Lord Ganesha is worshipped in different forms across the country and in the Naxal-affected Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh, an idol of the lord is installed for thousands years at a height of around 3,000 feet.
However, no one is sure how the idol, worshipped by tribals as 'their saviour', was installed at this arduous hillock. Locals also claim that besides this statue on Dholkal peak, another idol of sun god was established at a nearby peak but was taken away by unknown miscreant years ago.
Despite a steep trek, locals visit the site for worshipping the elephant-headed god and also for tourism purposes. Three-feet high and two-and-a-half feet wide statue is an exhibition of artistic brilliance. Justifying the saviour avtaar, the idol has farsa (sharp weapon) in one hand and a broken tooth in another.
Dholkal signifies two meanings. Dhol in local language means semi-speared musical instrument while Kal in local dialect means pahadi or hillock. One of the meanings signify that the hillock stands like a dhol while another meaning of the name suggests that if dhol is played on this hillock, the sound is heard in a wide area.
For reaching Dholkal, first one has to reach 18 km away Farsapal and from here, Jampara via Kotwalpara. From Jampara, you need a three-hour trek to reach the Dholkal peak at the hillock.
As the legend has it, natives of South Bastar, Bhogami tribals consider themselves descendants of female priests of Dholkal. According to mythology, lord Ganesha and Parashuram (a seer) had a battle at this hillock and in this fight, lord Ganesha’s tooth was broken and fell here.
To immortalise this mythological event, the Nagwanshi kings of the region had established lord Ganesha statue at this hillock. As the tooth was broken with the impact of Farsa (sharp weapon), the locals named village at the foothill ‘Farsapal.” Also to signify the saviour avtar of the lord Ganesha, nearby village was named Kotwal-para. Trademark of Nagwanshi era, a snake sign is imprinted on the belly of the idol.
When the Idol had disappeared
The revered idol of Nagvanshi-era had disappeared in year 2017 triggering a frantic search from villagers and police-administration. Shortly, the idol fragmented in pieces was recovered below the hill. However, a team led by Arun Kumar Sharma, 84, the Padmashri recipient and his team had restored the statue in 62 pieces and it was re-installed at the hillock soon after. The police suspected that it was handiwork of Maoists.