The idol is made of black granite and measures 7.5 feet in length and 3.5 feet in width. It belongs to the Gupta period and was recovered during the excavation of an old village tank in 1992. Its four arms carry a "sankh (conch)", a "chakra (discus)", a "gada (club)" and a "padma (lotus)".
The idol has been installed in a makeshift temple on a sprawling 15-bigha campus of the tank. Samas village is located five km from Barbigha subdivision town and 25 km from Biharsharif. This village appears to be a great centre of iconography because a large number of idols have been recovered from here and its neighbouring regions in the recent years.
There are two figures -- one masculine and another feminine -- below the left and right arms of the idol. An idol of Goddess Laxmi was also recovered during the excavation but it was stolen about 40 years back.
Former IPS officer and administrator of Bihar State BoardÂ of Religious Trusts Kishore Kunal spotted the idol a couple of days back.
"Very few idols of Lord Vishnu in the country are as large as this one. The idol of Lord Venkatesh, the presiding deity at famous Tirupati temple, is about 9 feet tall. Yet another
Vishnu's idol recovered from south is on display at the National Museum in New Delhi," Kunal said.