- 10th century Indian goddess statue found in a garden in Britain
- Theft took place 40 years ago from Lokhri temple in Banda district of Bundelkhand
- Ancient idol of Yogini returned to India on the occasion of Makar Sankranti
A 10th-century idol found in a garden in England, illegally removed 40 years ago from a village temple in Uttar Pradesh, was returned to India on Friday on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. Indian High Commissioner to Britain Gayatri Issar Kumar formally took over the statue at the Indian High Commission in London from Chris Marinello of Art Recovery International, the organization that helped repatriate the statue.
The idol is part of a Yogini installed in the Lokhri temple in Banda district of Bundelkhand. It will now be sent to the Archaeological Survey of India in New Delhi. Kumar said in this regard at the function held at India House, “It is very auspicious to receive this Yogini on Makar Sankranti.” He said that after the High Commission was informed about it in October 2021, the process of repatriation has been completed in record time. It will now be sent to ASI and we believe they will hand it over to the National Museum.
Statue of elf found in Paris too
Kumar recalled the “strange coincidence” that the statue of a buffalo-headed elf was recovered during his diplomatic stint in Paris and sent back to India. This idol was also probably stolen from the same temple in Lokhri. In 2013 that statue was installed in the National Museum in New Delhi. Yoginis are a group of powerful goddesses associated with the Tantric system of worship. They are worshiped as a group and are believed to have infinite powers.
Buddhist period temple found in Pakistan
Last month, a 2,300-year-old Buddhist temple was discovered by a joint team of Pakistani and Italian archaeologists in north-west Pakistan. Along with this some other valuable artifacts were also found in the excavation. This temple was found in the Buddhist period Bajira town of Barikot tehsil in Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. This temple was said to be the oldest temple of the Buddhist period in Pakistan.