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Vijayawada: 1000 Year Old Suparsvanatha Jain Idol

VIJAYAWADA: The cultural centre of Vijayawada and Amaravati (CCVA) found a 1,000-year-old sculpture of a Jain Tirthankara in a dumpyard amidst thorny bushes and shrubs near Basavalingam temple located towards the northern side of Macherla town in Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, during their survey which is a part of their Preserve Heritage for Posterity campaign.

CCVA CEO E Sivanagi Reddy explained that the idol dates back to the 11th century AD. About 5 ft tall and 3 ft in width, the sculpture carved out on a black granite stone depicts Suparsvanatha, the seventh Tirthankara amongst the 24. He also said that the sculpture represents the Kalyani Chalukya style of art and iconography

“Though Macherla Town was associated with both Saivisam and Vaishnavisam, it is very interesting to note that the town also witnessed the co-existence of Jaina pantheon during the 10th - 12th centuries AD,” Sivanagi Reddy said.

Focussing on the minute details of the sculpture, Sivanagi Reddy said that the Jain idol is based on the seven hooded Nagaraja whose coils are shown on the backside of idol, and triple parasols atop the idol. Decorated with Makaratorana at its back on either side of its body, the Tirthankara statue depicts a stiff standing posture (Kayotsargasana) and is delineated with the miniature figures of 24 Thirthankaras.

Reddy further added that the sculptures of Sasana devatas, Yaksha and Yakshini, are intricately carved and can be seen on the Makara Torana.

As the idol was neglected for a long time in the shrub jungle, he has requested the newly elected MLA of Macherla constituency Mr Pinnelli Ramakrishna Reddy to use his good offices to shift and safeguard the idol in the Chennakesava Swamy temple. He asked him to erect it on a properly built pedestal with a short legend on the historical significance of sculpture for the benefit of the public as well as research scholars. Ch. Sreenivasachary, sculptor from Durgi accompanied Dr. Reddy in his tour.

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