RAMEN KALITA

NALBARI, Jan 24: The Bagheswari Devalaya of Adabari village near Mukalmua in Nalbari district, which was built by Ahom king Chakradhwaj Singha in 1744, has been running in a very pitiable condition due to lack of adequate government attention.

The main temple of the Devalaya, situated on the bank of the Pagladia, was washed away by the river decades back. Then the people shifted the Devalaya to the present location of the same village. Now, it is situated on the southern part of the Hajo-Daulashal road. When the original Devalaya was washed away by the mighty river, at first it was set up under a temporary shed and it remained there for a long time. Finally, in 1982, the villagers constructed a concrete temple. It may be noted here that the Bagheswari Devalaya is a temple of Goddess Astabhuja Durga (Devi Durga with eight arms). Later, the people constructed three other temples at the campus – of Shiva, Ganesh and Laxmi.

Now, the condition of the main temple of the Devalaya has become pathetic due to lack of maintenance. The people of the area have been demanding of the government to immediately reconstruct the main temple.

While talking to this correspondent, the Doloi of the Devalaya, Prabin Sarma, said Swargadeo Chakradhawj Singha had donated 500 bighas of land to the Devalaya for its maintenance. However, after the Ceiling Act had come into existence, not much land was left with the Devalaya to enable it to generate its own income.

He said the Devalaya has six employees, including five purohits, and the Devalaya needs Rs 1.68 lakh for their remuneration. The Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC), during the Congress regime in 2011, had constructed a ‘yatri niwas’ and a ‘bhog ghar’ at the campus. The BJP government this year has provided Rs 10 lakh under the ‘Asam Darpan’ scheme and a ‘bibah bhawan’ will be constructed on the temple premises, Sarma stated.

The Doloi further stated that wedding ceremonies are held regularly at the Devalaya along with other religious programmes like Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Ganesh Puja and Bhatheli Utsav. Thousands of devotees visit the Devalaya in the Assamese months of Kati and Magh every year.

A social worker of the village, Diganta Kalita, said that as the entire area around the Devalaya is Muslim-dominated, and there was a time when some Muslim people used to sing ‘ojapali’ regularly at the Devalaya. They even offered prayers to the Goddess. He, however, admitted that presently, the system is no longer in existence.

Kalita added that the Devalaya has a plan to beautify the tank existing on the campus. The people have been urging the government to sanction Rs 30 lakh for the historic temple, he added.