Puja to showcase Ahom-era glory

Jorhat, Oct. 18: The JPR Junction Durga Puja here will dip into the history of Ahom rule of 600 years in Assam to showcase the glorious reign of Ahom kings during which not only magnificent monuments, roads and bridges were built but peace also prevailed among all communities.

Dibyendu Das, secretary of the organising committee, told this correspondent today that the Puja which steps into its 61st year this time, has the tradition of displaying a theme every year to send across a message to society.

"This year we have decided to highlight the glorious reign of Ahom monarchs during which there was lot of progress and some world famous monuments like Rangghar in Sivasagar, said to be the largest amphitheatre in Asia, and Shiva Dol in Sivasagar, one of the tallest Shiva temples in India (180-foot high and 195 feet in diameter), were built by the kings," he said.

Last year, the Puja had showcased Swami Vivekananda's philosophy and teachings.

Das said the 78-foot pandal had been designed as a replica of Shiva Dol.

"On the side of the pandal, a screen 200m in length, will be put up to showcase the Ahom history chronologically. Das said photos of Ahom-era monuments like palaces, temples, large tanks, roads, bridges made of rocks, ramparts built by kings, weaponry and the names of the rulers in serial order and highlights of their reign will be shown on the screen," he said.

Pictures of kings and famous queens, under whose influence construction of temples and other monuments were carried out, along with brief write-ups in English and Assamese about the rulers and the monuments will also be displayed. Das said about 76 temples, 92 roads and over 70 ramparts were made during the Ahom rule. He said pictures of the famous Charaideo burial ground, having tomb-vaults like Pyramids of Egypt, will also be displayed along with the remains of the Saraighat rampart in Guwahati, where the famous battle between Ahoms and the Mughal army was fought.

Sandip Nandy, secretary of Jorhat Central Puja Committee, the apex body of all committees in the district, said the prevalence of communal harmony during the Ahom reign was an important aspect.

He said Vaishnavite saint and philosopher Srimanta Sankardev and Ajan Fakir, the sufi saint who came to Assam from Iraq to propagate Islam and settled at a chapori (sandbar) near Sivasagar, had freely expressed their thoughts and practiced their teachings during the period and their teachings should be made available to the young generation.

"All tribes and communities lived in peace and amity during the Ahom rule and the same theme is very important in today's context with ethnic violence occurring in recent times," Nandy said.

He said posters on anti-drugs, anti-tobacco and the recent rhino killings will also be put up.