Ancient Mahavira idol belonging to 11th century AD has been found in remote Puliyur village in Tiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu. The sculpture was found near a ruined temple called Bajanai Koil. The sculpture was showing the Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthankara of Jainism, in a sitting posture.
According to the report
, heritage activist Sridharan Appandairaj said, “A senior citizen in the village would perform puja on the sculpture until two years ago. He told the villagers it was the idol of Buddha and they still believe so. The priest is no more today. We told the villagers that it's the sculpture of Mahavira, not Buddha."
"The stylistic pattern shows it was sculpted during the later period of Jainism, say after the 10th century AD. Many ancient sculptures of Jain Tirthankaras have been found abandoned in Tamil Nadu. We have constructed shelters for those sculptures in many places. After we talked, Puliyur villagers have said they will protect it," said Sridhar.