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Archaeological site of Math-Mandir Complex in dire state of neglect

By Ambunath Sharma
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GAURIPUR, July 22 - The 400-year-old Math Mandir Complex of Moterjhar situated 20 km away from Gauripur in the Dhubri district along the Dhubri-Kachugaon Road and having antiquarian remains is in an acute state of neglect.

After the death of Koch general Bir Chilarai in 1571, his son Raghudev revolted against Koch King Naranarayan and, as a result, the kingdom got divided into two parts. The region to the eastern part of the Sonkoch river comprising undivided Goalpara, Kamrup and Mangaldai was ruled by Raghudev. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva. After the death of Raghudev, his second son Parikshit Narayan became the ruler of the kingdom. He was also a ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and built a number of Shiva temples in and around his kingdom. People of the locality believed that the Shiva temple situated at Moterjhar was built by Parikshit Narayan.

According to legends, the Royal Palace of Parikshit Narayan was situated 4 to 5 km away from the Math-Mandir area of Moterjhar.

There were 18 big rooms and a big tank nearby. The relics of these rooms and the tank are in existence even today but the area is remote and there is no accessible road to reach there.

The existence of the temple and the Royal Palace was not known to the people of the locality as the area was full of dense forest and is said to be a haven of wild animals.

After Independence, some people of Moterjhar area while grazing their domestic animals had a glimpse of the existence of the temple and the news spread like wildfire. Bhuban Chandra Prodhani, a veteran Congress leader of Golakganj heard about the existence of the Shiva temple at Moterjhar. He was the headmaster of Jagamohan Vidyapith, Golakganj and in 1952 he arrived at the place and cleared the area with the help of his students. He saw that the temple was covered by a heap of earth raised by white ants. He informed the matter to the then Deputy Commissioner Laksheswar Sharma and in his presence the area was excavated and some earthen pitchers and some silver coins were found. But the whereabouts of these valuable coins and pitchers is still not known to the people of the area. Late Prodhani was elected to the Assam Assembly in 1957 and under his leadership, the temple complex was renovated and the people of the adjoining areas began to worship Lord Shiva.

In 1969, the Archaeological Directorate of Assam took over the Math-Mandir complex and declared it as a preserved area but no measures were seen taken to develop the infrastructural facilities of the complex and the area comprising the relics of the 18 rooms and the tank. On August 7, 2005 the then MP Anowar Hussain laid the foundation stone of an auditorium by sanctioning an initial amount of Rs 5 lakh but no steps were taken to complete the scheme.

Devotees of the adjoining areas like Moterjhar, Narakura, Uchita, Balajan, Pratapganj, Bishandai, Charai-khola, Kachokhana, North Raipur, North Tokrerchara, Golakganj, South Raipur, Ratiadaha have urged the government to sanction a suitable amount to complete the auditorium, develop the area with proper communication and encourage the research scholars to highlight the glorious past of the Koch kingdom. Otherwise, these important relics will surely be seen nowhere in the days to come.

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Archaeological site of Math-Mandir Complex in dire state of neglect

GAURIPUR, July 22 - The 400-year-old Math Mandir Complex of Moterjhar situated 20 km away from Gauripur in the Dhubri district along the Dhubri-Kachugaon Road and having antiquarian remains is in an acute state of neglect.

After the death of Koch general Bir Chilarai in 1571, his son Raghudev revolted against Koch King Naranarayan and, as a result, the kingdom got divided into two parts. The region to the eastern part of the Sonkoch river comprising undivided Goalpara, Kamrup and Mangaldai was ruled by Raghudev. He was a devotee of Lord Shiva. After the death of Raghudev, his second son Parikshit Narayan became the ruler of the kingdom. He was also a ardent devotee of Lord Shiva and built a number of Shiva temples in and around his kingdom. People of the locality believed that the Shiva temple situated at Moterjhar was built by Parikshit Narayan.

According to legends, the Royal Palace of Parikshit Narayan was situated 4 to 5 km away from the Math-Mandir area of Moterjhar.

There were 18 big rooms and a big tank nearby. The relics of these rooms and the tank are in existence even today but the area is remote and there is no accessible road to reach there.

The existence of the temple and the Royal Palace was not known to the people of the locality as the area was full of dense forest and is said to be a haven of wild animals.

After Independence, some people of Moterjhar area while grazing their domestic animals had a glimpse of the existence of the temple and the news spread like wildfire. Bhuban Chandra Prodhani, a veteran Congress leader of Golakganj heard about the existence of the Shiva temple at Moterjhar. He was the headmaster of Jagamohan Vidyapith, Golakganj and in 1952 he arrived at the place and cleared the area with the help of his students. He saw that the temple was covered by a heap of earth raised by white ants. He informed the matter to the then Deputy Commissioner Laksheswar Sharma and in his presence the area was excavated and some earthen pitchers and some silver coins were found. But the whereabouts of these valuable coins and pitchers is still not known to the people of the area. Late Prodhani was elected to the Assam Assembly in 1957 and under his leadership, the temple complex was renovated and the people of the adjoining areas began to worship Lord Shiva.

In 1969, the Archaeological Directorate of Assam took over the Math-Mandir complex and declared it as a preserved area but no measures were seen taken to develop the infrastructural facilities of the complex and the area comprising the relics of the 18 rooms and the tank. On August 7, 2005 the then MP Anowar Hussain laid the foundation stone of an auditorium by sanctioning an initial amount of Rs 5 lakh but no steps were taken to complete the scheme.

Devotees of the adjoining areas like Moterjhar, Narakura, Uchita, Balajan, Pratapganj, Bishandai, Charai-khola, Kachokhana, North Raipur, North Tokrerchara, Golakganj, South Raipur, Ratiadaha have urged the government to sanction a suitable amount to complete the auditorium, develop the area with proper communication and encourage the research scholars to highlight the glorious past of the Koch kingdom. Otherwise, these important relics will surely be seen nowhere in the days to come.