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Kashmir bronzes in focus

In significant find, four ninth century idols unearthed

PHOTO: PTI

Rare Find: One of the bronzes unearthed

Srinagar: The Archaeology Department here has unearthed bronze idols dating back to the ninth century A.D., which showcase Kashmir's elegant bronze art, from Kupwara district of North Kashmir.

They depict Vishnu and Vaishnavi and were found at Zurhama, 95 km from here, on April 24, Deputy Director of Archaeology, Archives and Museums M.S. Zahid said.

He said the discovery was the first of its kind in Kupwara and bore testimony to the distinctive bronze art history of Kashmir, the earliest evidence of which was found in the southern Kashmir districts of Anantnag and Pulwama.

The biggest of the sculptures, measuring 27 cm x 15 cm, was of Vaishnavi, seated cross-legged on a pedestal designed as a lotus. A second one, measuring 23 cm x 13 cm, was of Vishnu riding the Garuda.

In addition, pottery pieces were found during a trial dig at the site.

The finds are considered very significant in view of the varied religious influences that, historically, have swept over the region, which is located at the junction of India, Central Asia, and China-Tibet. — PTI

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