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Temple in Hajo, Assam

Hajo, a merging point of different faiths

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One of the many unnoticed places of Assam. Merging point of different faiths. History that dates back to 6-7th century AD. Described by scholars as ” a sacred complex “. Without shiny temples or loud propaganda. Welcome to Hajo. Some 32 km northwest of Guwahati lies the small town of Hajo. Historically Hajo first finds its mention in the Kalika Purana (10-11th century A.D)

Hayagriva Madhava is the most prominent temple of Hajo. It is believed to be one of the oldest centers of worship of lord Vishnu in his Hayagriva form. The temple was reconstructed in 1583 A.D, but a portion of the original temple still exists in the present building. Many scholars hold that the original building belonged to the Buddhist Chaitya. Certain motives of the original work, particularly a row of caparisoned elephants in high relief encircling the building appear to be specimens of the Buddhist architecture, identical to the decorative style of the cave temples of Elora. Therefore it is regarded holy by both Hindus and Buddhists. Every year Hindu’s and as well as Buddhist devotees perform puja and ceremonies according to its own customs and in perfect harmony.

There are other 3 prominent Hindu temples namely the Kadeshwara or the Kedara Shiva ; which as the name suggests is a Shiva temple and is also mentioned in the Kalika Purana and Jogini Tantra. The main idle of kedara is a big linga of stone called Svayambhu linga. It was a centre of Madhavana worship in the past.

There is a Durga temple dedicated to the Jay Durga, the mother goddess. There are ten stone images of Durga on its altar.

Poa Mecca is another holy shrine of the Muslims. It was reconstructed many times by emperor Aurungzeb. Hazarat Shah Sultan Giasuddin Aulia Rahmatullah Alike was a sultan of Baghdad and, like the Buddha, gave up his temporal powers and wealth, but in his case to spread the word of Islam in India. He brought with him 250gm (one poa) of soil from Mecca, which was buried with him when he died. Poa Mecca can literally be translated as ‘quarter Mecca’ and many believe, that four visits to Poa Mecca are equivalent to one haj visit to Mecca.

Long story short, Hajo is a holy place minus the limelight. People of different faiths and belief come together to rejoice in the name of the lord. Come here for its complex yet subtle archeological wonders, for its unspoken harmony that exists among its people and as we sailed away constant beating on mettle by the brass workers created a sort of symphony, a different kind of chanting, we closed our eyes and prayed.


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