The statue was discovered during construction work on the premises of an existing Jain temple located at Sonune Galli of Aundha Nagnath, nearly 600 km from Mumbai, on Tuesday, they said
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An over 1,000-year-old stone statue of Lord Kunthunath, one of the Jain Tirthankaras, has been found in Maharashtra's Hingoli district, experts said on Thursday.
The statue was discovered during construction work on the premises of an existing Jain temple located at Sonune Galli of Aundha Nagnath, nearly 600 km from Mumbai, on Tuesday, they said.
The sculpture, carved out of a basalt stone, could be from the 12th-13th century and is of "refined" make, they said.
Indologist Saili Palande-Datar said, "The recently excavated sculpture near the Jain temple at Aundha Nagnath can be identified as that of Kunthunath Bhagwan."
According to Jainism, Kunthunath was the 17th of the 24 Tirthankaras, each of whom has a specific representative symbol or "lakshana". This Kunthunath statue can be identified through its goat symbol, she said. Lord Mahavira was the 24th Tirthankara.
The antiquity of the sculpture matching with other classical remains at the spot substantiated the presence of an important Jain centre at Aundha Nagnath during the 12th-13th century, she said.
Mayuresh Khadke, an archaeologist with the state archaeology department, said, "This idol can be from the Chalukya era. It is of Lord Kunthunath as it can be identified by a 'lakshana of goat over' the idol."
Meanwhile, Raigad district police in Maharashtra is establishing a museum that will exhibit documents, uniforms and weapons used by the force over the last several decades, a senior official said on Thursday.
The museum will be set up in the police's district headquarters, Raigad Superintendent of Police Somnath Gharge said.
"There will also be section that shows how the police wireless systems and other communication equipment changed over time. We hope it will become a tourist attraction," Gharge added.
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