GAURIPUR, Aug 25 - After the 1971 Indo-Pak war in the then East Pakistan, hundreds of Bangladeshis migrated to Assam fearing for their lives. Many of them came to Golakganj area and took shelter in open spaces, railway tracks and schools. The abandoned railway track was covered by thick jungles and a number of Bangladeshi nationals who took up shelter died of snake-bites. There was panic everywhere. One Ganesh Chandra Ray, office assistant of Dhubri Boxirhat Bus Association at Golakganj accidentally died of a snake-bite while he was going home located nearby alone at night. His body was kept for a few days and many traditional doctors (kaviraj) tried their best to revive him but in vain.
A few close friends of Ganesh Chandra Ray including Dipak Das, Sudam Chandra Dey thought of establishing a Manasa temple in the locality. They with the help of the local people established the temple in a small plot of land in 1974. The plot of land was located near the abandoned railway track and so the extension was practically impossible. The railway authority tried to evict the temple when the broad gauge railway line from Mainaguri to Jogighopa was under construction. The people of Golakganj protested and the railway authority diverted the line and the temple remained safe.
People of the surrounding villages began to attend the puja rituals every year on the last day of the month of Sravana.
It has been reported by the senior citizens of the locality that the incidents of snake-bite cases have drastically decreased since the establishment of the Manasa, the �Goddess of Snakes� temple at Golakganj.
Every year on the last day of the month of Sravana, Ma Manasa Puja is observed with a three-day programme and thousands of devotees come to offer prayers but they find it difficult as the place is very congested.
There is enough private land nearby but the managing committee of the temple is said to be indifferent to the genuine problems of the devotees. It has also been reported that the Government has not yet sanctioned any amount for renovation of the popular temple. There is an urgent need of a permanent stage, guestroom and a kitchen house to accommodate the increasing number of devotees every year. Devotees of all sections have urged the managing committee and the local MLA to come forward and fulfil the aspirations of the devotees.