Buddhist site in oblivion

Express News Service, December 31 2007

KONARK, India -- Buddhist site Kuruma, which can be developed into a beautiful tourist draw, is yet to be tapped by State Government and Archaeological authorities.

Kuruma, the revenue village, is situated 8 km away from famous Konark temple under Kurujang GP in Kakatpur block of Puri district.

The mound of bricks which attracts the attention of tourists lie by the side of a large tank called ‘dharma pokhari’ at end of the village.

During excavation of the tank by villagers, a beautiful statue of Buddha was discovered.

Since then the villagers have been worshiping the image as ‘Dharma- Niranjan’ as it was not recognised as a statue of Buddha at that time.

The local people congregate here in every Baisakha Purnima, the birthday of Gautam Buddha. Besides the Buddha image two other images were found in this tank and named differently by the villagers. The villagers are also worshiping them since long.

In front of a temporary shed, which was build by the villagers on a mound of bricks, a hall with channels was also excavated.

The walls of hall are made of brick. According to historians, the bricks date back to 6th century AD. There are also some other rooms near this hall.

The State Archeology began excavating Kuruma in 1971 but no significant progress has been made till date. The progress of work is very slow and a meager amount is being spent annually for excavation.

In the neighboring ‘Yama Dharma’ wells, bricks and different kinds of pots were also excavated. Voluntary organisation FCDA started organising Boudhha Utsav here last year on Buddha Purnima.