From a Correspondent
Tezpur, Feb 8: As in the past, mandir committees of different Shiva temples located in and around this historically and mythologically-famous scenic town, including Mahabhairab, Ketekaswar, Haleswar, leswar, Tingeswar, Biswath Temple, gsankar and Singri Gupteswar Temple, are working round-the-clock in their annual preparation to celebrate the Shivaratri Mela from February 14. Some mandir committees have chalked out elaborate programmes, including presentation of bhao, in order to attract the greatest number of devotees. Located atop a small hill in the northern part of Tezpur, Mahabhairab Temple is considered as a major landmark of Tezpur city and contributes a lot to the magnetic charm and beauty of the place. It is believed that the origil temple was made of stone, constructed by Basura, the demon king who had his capital at Bhalukpong about 56 km from Tezpur town in Sonitpur district. It was mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva and has one of the largest Shiva lingams in the world. However, the origil temple was destroyed in the 1897 earthquake and the present one was constructed during the early part of the 20th century. The present structure of the temple was built by ga Baba (Sri Swayambar Bharati) and was later developed by Sri Mahadeo Bharati and other devotees. The place has now become a very important pilgrimage spot of Assam and attracts thousands of devotees every year.
“Shivaratri is the most significant festival celebrated in this temple. The celebrations are obviously organized with great pomp and religious fervour over the decades,” informed a member of the committee. On the other hand, writer Kamada Prasad Choudhury explained that along with the famous Mahabhairab Temple, the Singri Gupteswar Temple too is a pre-historic temple of Lord Shiva. Situated on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra, it is located about 45 km west of Tezpur town. It is believed that the temple was constructed by King Ba and came into existence following 15th century saint reformer Srimanta Sankardeva’s father offering milk to worship Lord Shiva for a son. The son, who was subsequently born, was med Shankar (another me of Lord Shiva).
Munin Barua, secretary of the Shivaratri mela celebration committee of Mahabhairab Temple, said that as in the past, this year too a week-long mela would be organized at the venue starting from February 14 for which all arrangements had been made in association with Sonitpur district administration and other prolific members of the committee as president Monoj Kumar Deka, Deputy Commissioner of Sonitpur, and advisor and local MLA, Brindaban Goswami.