500 year old Hindu temple submerged in the Mahanadi, Odisha was recently found

A  60 foot tall  500-year-old temple  found submerged in Odisha’s Mahanadi came to light recently  this month by the experts  as a heritage project was underway by the National Trust for Art & Cultural & Cultural Heritage (INTACH) in Odisha. A documentation  project of the heritage sites in the river valley had been going on for sometime since last year  and the temple was noticed in the mid-river near   Baideswar in the Padmavati area in Cuttack.  The temple was dedicated to Gopinath Dev.  It is said that nearly 50 ancient temples were lost due to the Hirakud dam that covers a vast area. 

Submerged 500 year old temple, Mahanadi, Odisha democraticaccent.com

submerged temple, Mahanadi, Odisha. deccanherald.com

Based on the style of  construction -  the Mastaka and the materials used in  the structure,  according to the project co-ordinator, Mr. Dhir. the temple dates back to  the 15th century.  The INTACH would  make a formal request to the  Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to take steps for relocating  it  to a much  safer site and  carry out the restoration work. The state government will also approach the ASI as they have the technology and manpower to do this delicate job.  The INTACH, it is said, had  so far located as many as 65 ancient temples in the Mahanadi river during its documentation project  and many of them are in the  Hirakud reservoir. The INACH director said, they need to be ''dismantled and  reconstructed''. The region where the temple was found submerged was known as  “Satapatana” in the early days.  Owing to catastrophic flooding,   the  over-flowing  river changed  its course of flow  and caused the submergence of the village.        

Herakud dam, Odisha one of the 10 largest dams in the world. trendrr.net
In the mid 19th century, it had been a practice by the temple administrators to  shift the idols and deities  of the vulnerable temples  to a much safer  and higher location  for the purpose of saving the structure and the deities for the posterity. The Gopinath Dev temple of Padmavati village was shifted to the present place way back in the past.   The heritage survey covering  the various sites all along its course  from the source of the Mahanadi to its confluence in the Bay of Bengal - a distance of 1700 km is in its final  phases   of completion, according to the INTACH. A multi-volume report of the nearly 800 monuments that have been documented will be released by 2021. For the heritage lovers, it will be a great boon to get to know  the temples that had not been seen or studied in detail so far. The heritage survey covers 9 districts through which the  river Mahanadi flows.  Mr. Dhir, who had earlier led the Old Jagannath Sadak and the Prachi valley documentation projects, was of the opinion that  the richness and diversity of the Mahanadi valley had not yet been taken up in depth so far. Perhaps, it may be a beginning to  know the hidden heritage structures of Odisha. There is also an urgent need to repair and restore numerous  heritage monuments that are slowly crumbling due to poor maintenance and  lack of protection from the vandals and hooligans.