Mangalore, February 07, 2020: In an astonishing find, a rare sixth century granite idol of ‘Lajja Gauri’ has been discovered fixed on the road in Barkur village of Udupi district, according to information furnished by Dr. Shivakant Bajpai, Superintending Archaeologist of ASI Bangalore Circle. Lajja Gauri is depicted in nude form and is said to be a fertility symbol. The idol is rare, though very popular among certain cults.
Dr. Shivakant Bajpai, who is on a tour of the coastal districts, said that he first came across the image when it went viral on social media. He subsequently traced it to a public road in Barkur, which is an ancient historical town of coastal Karnataka. It was the ancient capital of the Alupa kingdom and a seat of power for several centuries.
“This is a very important idol and hundreds of vehicles pass over it every day. We are rescuing it and I have issued an order to my local in-charge to keep it in safe custody. I have also sent a mail in this regard to the DC and SP of the district,” he said.
The idol is likely to be of 6th or 7th century, though further study is required to confirm a date, Dr. Bajpai said.
Wikipedia describes Lajjā Gaurī as a lotus-headed Hindu Goddess associated with abundance, fertility and sexuality, sometimes euphemistically described as Lajja (“modesty”).