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  India   All India  11 Nov 2023  Odisha's stolen Asthtadhatu idol seized at Delhi airport

Odisha's stolen Asthtadhatu idol seized at Delhi airport

THE ASIAN AGE. | AKSHAYA KUMAR SAHOO
Published : Nov 11, 2023, 1:56 am IST
Updated : Nov 11, 2023, 1:56 am IST

Odisha’s Jajpur district police received the ancient idol, believed to be from the ninth or tenth century, and brought it back to the state

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan receiving the idol in Delhi. (DC)
 Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan receiving the idol in Delhi. (DC)

 Bhubaneswar: A rare century-old ‘Ashtadhatu’ idol of Goddess Kotrakshi which was stolen from a temple in Odisha’s Jajpur returned to Odisha on Friday.

Odisha’s Jajpur district police received the ancient idol, believed to be from the ninth or tenth century, and brought it back to the state.

The idol is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Chamunda. It will be reinstalled at the temple from where it was stolen.

Custom officials at the New Delhi airport had seized the idol of the goddess while it was being exported to another country.

The, considered an antique, was stolen from a temple at Darpangarh village in Jajpur district on January 11, 2021. It was, however, recovered at Delhi airport before being smuggled into a foreign land.

On learning about the idol theft, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan had requested finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her cooperation in ensuring the return of the stolen idol.

Through a letter, he requested the finance minister to intervene and return the idol after it was seized by customs officials and was with the Customs Commissioner’s New Delhi air cargo.

According to the locals, Maa Kotrakshi is a symbol of faith, community spirit, and heritage and is the presiding deity of Darpangarh village.

The villagers had installed another idol of Maa Kotrakshi seven months after the theft. However, the original idol which is around 26-inch and weighs 38 kg, will be reinstalled at the temple very soon, the locals said.

Tags: asthtadhatu, goddess kotrakshi, stolen artifact
Location: India, Odisha