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Submitted by Team TOI on 8 February 2017

Among the most important artefacts of Bhumara is a Shiva-lingam with a bust relief of the deity, which occupies almost the entire height of the lingam. The face of Shiva, depicted as youthful with half-opened eyes and calm posture, shows the god in a meditative state. On the forehead of Shiva, a third eye can be seen, considered in mythology to be a sign of knowledge and wisdom but also, in his role as destroyer, able to burn his enemies to ashes. The long braided hair around the head is shown decorated with a crown and jewelled tiara. The tip is depicted with a crescent moon, traditionally associated with 'churning of the ocean of milk'.Strands of hair hang from the side of the head to below shoulders and are strewn on the side of the stone. Jewels portrayed on the neck of Shiva are—as with many contemporary Buddhas—usual portraits shown in the form of three rings.

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