Image Courtesy : Wikipedia

A Team from the Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage (INTACH), in a survey, near the Ancient River of Ratnachara at Pipili Tehsil of Odisha, found an ancient temple in ruins, which predates the Gupta Era! A legend associated with this ancient river is that Lord Ram, during his exile, made this river to quench the thirst of his consort. It is said that this ancient temple marks the legend.

Four member Team led by  Project co-ordinator Anil Dhir, Research assistant Dipak Kumar Nayak, Subhashish Dash, and Suman Swain documented the discovery at Biropurusottampur in Pipili Tehsil. The temple is known as Swapneswar Mahadev, situated near another ancient temple of Gateswar. According to Dipak Nayak, the temple is an early stone structure that could be dated back to many centuries. Anil Dhir felt dissatisfied as the ASI completely neglected doing a proper survey in this area. As this discovery came to light, people began demanding the officials to come forward to restore this temple.

The area they found the temple was once a part of Toshali of The ancient Kalinga Kingdom, which has been mentioned in a copper plate inscription from the Gupta Era. The same will be found in the inscriptions issued in Sri Lokavigraha and Olasingh plates of 6th century CE. They mention the existence of Nagas in this place and the people revered the deity of Maninageswar. As per the construction of the temple, it appears like it was built before the Kalinga War, which makes this an ancient surviving structure in this area as the square blocks of khandolite were stacked in interlocking technique and they used no binding agent.

-Viswanath Venkat Dasari.

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