Buddha bronze idol could belong to 17-18 century

Press Trust of India, February 16, 2005

Chennai, India -- The six-inch bronze idol of Lord Buddha washed ashore near Chennai from South East Asia by the tsunami could be over 250 years old.

Archaeological Survey of India Superintending Engineer, T Sathyamurthy, said that the statue, found recently near Kalpakkam shores, could belong to 17th or 18th century and may be from either Myanmar or Thailand.

"We are now trying to place it in a museum," he said.

Dr P Sasisekaran, one of the scientists had said the idol was inside a bamboo box. Two cups, normally used for keeping flowers, were also found in the box. Two 'monk ropes' were also found along with the statue, he said.

It was surprising how the statue, which was washed ashore, had withstood the fury of tsunami, Sathyamurthy said.

A few days ago, a big block of stone carvings had come to view from under the water on the shores of Mamallapuram near Chennai after tsunami waves hit the coast. Some of the sculptures include that of lions, a horse, and a miniature cut-in shrine. A structure at the ground level consists of a fallen outer wall and an inner wall, perhaps belonging to a temple.

A technical underwater survey is likely to commence around next month.