Ancient sculptures discovered in a village near Assam-Mizoram Border

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In a remarkable archaeological discovery, Associate Professor Dr Ganesh Nandi and researcher Dr Binoy Paul from the Department of Visual Arts at Assam University, Silchar have accidentally discovered 8th-century (approximately 1500 years old) Hindu and Buddhist-influenced sculptures at Kolalian village near Assam’s Barak Valley on the Assam-Mizoram border.

The sculptures were found in the dense forests in Kolalian village located in Mamit district in the south-western part of Mizoram situated next to Hailakandi district in Assam. The area is predominantly inhabited by Reang tribes, who follow Hinduism and worship Hindu deities.

Dr Ganesh Nandi and researcher Dr Binoy Paul stumbled upon the sculptures while on an expedition to document the rock art and megaliths in the region. The arduous journey to the location involved trekking through dense forests for nearly an entire night.

As per Dr Ganesh Nandi, the two ancient sculptures resemble 8th and 9th century AD stone works of the Gupta and Pala periods. One of the sculptures is carved into the hills (relief sculpture) and resembles like a Buddha while the other is a statue made of stone in the hills (free standing sculpture) and resembles like the Hindu goddess Parvati.

Dr Nandi noted that the style of stone works, the ornaments, dress of the idols bear striking resemblances with sculptures found in Tripura’s Unakoti and Pilak.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been notified about the discovery and will soon conduct a detailed survey of the site. Dr Nandi said that this site was not known to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the past researchers.

The locals were worshipping and protecting these stone sculptures, considering them as their Gods. It was found that they had been performing puja and rituals on these sites for generations.

This is a significant archaeological discovery that has the potential to find more about the history of Assam, Tripura and Mizoram. This discovery could shed light on the cultural exchange and syncretism between the communities living in the region.

Further research and investigation are required to uncover the full story behind these ancient sculptures. The discovery has generated a lot of excitement among historians and archaeologists, and it is hoped that it will lead to more significant discoveries in the future.

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