Angul:31/7/17: In a case of mistaken identity, residents of a river-side village in Odisha’s Angul district continue to worship Buddhist sculptures as Shiva Lingam and Shavite divinities.
The Praneswar Shiva temple in Jharhiamba village located on the Brahmani river bank in Talcher tehsil of the district presents the rare sight of Buddhist divinities finding pride of place in sanctum sanctorum of the place of worship.
The Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, Bhubaneswar excavation branch Dibishada Garnayak said chance discovery of pre-Christian era Buddhist structures have been found in the village.
This is the the second of its kind to have been found in odisha after the Shiva Lingam at Bhaskreswar temple at Bhubaneswar, he said.
Buddhist sculptures which bear striking resemblance with Shiva Lingam are being worshiped for years by local people who are of the belief that these are Shaivite structures.
In the Praneswar temple, Ahoka column is being worshipped as Lingam and Buddhist treasures are lying scattered along the temple. The remains of the column structures if conjoined would measure up to 3.47 metre. Fragments of bell capital are also lying scattered along with remains of Suchi, thaba moulded bricks and sculptures.