NALBARI, Oct 21 - Acute financial crisis has posed a serious threat to the existence of the historic Bilbeswar Devalaya of Belsor in Nalbari district. Lack of the initiative on the part of the State Government has hit hard its development besides creating problems in the daily maintenance works of this historic devalaya, which was established during the reign of King Nagsankar. Even Queen Phuleswari is believed to have herself first performed Durga puja at the devalaya in the last part of the Ahom era.
The State Government, it must be said has been �showing� its responsibility towards the preservation and expansion of the devalaya by providing an annual grant of only Rs 20,000. While talking to this correspondent, the doloi of the Bilbeswar Devalaya, Ranjit Misra said that the amount given by the State Government is very meagre to meet the daily expenditures of the devalaya. The Government is collecting lakhs of rupees as revenue from the 5000 bighas of land of the devalaya scattered in the district, he added. Misra further said that the devalaya presently has 15 employees including the doloi and purohit and the devalaya authority is paying their monthly remuneration from the amount collected as �pranami� from the devotees. Even the Archeological department has done nothing for the preservation of the devalaya, sources said. �The department only paints the main temple, constructed by Ahom king Shiva Singha after two or three years�, Kabi Mudiar, a leading social worker of that locality lamented. He added that the devalaya authority, with the help of local MLA Nilamani Sen Deka renovated the temple four years ago. The stagnant water inside the temple was drained out and now the devotees can enter the main temple without fear.
The doloi further stated that despite the severe fund crunch, the Bilbeswar Devalaya has been organising many pujas and festivals all round the year. The pujas and festivals celebrated at the devalaya include Janmastami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navaratri, Laxmi puja, Kati Bihu, Kali puja, Raas puja, Doul yatra, Shivaratri, Bhatheli, Jethua Naam, Baratar Naam and Madan puja. Every puja and festival of the devalaya draws devotees and visitors.
The doloi who took charge just two months ago has decided to take some new steps for the development of the devalaya. He said that the Government should link up the name of the Bilbeswar Devalaya with the Ma Kamakhya Devalaya in the map of religious tourism so that the devotees who come to visit Kamakhya Devalaya also visit this ancient temple. He further added that the tourism sector of Nalbari district could be developed by linking up spots of religious importance of the district that include Bagheswari Devalaya of Adabari, Sri Sri Kali Devalaya of Balilecha, Sri Sri Hari Mandir of Nalbari town etc. This type of efforts on the part of the Government will increase the importance of the district, he added.