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The site has surely lost its former importance in public memory. The splendor of the site in ancient times can be easily gauged by a visit to either the Patna Museum or the Indian Museum at Kolkata. Any visitor to these two Museums is sure to notice the name of Kurkihar. The large number of sculptures on display tagged with the name of the Village will make the visitor wonder about the splendor of the site in its prime. Several beautiful images casted in Bronze and crafted on stone, currently on display in the galleries of the important museums owe their origin to Kurkihar. They are ascribed mostly to the Pala age.
The first time that I became aware of the importance of Kurkihar, was in September, 2006, when tragically, 18 of the bronze artefacts that had been discovered in 1930 and were put on display at the Patna Museum were stolen. I was then posted as the City SP, Patna and was closely associated with the initial investigation into the theft. The loss of the treasures was deeply regretted and vigorous efforts had been made to trace them. The theft case was later transferred to the CBI for investigation and later due to police efforts, 17 of the stolen artefacts were fortunately recovered. Kukihar thereafter always remained in my consciousness and I had a desire to be able sometime to physically visit the site to see the present condition of the legendary ancient site.
On my visit to the museums I had become curious about the village and its location in Gaya, Bihar. I was captivated by the articles on display and had already pledged myself to visit the site sometime if afforded an opportunity. Going on the highway from Patna to Gaya, one is sure to notice the boards put up by Bihar Tourism Department mentioning Kurkihar as a tourist destination, which raises some expectations about the tourist amenities there, which however, are actually non-existent. I was fortunate to finally visit the site on 28th August, 2013 during the tour of Gaya district.
To be continued...