NORTH LAKHIMPUR, Dec 17 - Trees inside the historic Sri Sri Aniruddha Dev Naharati Thaan Satra in Lakhimpur district have been decaying since several months due to reasons not known.
The Satra, founded in 1606 by the Vaishanvite preceptor Sri Sri Aniruddha Dev at Naharati, is the only place of worship of the Maya Mora cult of Assam is known for a large groove of Nahar trees (mesua ferrera) situated in an area of 64 bighas of land under Pub Dikrong Gaon Panchayat in Bihpuria in Lakhimpur district.
Local history say that the great Vaishnavite saint Sri Sri Aniruddha Dev, the founder of the Satra, had planted 500 Nahar trees on the four boundaries over a raised heap of land in a bid to save it from raids frequented by hill tribes from the present day Arunachal Pradesh. Sri Sri Aniruddha Dev Naharati Thaan Satra has more than 2000 Nahar trees creating a rain forest with a cool and shady abode of rich biodiversity with a large habitat of monkeys.
However, since May this year the Nahar trees have been decaying one by one. So far 52 trees of this exotic breed have decayed inside the Sri Sri Aniruddha Dev Naharati Thaan Satra. According to office bearers of the governing body of the shrine, works of earth-filling was initiated from January this year for the development of the premises. The earth-filling work levelled uneven surface inside the Satra, which is now blamed for the decaying of the Nahar trees. Some elderly persons of the nearby village, who cite indigenous methods of plantation, are of the view that the roots of the Nahar trees should be left open over the ground for their growth and sustainability. �But the earth-filling work has covered the roots of the Nahar trees leading to their decay,� one elderly person said.
It may be mentioned that the Sri Sri Aniruddha Dev Naharati Thaan Satra also has a large habitat of monkeys that feed on the offerings given by the devotees who visit the shrine. The decay of the Nahar trees has also brought a threat to the habitat of the monkeys, which may result in their migration to nearby villages.