Students stumble upon Mahavira sculpture in Pudukottai
A group of history students from Bharathidasan University recently discovered a sculpture of Jain Tirthankara Mahavira at Eraiyur in Pudukottai district, according to the Pudukottai Archaeological Research Forum.
The four students, S. Mariammal, S. Rengaraj, R. Priyanka and S. Logeswaran, all second year students of the five-year integrated course in masters history at Bharathidasan University, came across the sculpture, a rock lingam and broken pieces of a Nandi.
The students, passionate about archeology, made the discovery during a field exploration conducted in the village. They were guided by A. Manikandan, a researcher in the Department of Ancient Sciences of the Tamil University and founder of the Archaeological Research Forum, as he had previously found the remains of a temple in the village.
“We found the sculpture half-buried in a thorny bush and were able to identify it as Mahavira because we had studied it and seen its images. Our hypothesis was then confirmed by the Archaeological Research Forum, ”said Rangaraj.
The sculpture was 89 cm high and 54 cm wide.
Mr Manikandan said the sculpture depicting Mahavira in a meditative sitting posture probably belonged to the 10th century CE.