Puneet Varma

Athkheliya Namghar

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Country  India
District  Golaghat
Date built  1681 AD
Creator  Supaatphaa
State/province  Assam
Locale  Ghiladhari
Opened  1681
Athkheliya Namghar httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons11
Assamese  শ্ৰী শ্ৰী আঠখেলীয়া নামঘৰ
Similar  Negheriting Shiva Doul, Talatal Ghar, Rang Ghar, Furkating Junction railway st, Taj Mahal

Sri Sri Athkheliya Namghar or Sri Sri Athkhelia Namghar (Assamese: শ্ৰী শ্ৰী আঠখেলিয়া নামঘৰ) is a prominent pilgrimage place of Assam and North Eastern India. It is located at Bosa Gaon, Golaghat, Assam. It is located at the place where the rivers Ghiladhari, Matrang and Kakodonga meet. The name comes from the eight kuris nearby it, this forms the word athkuriya, which later on became athkheliya. Ahom king Gada Pani constructed it in the year 1681 AD. Before the year 1970, it was officially called Sri Sri Athkheliya 'Hori Mandir' (Vishnu temple), but later on, it became Sri Sri Athkheliya Namghar due to the influence of Vaishnavism. Tens of thousands of devotees visit the place, especially in the month of Bhado or Bhadra (August to September). Pratahpraxanga, madhyahnapraxanga, biyoli praxanga etc. are regularly carried out. Some important festivals held are Borxowah, panitola xowah, namlowa xowah, no-saul xowah, rax mahotsav, boroxa bhauna etc.

Contents

Etymology

Sri Sri Athkheliya is named after the eight kuris or "neighbourhoods" or "parts". As the people of these eight kuris together have formed a society and have carried out religious works together there, it got the name Sri Sri Athkhelia Namghar. According to Axom buronji or "history of Assam", the Ahom kings, leaving those who knew systematic farming, to do expansion based farming, started the paiksystem. The groups above the paiks were called khels. Some such royal persons, or post-holders settled in some neighbourhoods, the name of the khels were decided upon the 'post' of that post-holder.

Before 1970, Sri Sri Athkheliya Namghar was known as Sri Sri Athkhelia Hori Mandir. Even now on the entrance, inscription says Sri Sri Athkheliya Hori Mandir. After 1970, it was renamed as Sri Sri Athkheliya Namghar.

History

The definite answer to when and how the Sri Sri Athkhelia Namghar was made is unknown. According to Edward Gait's 'History of Assam', Kachari kingdom's extent was from river Kalang to river Dikhou. In the year 1600, the area went under the Kacharis. So, according to that, some Kachari king established a hori mandir or Shiva temple at that place to worship. In the buronji too, foundation of any namghar at that place is not mentioned, also, Gadapani didn't like Vaishnavism much. Perhaps due to some natural calamity, the temple got destructed. And the place turned into a forest. Some holy sage worshipped and reappeared the temple. As people got attracted, worship started again. Also, an idol of Shiva has been found in a tea garden, about 5 to 7 km away. According to experts, it was made in the 9th century, i.e. before the arrival of the Ahoms.

According to tales, land of the Sri Sri Athkhelia Namghar was once an Ashram of some unknown kulasheel sage. At those times, the place was full of trees, wild animals and transportation was a big problem.

After Swargadeo Loraroja, illegally became the king, Gadapani Kowar or Godadhor Xingho, in disguise roamed at the hills. Once he saw the ashram and stayed there for a few days. It is said that the soldiers of loraroja, in search of Gadapani reached there, but as there were trees and trees, and the path was full of spider-webs, they didn't expect to find any human there and went back. When Gadapani came out, he saw the footprints and came to know that the soldiers came searching him. The sage once told Gadapani, that he will become the king. Gadapani too, promised that if that happens, he will make the sage his minister. Time passed, in 1681 AD, Gadapani became the king. Gadapani sent his men to search for the sage, so that he fulfills his promise. But nobody ever found the sage again. No one knows what happened to the sage. But, Gadapani gave the duty to eight paik families nearby the ashram to take care of the place. As time passed by, the families turned into kuris, and as the eight kuris were associated with the holy place, the name became Athkuriya and later on Athkheliya.

With time, that mandir or temple turned into a namghar, due to the influence of Vaishnavism. Now, it is a prominent pilgrimage centre of Vaishnavs all over India.

Location

Sri Sri Athkheliya Namghar 26.47°N 94.09°E / 26.47; 94.09 is located at Bosa Gaon, Ghiladhari, Golaghat, Assam. The place is about 18 km away from Golaghat city. Starting their journey from the Naga hills, the three rivers join at a place very nearby Sri Sri Athkheliya Namghar. The Matrang river meets northward flowing Ghiladhari river and finally both join the Kakodonga river nearby.

Transportation

Airway

Jorhat Airport lies about 60 km away from the centre.

Railway

The Forkating railway station is about 12.8 km away from the centre.

Road

Golaghat is well connected by roads from all parts of Assam. Golaghat city is about 20 km away from the centre and it takes about 40 minutes by bus to reach Sri Sri Athkhelia namghar from Golaghat city.

References

Athkheliya Namghar Wikipedia


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