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Sri Surya Pahar- Lost pages of History

Sri Surya Pahar- Lost pages of History

Sri Surya Pahar- here long-lost past is hidden beneath the Earth, on the hills, inside the forest touching the hilly stream. This past is not written in any History book, dates are not known correctly, no prashasti is found to praise the kings, it only bears the reflection of an enlightened era rich in artistic and religious ideology.

This hill is located 12 kms southeast of Goalpara town of Assam inside a dense forest and on the steep slopes of hills.

The name itself suggests the influence of Puranas. The sun god or Surya devta has a special place in the culture of Assam. It’s mentioned in Kalikapurana that there were two Sun temples in ancient Assam. It is thought that one among them used to be in Sri Surya Pahar. The archaeological findings here include ruin of a temple along with Surya idol.

This hill is the melting pot of three religious’ ideologies of India-Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The terracotta or stone sculptures show this unique touch of three religions. This archaeological site covered by high hills amidst a dense forest was discovered in 1966 but archaeological excavations started in 1992 which uncovered artifacts of different ages from 5th to 12th century. Its main attraction is a series of Buddha stupas sculpted on hard rocks, like granite in one side of this site whereas Jaina Biharas are found in another side, Ganesh Kund where water comes from an unknown source beneath, footprints of Vishnu (Vishnupadas) on the rocks and a large no. of Shivalingas along with sculpted idols of Ganesh, Vishnu and many other deities on hills. The twelve-armed Vishnu with a seven-hooded canopy over its head is the most notable one.  It is said here total 99999 Shivalingas (one less than Kashi) were engraved by Vyasa in order to make it second Kashi. Shivalingas , tiny to large, are scattered everywhere on the bed of a small stream, inside cavern or on very steep slope of hill.

Scholars believe that more excavations need to be carried out by ASI in this area which can even change understanding of the ancient history of Assam as well as India.

Kanta Bhattacharjee
Academic Coordinator (IX-X)

Ruins of Jaina Vihara

Ruins of Buddha Stupa

Shivalingas engraved inside a cavern

Shivalingas engraved inside a cavern

Idols of Hindu deities sculpted on hard rocks

Way to Ganesh Kund

Twelve handed Vishnu idol

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