GAURIPUR, Aug 26 - The historic Maa Mahamaya temple of Gauripur established by Raja Pratap Chandra Barua, the founder Zaminder of Gauripur Royal Estate in 1850 was one of the most famous temples of undivided Goalpara district. Hundreds of devotees thronged the premises of the temple situated near the Royal palace of the Zaminder and offered prayers for the welfare and happiness of the society and the people at large. Several puja rituals were performed under the auspices of the temple management committee including Durga puja, Doul utsav, Manasa puja, Chadak puja, Chandi puja, Kaman puja, Raas puja etc.
In 1957, the government of Assam abolished the Zamindary system and land was acquired and as a result the management committee had to face financial crisis. The original idol of Goddess Durga made of gold was stolen and Prakritish Chandra Barua, the grandson of Pratap Chandra Barua brought an �astadhatu� idol of Goddess Durga from Banaras and installed the idol in the temple.
The government of Assam had sanctioned Rs 8000/- as grant-in-aid per annum but that too has not been paid for the last 18 years. Prabir Coomer Barua, the secretary of the management committee submitted a fresh proposal to the government for payment of the arrear grant-in-aid two years ago, but no action has yet been taken up, he laments.
Presently, the temple is managed by two priests and two �deories� and daily puja rituals are performed with much difficulty. As of now, the number of devotees has got drastically reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result, donation from the devotees has stopped. The income source from the commercial complex of the temple has also been stopped as the traders have fail to sell their goods due to the lockdown and absence of customers.
Barua, secretary of the temple management committee told this correspondent that somehow he is managing the daily affairs of the temple with much difficulty and payment to the priests and the deories have not been made regularly.
The devotees have requested the government to pay the arrears of the grant-in-aid with immediate effect so that the historic temple can survive and regain its lost glory and have also demanded an increase in grant-in-aid per annum without further delay.