Five centuries old temple rises from Mahanadi’s waters in Odisha, Orissa


Five centuries old temple rises from Mahanadi's waters in Odisha

2020 has been the year of unusual, with unimaginable incidents and happenings for several reasons. The recent addition to the list is the emergence of an ancient temple from the waters of Mahanadi in Nayagarh district, Odisha. The temple is believed to be more than 500-year-old and has been submerged in Mahanadi river for centuries.

The temple was located by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) in Mahanadi near Padmabati village of Nayagarh. According to Indian archaeologists, the temple which is 60 ft tall is dedicated to Lord Gopinath, which is a form of Lord Vishnu. Looking at the mastaka or top portion of the shrine along with materials used in building of the temple, archaeologists believe that the temple was constructed either in the late 15th century or the early 16th century.

According to the reports, the top of the ancient Gopinath Dev Temple was last seen some 11 years ago. The temple has re-emerged because the water-level of Mahanadi has reduced significantly in the region.

History of the village and the temple

Informing about the history of the village, archaeological expert Padmabati Pabitra Kumar Subudhi said that there used to be a small hamlet, named Padmabati, on the site. But after the 1933 floods, the Mahanadi river changed its course and flooded the whole village. The villagers had to leave the place and move to higher regions where they built another new village and renamed it Padmabati. Gopinath Temple was also submerged in the waters of Mahanadi; however, the villagers had already removed the deity from the temple and installed it in their new village.

Now that the temple has risen up from the water after centuries, the villagers have requested the government to recover the ancient temple. The residents of the new Padmabati village believe that the state administration must make some efforts to relocate the temple and restore it given its history. It will also bring tourists and attract them.

Meanwhile, the INTACH has launched a unique project on the documentation of the Heritage of the Mahanadi Valley, which is being undertaken by famous historian Anil Dhir and this ancient temple is now a part of the project.

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