Ancient stone statue of mythical Nandi recovered in Kurigram
An ancient stone statue of a bull weighing about 20 kg has been recovered from debris at Gonsair Bhita village of Newashi union in Nageshwari upazila of Kurigram.
The pile of rubble was once the site of a Shiva temple. The locals have demanded that the authorities build a Shiva temple there by officially preserving the place.
Locals said Sridhar Chandra, 40, a farmer in the village, was collecting pieces of bricks from the debris where he recovered an ancient stone statue of a bull beneath a rock on July 9 morning.
Farmer Sridhar Chandra said that while he was collecting brick pieces with a spade from the ruins, he saw a reddish-white stone at the bottom. After digging, he was surprised to see the statue. He came home with it later. People crowded at his house to see the ancient statue. "The police from the local police station came to my house and I handed over the artefact to the police," he said.
Madhusudan Sarkar, a centenarian of the village, said once there was an ancient temple made of bricks and rubble. Next to it was a paved well. There was a ditch from the temple to the adjoining Kashirdara River and a brick-built ghat on the banks of the Kashirdara River, which are now almost extinct.
He said he had heard from his grandfather that the area was once uninhabited. The place was overgrown with bushes. The Kashirdara River floweed by its side. A devotee built a temple on its bank and installed a 'Shiva Linga' in the temple. People used to call him Gonsai. Later, the temple became known as Gonsair arena. The village is named as Gonsair Bhita, he said.
Brajonath Sarkar, an assistant teacher at Newashi High School, said that the Gonsai left the arena or died and after his departure the worship at the temple probably stopped. In his absence, the temple was abandoned. Gradually the temple was reduced to ruins. At one point the temple collapsed. From then on, the locals started collecting broken pieces of bricks from the ruins and taking them away, he said.
Dhirendranath Sarkar, an assistant teacher at Bajlar Rahman High School, said that they assume there are 'Shiva Lingas' made of precious stones, idols of other gods and goddesses, including Shiva's attendant Bhairingi under the ruins. The idol that has been recovered is of Nandi, the vehicle of Shiva in Hinduism, because in front of every Shiva temple there is a Nandi idol of a bull.
"So, our demand is that the government officially preserve the area and recover the precious idols from the bottom of the ruins and build a Shiva temple there," he said.
Nageshwari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Nur Ahmed Masum said he was aware of the recovery of the artefact. Police have taken it into their custody and sent it to the district headquarters. The historical place needs to be preserved, he said adding that he will inform it to the concerned department and take necessary steps to preserve the site.