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Historic Mot Mandir of Moterjhar crying for attention

By Irfan Khondker

DHUBRI, Sept 12 - The historic Mot Mandir of Moterjhar, which is almost 450-year-old and has a long history attached with it, is not only in a shambles but has also remained unnoticed and vulnerable due to vandalism and encroachment.

According to historians and the local people of Moterjhar area, 40 km away from Dhubri town, this historic temple was built by Raghu Dev, son of celebrated warrior Chilarai and was a part of an ashram. While the ashram got destroyed, the temple still stands and is regularly visited by people from the nearby areas. Many ruins of the ashram can still be seen in areas near the temple which were excavated.

Another legend attached with this temple is that once Chilarai came to see his son staying in the ashram but due to some confusion, Raghu Dev thought his father had come to attack him. Later Chilarai asked Raghudev to live separately in the ashram and marked his territory by throwing a spear which eventually fell into a river called the Raidag river, which still flows by.

Meanwhile, the according to the people of Moterjar area the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), took over the temple and the remains of the ashram under them almost 20 years back, but till now no developmental work to attract tourists has been done. �They just come once in a month to clean the temple and leave�, said Pradeep Kumar Roy, the secretary of the temple committee, �but we are still waiting to see any significant developmental work in the temple premises and to showcase the remains of the historic ashram to tourists�.

However, Biswajit Roy, the adviser of the temple committee stated that they have demanded many times before various authorities to preserve the temple and the ashram remains and develop it into a tourist spot.

�The area, where the temple is situated is one of the most backward areas and the road communication to this area is also very poor,� said the adviser of the committee, who added that they immediately need to demarcate the temple land and preserve it by building an boundary wall around it. �This temple still doesn�t have a designated gate by the highway, so that people can identify it. One needs to beautify it by building a park around it�, said Roy.

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