Age old Annapurna temple facing Barak erosion

Special Correspondent

Silchar, July 21: One of the oldest and sacrosanct temples of Cachar dedicated to Goddess Annapurna is faced by the ever increasing erosion threat by the swelling and swirling waters of river Barak that flows by it. Though the flood control department, now renamed as water resource department, has from time to time taken up protective measures by depositing stones and caging them along the bank, it has failed to end or curb the corrosive effects of the river. The situation is such that the managing committee of the temple under the presidentship of Awadhesh Singh sat at a meeting on Thursday and reviewed the matter.

The meeting recalled its earlier memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner submitted on July 11 last, describing in detail how the temple is virtually in the grip of being eroded and the apprehension about its being submerged under the deep waters of the river Barak with its highest volume of sloughing. Such a possibility, as Awadhesh Singh noted, can hardly be ruled out. The repeat memorandum urges upon the Deputy Commissioner to take initiative for preemptive measures in order to save the temple.

During the ongoing month of Shravana, hundreds of devotees come to the temple to offer their prayers and offerings to Lord Shiva-Parvati like every year. This holy month also devotees and devouts have begun to throng the holy shrine. But, they have to encounter great difficulty to go down the steps to reach the waters of the river for their holistic rituals. It was mentioned that the steps of the ghats from the temple to the river were damaged by the barges anchored during the 3 day ‘Namami Barak’ festival in November 2017.

In addition to it, during floods every year, the holy temple has to bear the brunt of constant dashing of Barak waters which is telling adversely on the steps and the embankment around the shrine. The day is not far off when the sanctum sanctorum might itself get dissolved by the swollen water of Barak. It was further reminded in the memorandum that Annapurna mandir was the centre of the holiest of ceremony after sunset in which lights with wicks soaked in ghee were lit and offered to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It was the most admiring and charming sight for the thousands of visitors during the ‘Namami Barak’ festival.

In view of the ever increasing threat to the existence of the oldest temple, the managing committee has impressed upon the Deputy Commissioner to move the barge away from the temple ghat. Besides, immediate measures have to be taken to ensure that the erosion is checked and saved from being washed away by the gushing waters of river Barak.