Rare Statues Stolen From 13th Century Shiva Temple in Odisha
BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, December 22, 2020 (Hindustan Times): Nearly 22 antique statues, some of them made of Ashtadhatu alloy ("of eight metals"), have allegedly been stolen from a 13th century Shiva temple in Khurda district late on Monday night. According to the police, some unidentified miscreants barged into the sanctum sanctorum of the 800-year-old Daksha Prajapati temple in Banpur town of Khurda district by breaking open the locks of three doors and fled with the precious statues worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some of the statues were made of ashtadhatu (alloy of gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, tin, iron and mercury). Inspector of Banpur police station, Sanjay Patnaik said of the 31 ancient statues in the temple, 22 have been stolen. The stolen idols include Maa Kanaka Durga, Gopinath Dev, Kaliyugeswar Dev and Chandrasekhar Dev.
The temple named after Daksha, the father of Lord Shiva's consort Parvati, is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Known for its architectural composition, the temple has been under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). There have been two instances of theft from the same temple twice in the past. INTACH's state project coordinator and historian Anil Dhir, said more than 300 valuable statues were found missing in different places of the state. "Odisha has become a major hub for statue export. Nearly 48 cases regarding missing statues were filed in different police stations of the Prachi Valley in the last decade and only one recovery was made."