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Goddess springs from dream to reality

Goddess springs from dream to reality

Author: Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui
Publication: The Times of India
Date: April 30, 2005
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1093715.cms

It is a dream come true for Jagannath Patel. And practically so for all the 2,500-odd villagers in this non-descript hamlet of Kashipur situated in Kunda tehsil of Pratapgarh. For, Jagannath's unusual dream in January led them to dig out idols of a goddess coupled with the remains of a temple structure, dating back to the Rajput era. The signs of prosperity that this new find has brought for Kashipur residents can easily be seen in the form of make-shift stalls of eatables and prasad, where the villagers are now earning more than they got as farm labourers by catering to the needs of the thousands who visit the site every day.

In the centre of all the festivity that is evident in Kashimpur, stands Jagannath Patel - a 45-year-old illiterate spinster who, the villagers believe, saw the deity in his dream on the night of January 24, 2005. "Hum yahan dabe hain humko nikalo yahan se" (I am buried here...take me out), is what a female voice had thundered in his ears when he was fast asleep outside the Mathna Devi Mandir near the pond situated at the village entrance. It was this dream that saw Jagannath dig up the area where the villagers often set up bonfire to kill the chill of a wintry night. And barely a few strokes of spade later, they unearthed a marble idol - two and a half feet tall neatly chiselled "Asht Bhuja" (eight arms) figure of woman laden with bead ornaments.

As the information about this idol spread like wildfire, other villagers joined him. And every other stroke of spade brought them face to face with a civilisation old enough that none in the village or those around, could remember to have heard of, even from their forefathers. Two days later, two-feet-high remains of a 26-room structure, was clearly visible at the site. It comprised a well-defined portico and a canopy with the sanctum-sanctorum right in the centre lined with corridors on either sides which connected a series of rooms in the rear - all made of irregular kiln bricks measuring something around 12" X 9" X 2" stood their.

"Yeh Maisa Surmardhani hain," says Jagannath, bowing before the idol now clad in a red chunari with glittering gota and lachka resting on a stone slab under a makeshift canopy on the pond's banks.

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