About 20 km from Mysuru in a small village Arasinakere, a pair of statues of Nandi, speculated to be carved out of monolithic soapstone have been excavated from a dried-up lake. The locals claimed to be aware of the presence of the statue as its head came out of the water whenever the water level of the lake dipped-down in summers. This year the lake has completely dried up and which fueled the curiosity of the residents to try unearthing the structure by digging deeper this time. The locals who were involved in the process of excavation of the statue also deployed an earthmover during a 3 to 4-day process, which resulted in the unearthing of two giant Nandi statues facing each other.
Experts from the Department of Archeology, Museum and Heritage, with archaeologist M L Gowda and engineer Satish, took a tour to the spot on Monday. Archaeologist M L Gowda in a statement to newspaper daily ‘The Hindu’ said that the appearance of these Nandi-statues suggests the statue to be from the 16th or 17th century which dates back to the post-Vijayanagar period. He further said that these statues resemble the sculptures that were carved out of smooth soapstone during that period.
The carving of statues has been done by a single rock. M L Gowda said that the statues are not finished and are in incomplete form. One of them is 85 per cent complete while the other is one is just 60 per cent complete. Also, both the statues are not identical in size as one is 15 feet in length and 12 feet in height the other one is comparatively smaller and much compact according to the locals.
The locals speculate that there are possibilities of an ancient temple beneath the lake. The excavation process has been paused and further instructions from higher officials on measures to be taken while excavation is being awaited.