Located beside the Pandu Ghat on the bank of the mighty Brahmaputra, Pandu Nath Devalaya was established years before the Kamakhya Temple was built, according to the priest of the temple. The significance of this temple is its beautiful sculptures of Hindu gods Bishnu, Ganesh and Shiva. Five sculpted statues of Ganesh on a single rock are very interesting and eye pleasing.
The Secretary of the temple, Nimai Das claims that these beautiful rock cuttings are the remains of the temple built by Ahom King Narak though he could not remember the year. ‘It was in 1977 that I took responsibility of the temple as the secretary. Since then I am looking after all the necessities for the temple’ Nimai said. ‘Initially it was a small place of worship. It’s only after the survey by ‘Kamrupa Anuxondhan Xomitee’ in 1994 it got shaped into a full-fledged temple.
The priests and locals of the area expressed that it is sad that this place has not been recognized as a tourist spot in spite of having historical significance. However, according to Nimai Das, Rabin Deb Choudhury former Director-General of Indian National Museum tried to shift the sculptures to the state museum. But the locals vehemently opposed the action. The secretary also said that almost all the temples in Guwahati can be easily found on Google Maps but this temple cannot be found, which he points out to be a sort of negligence by the concerned authorities.
Talking to Eclectic Northeast, Directorate of Archaeology said that many surveys on the temple have been done. However, the department faced various problems to conserve the remaining of the temple. Mrs. Kouli, Directorate of Archaeology said, ‘Construction of artificial buildings on the old remaining area has always been a problem in most cases and same is the story in this case.’
The director also said, ‘The statues of Ganesh cut sculptures are applied colours for religious purposes, which is not at all advisable by us. However, under the Assam Ancient Monuments and Records Act, 1959 we are planning to preserve the remaining after examining the sculptures as the place has got historical significance. However the decision for transforming the place into a tourist spot is a long way which will take some time.”
We did some chemical treatment on the sculpted rocks earlier and are up for more added the director.
Since, the place is located besides Brahmaputra it suffers heavy loss during monsoon. Half of the temple is submerged under water as the water level rises. Also, there is a problem of drain water from the nearby railway colony flowing towards the temple which we can solve only with the help of the authorities, the priest said.
A beautiful sight of Brahmaputra can be witnessed from the temple, which might attract tourists to the spot but the area too needs to develop for any such move.