A place where culture and religion meet each other, in Hajo Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims co-exist in harmony since time immemorial. Hajo is 30 km from Guwahati and is an ancient pilgrimage site of major importance but now almost forgotten. The monuments here are in a dilapidated state. ASI and Assam tourism have both ignored their responsibilities towards securing the temple town of Hajo.
I was in Guwahati after finishing my three weeks trip to Tripura and Mizoram, I had only a day or two to spare. Out of boredom, I contacted Kopou Escapes for suggestions to explore nearby places. Not only did they suggest me Hajo but also arranged for a vehicle to take me there along with an experienced guide. I had no clue about the place, and to be honest I never heard of it before. So, I was not expecting anything, but I was thoroughly surprised to find myself amongst 11th-century temples and legends.
Hayagriva Madhav Temple
Rightly called as the melting pot of religion, the temple complex at Hajo houses Lord Vishnu in his horse head avatar of Narsimaha and a Buddhist shrine as it is believed that Buddha attained nirvana here.
Deva Bhavana Ganesha Temple
Believed to be the meeting point for all the deities of the Panchatheerthas, the image of Ganesha craved out on rock looks magnificent.
Bhimar Choriya [Bhima`s Bowl]
It is believed to be a bowl in which Bhima Mahabharataharta used to eat. As per popular legend, Bhima married Hidimba, a tribal princess, during his exile and spent quite some time in the North East.
Nandi temple and Beula Lakhindar Dhobighat
A small shed covers a stone structure that resembles the Nandi. Nothing much is known about it, there is no signage around this place. If you happen to visit this place, then ask around for a local artisan by the name of Kamini Das. She stays 100 meters from the Nandi temple and weaves beautiful Gamoshas and possess the voice of a nightingale. The Dhobi Ghat doesn’t exist anymore.
It is a Shiva temple which was constructed by Rajeshwar Singha, an Ahom king in 1751. The temple houses a Shivalingum know as Svayambhu Linga.
Build around 11th century AD Poa Mecca is a revered shrine for Muslims in Assam. Lakshmi Singha, an Ahom king believed in inter-religious faiths, he gave 1/4th of his income to build this mosque. Poa Mecca is a samadhi of Giyasuddin Auliya who was an Iraqi prince who later become a preacher. The main purpose for the construction of this site was to celebrate world peace. During Magh Purnima in January every year all religions come here to celebrate unity and a bond of amity. A procession rallies from Poa Mecca to Hayagriva Madhava Temple to spread the universal message of communal harmony.
How to reach:
Bus connectivity is good from Guwahati to Hajo which takes around 1-2 hours depending on the route. One can either take Nalbari or Barpeta road. But to save time and see all the places in one day it is better to hire a private car.
So if you happen to be in Guwahati during your transit to other Northeastern states. Then consider visiting Hajo cluster of temples and Poa Mecca to witness the religious consonance.
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