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Ancient statue found in Dhulikhel

The ancient statue of a Kirati woman thought to be from 2nd century BC found in Dhulikhel by locals on 23 August has now been transferred to the National Museum in Chhauni in Kathmandu. The statue likely of a goddess, delicately crafted with jewelries on its outline, was found about 300 meters below the surface on the Araniko Highway, in Dhulikhel Municipality-3 of Kavre during a road construction. The right hand of the statue and below waistline are missing.

 

Dr. Ramesh Dhungel, an eminent archaeologist and historian said that "The features seen in the statue convince that its origin ranges from second century BC to the first century. That is approximately 2,200 years old."  He said there are striking similarities between the statue and a first century idol named 'Ekanamsa' in Patna Museum, India.  He adds "The features of the recently found statue in Dhulikhel coincides with the features of Ekamansa that dates back to the first century. So the statues could be from the same era."

 

Prominent art historian Lain Singh Bangdel's book "Early Sculptures of Nepal" mentions Ekanamsa as a female idol whose origin traces back to the first century BC and considered a pure representation of an ancient Hindu goddess.

 

This statue also has remarkable similar features. "This idol has fine details of a high-class jewelleries. It has a long earring and double layered necklaces. Although the lower body part is amputated, the skirt is draped perfectly, like in the Ekanamsa statue," said Dhungel.  The statue could be of a Hindu deity or a representation of a 'mother goddess'.  He also pointed out that although the statue is thought to be of a Kirati woman, there is not much evidence to support the speculation. "The idol certainly has Mongolian facial features but other details present a contrasting opinion," he added.

 

Visit Dhulikhel and the National Museum in Chauni to catch a glimpse of this priceless artefact!