GAURIPUR, Sept 1 - Raja Pratap Chandra Barua, the Zominder of the Royal Estate of Rangamati near here established a Sanskrit tol in 1834 in the sacred memory of his mother Tarini Priya at Rangamati. The tol, Tarini Priya Chatuspathy, turned into a seat of Sanskrit scholars at that time. A large number of students from Assam, North Bengal and Rongpur (Bangladesh) came to study at the institution. The students were provided free food and lodging and as a result the fame of the tol spread all over North-east India and it was even called the Nalanda of undivided Assam.
In 1856, Raja Pratap Chandra Barua shifted his capital from Rangamati to Gauripur and the tol was also shifted to Gauripur.
Raja Pratap Chandra Barua was issueless and he adopted Prabhat Chandra Barua as his son. After his death, Prabhat Chandra Barua took to the helm of affairs of the Royal Estate. Prabhat Chandra Baruah was really the architect of present Gauripur. Taking into consideration the model of Cooch Behar, the capital of Cooch King Nara Narayan, he rebuilt Gauripur as one of the best residential places of the State with all infrustructural facilities and renovated the Tarini Priya Chatuspathy as one of the best Sanskrit institutions in the State. It was customary that Prabhat Chandra Baruah handed over the biggest fish caught in the Mahamaya tank located in front of the tol to the students to arrange feast on the occasion of Magh Bihu.
As he was the patron of learning, a large number of Sanskrit scholars including Saranan Tarkatirtha, Lakshmipati Tarkatirtha, Trailokyanath Sharma imparted education with dedication and they were revered as ideal Gurus in the locality.
But those days are gone. The Education Department of Assam provincialised the tol in 2001 and the tols of Assam came under the administration of the Director of Higher Education. Presently three examinations namely Prabeshika, Madhyama and Upadhi are held annually. Besides Sanskrit, some other subjects like English, General Mathematics, General Science, Social Studies are also taught but the standard of teaching is said to be below standard. Only a very few students appear in the examinations but the number of students are considerably increasing as there are more than 100 venture tols in the district. Resentment prevails as the scale of pay of the Principal was not revised and he is receiving the same scale of pay like other assistant teachers. There is no office assistant and the Principal has to perform all official works.
The entire complex of the tol is surrounded by various types of creepers. There is no proper arrangement for drinking water as the pucca well built by the Zaminder has practically been abandoned and the water is not at all usable and is reported to be contaminated. The lovers of Sanskrit language and litterateurs have urged the Government to renovate the tol and help it regain its lost glory by providing all infrastructural facilities without further delay.