excavations resumed about one-and-half month ago at the site, ASI has exposed five basadis and a platform at Arthipura which are built using bricks and stones. Besides, sculptures of Bahubali among others have been exhumed from the site.
The ASI intends to complete the excavation as much as possible by 2018, prior to the Mahamastakabhisheka at Shravanabelagola which draws Jain pilgrims from all over the globe.
Mr Aravazhai says “Pilgrims who come to Shravanabelagola should also visit Arthipura so that this Jain centre gets highlighted.”
The site at Arthipura was explored by former Director of ASI I.K. Sharma in the mid 1980s and the place was declared a protected site.
Download the all new Deccan Chronicle app for Android and iOS to stay up-to-date with latest headlines and news stories in politics, entertainment, sports, technology, business and much more from India and around the world.