The Archaeological Survey of India has restored Chhattisgarh’s 1,300-year-old Ganesha idol that Bastar police suspected Maoists destroyed in January, ANI reported on Thursday. Dantewada Collector Saurabh Kumar said the site will be opened for visitors after a few finishing touches are added to the idol on Friday.
Kumar told the news agency that villagers wanted the idol restored at the site and not relocated.
On January 27, a search party had found the damaged statue at the base of Dantewad’s Dholkal hill after visitors reported that it had gone missing the day before. Bastar Police had said Maoists may have pushed the idol from its 13,000-feet-high spot to stall development work in their stronghold.
The state government had recently sanctioned Rs 2 crore to develop the area as a tourist attraction after a local journalist discovered the site in 2012, The Times of India reported. The Ganesh idol is believed to be from the Nagvanshi dynasty.
Chhattisgarh Tourism and Culture Minister Dayaldas Baghel had said an inquiry has been initiated into the incident.