Haritika statue discovered in Sirpur

Archaeologists have unearthed the statue of Buddhist female monk dating 6th century in Chhattisgarh state. This woman, Haritika used to abduct children and kill them and was converted by Buddha himself, by kidnapping her child.

Arun Kumar Sharma, chief of the excavation project, said that it was for the first time they have discovered the image of Haritika, which proves that female deities were as popular as their male counterparts in that era.
“This is for the first time the image of Haritiki has been found in Sirpur. So far Jambal image was discovered but this Haritiki is first, which too inscribed in 6th century. It shows that female deities were as important as the male deities,” Sharma said.
The archaeologists have also excavated a unique nine-room area with eight ladders leading to the rooms.
Rare emblems of Hindu lord Shiva have also been discovered for which the excavators are trying to trace the roots.
“So far I have excavated nearly seven mounds and this (includes) Shiva temples. This Buddha Vihar (residence) is unique. You have to climb eight steps to enter the Buddha Vihar and there are nine rooms and 12 pillared Mandapa (a columned hall) in the centre and in the south there is a sanctum sanctorum where Buddha statue must have been there, which is stolen,” Sharma said. [Sixth century Buddhist statue discovered]

Sirpur was visited by Huen Tsang in the 7th century and the treasures he described were unearthed two years back. Sirpur also has one of the oldest Laxman temples of India, built using bricks.

3 thoughts on “Haritika statue discovered in Sirpur

  1. I am kinda surprised by the line that says “female dieties were as important as male” – wasn’t that always the case in India? Wasn’t it always a case of Shakthi and Shivam together, rather than shivam alone and so on?
    BTW – Thanks for the blogroll link.

  2. I disagree with the claim “as popular as” because finding one female statue among many male statues does not prove the claim…the dataset is not enough. The author could say that “even female deities were present among the pantheon” or something like that.

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