A 14th century Ganesha idol that is believed to have been worshipped by soldiers during war was excavated accidentally during foundation laying works for a structure in the premises of KCP Sugar Mills at Challapalli in Krishna district. The idol, belonging to the Kalinga style, has huge historical importance as it belongs to rulers of the Telugu kingdom.
The Ganesha, seated in the Lalitasana on a pedestal, has been identified by archaeologists from Vijayawada as belonging to from Eastern Ganga period. The idol was discovered when a worker hit the stone with a crowbar. When officials looked for the source, they found the idol. The impact chipped off a small flake on the left hand of the granite idol.
AP Deputy Speaker Mandali Buddha Prasad was informed by KCP officials and he rushed to the spot and informed archaeologist Dr E. Siva Nagi Reddy of the Cultural Centre at Vijayawada. “The Ganesha idol has four hands, it holds an akshamala (rosary) in the right lower hand and danta (tusk) in the lower left hand. The upper right and left hands hold the pasa (noose) and the anukusa (goad) respectively," said Dr Nagi Reddy.
He said that the sculpture having a jata makuta on the head and holding the akshamala in the right hand indicates that it belongs to the 14th century AD. He added “During the rule of Ama Vema Reddy in the 14th century, the Eastern Ganga king Bhanudeva-IV camped at Srikakulam close to Challapalli during which time the sculpture was carved by the Kalinga sculptors for the regiment. A similar Ganesha idol with jata makuta and akshamala is seen at Kitching, a medieval temple centre in Odisha. In all probability the Ganesha idol represents the Kalinga style of art."
KCP officials are building a temple for the idol. The Deputy Speaker said that there is need to take up a thorough survey by the state department of archaeology in the Eastern Gangas in Diviseema.