Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

5 - The Town of Hajo in Northeast India and Trans Asian Linkages

Friday, July 6
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Willow, First Floor

The town of Hajo in the Kamrup District of Assam is famous for the Hayagriva Madhava Temple, a Vaisnava shrine situated on the Manikut Parvat. Structurally it bears similarity with temples in Orissa. Although epigraphic records state that it was constructed during the reign of the Koch King Raghudeva, the structural evidence indicates that it was rebuilt by him in the 16th century CE. The temple today has three images representing different forms of Visnu. Curiously enough, Buddhist pilgrims from Bhutan visit the temple annually to pay their respects to the central deity which they claim represents Gautama Buddha. They believe that the Buddha attained his parinirvana at this spot and not in Kusinagara as is generally ascertained. The town of Hajo has other temples dedicated to different manifestations of Visnu and Siva.
Hajo is also famous for the Muhammadan shrine of Poa Mecca, a pilgrimage to which earns the faithful a poa or quarter of the religious merit or punya one would have earned if one had visited Mecca. Hajo has thus emerged as a sacred site for multiple religions. The present paper proposes to examine the legends related to the shrine of Hayagriva Madhava and Poa Mecca and trace the networks of connections which invested the site with its multi-religious sanctity using oral narratives and historical evidence.


Paromita Das

Gauhati University, India


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5 - The Town of Hajo in Northeast India and Trans Asian Linkages

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