FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, Feb 24: The Shiva Temple atop Bhuvan Hills located on the tri-junction of Mizoram, Manipur and Dima Hasao district on the border of Assam, 45 km from here, is now the site of the greatest Hindu festival of Maha Shivaratri. Since last night, devotees have begun to converge on the holy place from different parts of Barak Valley and even Tripura to have a darshan of the supreme God. During this pious celebration, many pilgrims observe fast as a mark of their deeper devotion.
The worshipers offer their obeisance to Lord Shiva. This place of worship is the centre of pilgrimage and also one of the holy places that are planned to be included in a circuit. Nestled in the midst of hills covered with deep forests, the holy place is abound with legends and mysteries. According to historical record, the King of Tripura once had a divine dream which prompted him to build a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva for the welfare of his kingdom and the people. It was during the 17th century. The King lost no time and sent his men to locate the place as shown to him in the dream and build the temple.
After a journey of 45–46 km from here by bus and other means of vehicles, the devotees reach the place called Panichouki Punji via Motigar under Dholai constituency of Cachar district and from there to the route towards the famous Shiva temple through the rugged and difficult track. They climb around 4.5 km to reach the shrine. Despite inclement weather, devotees are turning out in large numbers. In order to avoid any untoward incident, the police administration imposes guidelines which are unfortutely not strictly followed by the devotees. The police and CRPF personnel are also deployed in and around the hills to ensure security of the people.
Several saints and sanyasis are also flocking to the hill from different parts of the country on the occasion. A fair med after Bhuban Mela is held every year at the foothills on the occasion. A few NGOs are arranging drinking water, food and medicine for all the pious persons on the route to Bhuban Hills. Soi primary health centre set up a stall there to give basic medical facility to the devotees in case they are taken ill. In order to curb the consumption of alcohol and other intoxicated substance on way or at the top of the hill, the excise department has been kept on alert.
Popular myth about the Bhuban Hill is that in ancient times, the hill abounded with images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Subsequently, gas began to settle down in the hill tract who took them to be their ancestors and decided to install them at one place. They tied the images below their waists by long rope and began to drag them whereupon curses befell the gas who were hurtled hither and thither and instantly turned into stones. Nearby at one spot, pilgrims find a raised big stone altar on which sits a ga saint, praying to some deity in pence for atoning the sins of their ancestors.