A fine stone statue of Padmapani Lokeshwar stolen 44 years ago from Shankar Kirti Bihar of Naxal, Kathmandu was found in the National Museum, Chhauni, Kathmandu. The lost statue was identified by the locals and heritage preservation campaigners verifying the old photographs and descriptions given by elderly locals.
The statue was brought to its original place with processions of music and cultural bands on Sunday. It was reinstalled at its original place with rituals by Buddhist priests. Thus, after standing as a stone statue for decades, it turned to be a deity again.
Shankar Kirti Bihar was in a ruined state due to lack of repair and maintenance. The complex of Bihar is wide in area and surrounds with a main Bihar building and rest-places. These all have been renovated recently. Technical and support for renovation was provided by the Department of Archaeology, the government agency responsible for conservation and restoration of cultural and religious artefacts, building and properties.
The core area of Naxal bears history related with Lichhavi period (400 – 750 AD). After Lichhavis, Mallas ruled the country. The Chaityas and artefacts of the Bihar indicate that the Bihar was built in the late Lichhavi period or early Malla period.