5th century BC linga discovered in temple

Gosada, a rare linga, which is in a natural form has been discovered at the Mahishamardini temple in Kumbdaje village of Kasaragod taluk.

A press release issued by  Prof T Murugeshi, the head of the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, MSRS College, Shirva, stated that the structure is roughly a triangular stone about two feet in height and is beautifully carved. “This linga was found installed outside the temple and still under worship. It is a clear evidence of worship that existed in the remote past. It is older than the Gudimallam linga in antiquity and assignable between 5th and 6th century BC. So, it is one of the earliest lingas of South India as well as Kerala state,” said the professor.

Speaking about the temple, he said it was circular in shape with the idol of the presiding deity seen with four hands and standing in the ‘samabhanga’ pose. “The deity has attributes like ‘prayoga chakra’ in the back right hand, a shankha (conch) in the back left hand, and a trident (trishula) in the front right hand. The front left hand is shown hanging down, parallel to the body. The deity’s left hand index finger is pointing to the Earth, which indicates that she was the ruler of the Earth.

The structure was, undoubtedly, copied from Buddhist idols. The lion is shown standing with the face to the left. Stylistically, the idol belongs to the Cholan era, but was definitely a Tantric centre of the Shakti cult like Kollur in Karnataka,” he explained.

A bronze idol of Mahishamardini of the Chola period is also discovered at the same site. It is also standing in the ‘samabhanga’ pose.

“In the back right hand, the deity holds a ‘chakra’ with typical fire motifs while the left hand is mutilated, but holds a conch. In the front two hands, she hold a trident, with which she is piercing the demon Mahisha. In the back side of the temple, a Tulu inscription of 10th century was also discovered,” the release added.

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