Deputy Superintending Archaeologist
Archaeological Survey of India
The village kurumba is situated about 2 kms north east of Kshiragram yielded several scattered vestiges of old habitational remains and a few sculptural specimens. Apparently, this village is a part of the Kshiragram-Mangalkote cluster. According to the villagers some of the sculptures were found during the excavation of a pond. At the northern part of this village known as Purba Gopalpur there is a huge structural mound with the modern temple of Madangopala. This temple was most probably erected on the ruins of an older temple and the extensive structural mound is now encroached by modern habitations. A beautiful image of Visnu (100 cm x 50 cm x 12 cm) of black stone is worshipped under a pipal tree.
The main deity stands in samapadasthanaka posture on a full-blown lotus carved above a pancaratha pedestal. He is flanked as usual by Laksmi and Sarasvati and by the sankha and cakra ayudhapurusas. Laksmi and Sarasvati stand in dvibhanga posture on separate full blown lotus placed on the same pedestal. They hold the usual attributes and are adorned with different ornaments. The vahana of Visnu, Garuda, is depicted on the right side of the pedestal. He kneels with hands joined in the gesture of veneration. The remaining portion of the pedestal is decorated with a large lotus and accompanying foliage. This Visnu icon is of the Trivikrama form.
Another image of Visnu which was originally found from the Nipukur (tank) of the present village is presently worshipped in the house of Sri Bipad Garai. This image made of fine quality chloritoid phyllite measures 78 cm x 35 cm x 12 cm. At the pinnacle of the stele is a stylized kirtimukha and the main deity holds clock wise a discus, mace, conch, and the varada mudra with a small lotus bud carved on the palm of the lower right hand. The icon is adorned with a vanamala, a sacred thread of pearls (mukta yajnopavita), and other ornaments. The scarf across his chest and the short dhoti are indicated by wavy lines. Both Laksmi and Sarasvati are present along with two more attendant figures. Two lotuses emerge from the triratha pedestal, their blossoms being just above the heads of the goddesses. All the attendant deities stand on individual lotuses which emerge from a central lotus stem depicted below the main icon. Two kneeling devotees have been carved with precision on either side of the coiled lotus stem on the pedestal. The throne at the back of the main deity consists of pilasters which again support the leogryphs and makaras the latter being surmounted by winged kinnaras playing musical instruments. Male flying vidyadharas (garland bearers) with small consorts perched on their legs adorn the upper portion of the stele. This Visnu icon is of the Sridhara form.
Another Visnu icon of the Sridhara form found from this site is in the collection of a local club called Netaji Sangha. This icon (105 cm x 43 cm x 12 cm) is of a dark coloured chlorite stone and it is a meticulously carved specimen. The god is shown standing in samapadasthanaka posture on a visvapadma placed on a triratha pedestal. A conical crown kiritamukuta, a sacred thread (yajnopavita) and a long vanamala reaching down below the knees along with other ornaments adorn the figure of the god. The image is clad in a diaphanous uttariya and dhoti. The dhoti reaches up to the knees and is tied at the waist by a girdle with a knot on its right side and from the former hangs the tassels. The god is four armed. The upper left and right hands hold gada (mace) and cakra (discus) respectively and both the lower left and right hands resting on the lotus depict sankha and padma carved on the palm of the deity. He is accompanied by his female attendant deities Laksmi and Sarasvati. Laksmi stands on the proper right holding a long-stalked lotus in her left hand and in her right hand she holds a cauri. Sarasvati stands on the left holding a one-stringed vina with both hands. The god is flanked by two other male attendants. The stele of the deity is rectangular in shape and is surmounted by an arched top which depicts at its center a kirtimukha. Below the apex are the flying gandharvas along with other floral decorations. The stele also depicts two gaja-sardula figures (triumphant lion trampling on couchant elephants) and above it are the heavenly musician couples on either side of the main deity. The triratha pedestal is elaborately decorated with lotus buds and stalks. On stylistic grounds the above Visnu images may be assigned to 10th – 12th centuries CE.
The sculptural remains of this site indicate that during the early medieval times this site was flourished and Vaisnavism was very much popular in the area. This site needs details investigation to understand the complete archaeological profile.
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