In the village of Sijhauri, located in the Sikandra Prakhand area of the Bihar’s Jamui district , a three-feet-tall ancient statue was unearthed during the excavation of the Simara pond on Tuesday. The news of the discovery spread like wildfire, drawing people to the village, comparing it to the rapid spread of a forest fire. Within a short time, a crowd gathered to catch a glimpse of the statue. Initially, the villagers started worshipping the statue, considering it to be an idol of Lord Vishnu, while some identified it as a representation of Goddess Lakshmi. However, later, archaeologist Dr. Ravi Shankar Gupta identified the statue as depicting Lord Surya.
Dr. Ravi Shankar Gupta suggested that the rare statue dates back to the early stages of the Pal dynasty, around 1500-1600 years old, and could be from the 8th century. The statue of Lord Surya is adorned with a crown and holds lotus flowers in both hands. Notably, the statue is unique as it features footwear on the feet, a distinctive characteristic found only in depictions of Lord Surya.
The police also arrived at the scene as the administration aimed to take possession of the statue for preservation in a museum. However, the villagers strongly opposed the officials’ attempts, leading to a tense situation. The administrative authorities tried to explain and persuade the villagers, but their deep-rooted faith in the statue’s significance made them unwilling to concede.
The dispute intensified as the administration sought to secure the rare artifact in a museum, while the villagers insisted on installing it in the village. Efforts to mediate and explain by the police administration were ongoing, but the villagers remained steadfast in their belief. Hundreds of people gathered at the site, creating a standoff between the two sides.
Assistant District Magistrate Abhay Kumar Tiwari arrived at Sijhauri village, witnessing the fervent sentiments of the villagers. He appealed to the people to hand over the statue to the administration after understanding its historical importance. According to SDM Tiwari, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has classified the discovered statue as belonging to the rare category.
In this context, Block Development Officer Amit Kumar explained that the excavation of the pond and the unveiling of the statue were remarkable events. The administration aims to follow the legal process to secure and preserve the statue in a safe museum environment. However, the villagers continued to express their strong opposition to handing over the statue, intensifying the standoff between them and the administration.