Bhubaneswar: A bone relic, believed to be a tooth of Lord Buddha, kept in the strong room of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) office here since 1985, is likely to be displayed at the state museum soon, Odisha Tourism minister Maheswar Mohanty said.
"ASI authorities have assured us that they will hand over the bone relic to the state government soon," Mohanty said.
The relic, considered sacred for Buddhist followers, was unearthed during an ASI excavation at Lalitgiri, a Buddhist site in Jajpur, in 1985.
"We first found a stone pot during excavation. When we opened it, a silver cup was found and finally the bone relic was seen in a gold cover," an ASI official said.
When the state government attempted to collect the relic from the ASI in 1985, it was opposed by some political leaders of Jajpur district.
While the leaders demanded that the relic be housed at Lalitgiri museum, the ASI refused to hand it over to them on security reason.
Meanwhile, Mohanty motivated the Jajpur leaders and got their support to keep the relic at the state Museum here.