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Water leak in 300-yr-old Ahom temple

Sivasagar, July 31: The 300-year-old Ahom-era Joydol at Joysagar is under threat after experts found water leaking from some portions of the temple.

The largest Vishnu temple built by the Ahoms, Joydol was built in the memory of Joymoti, mother of king Rudra Singha. The temple is about 5km from Sivasagar, which is 360km from Guwahati.

According to historian Premo Gogoi, water seepage has been noticed at the temple for the past few months. “Drops of water are falling from some portions for the past few months and the antechamber of the temple has been flooded,” he said.

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which has been entrusted with the task of preserving and protecting the temple, allegedly has not done anything to conserve the temple for the past several years.

The Telegraph made several attempts to contact the conservation assistant of the Sivasagar office of the ASI but he was not available for comments. However, a section of employees of the ASI’s Sivasagar office said no work has been undertaken at the temple for the past two years.

“Some construction materials have been stored near the temple to carry out repairs. Work will be taken up shortly,” an ASI employee said.

Residents living near the temple said worship was discontinued after Burmese attacks in the later part of the eighteenth century. “Construction of the temple was undertaken along with the establishment of Rongpur, the erstwhile capital of the Ahoms, around 1699,” a resident said.

The temple was built during the reign of Rudra Singha (1696-1714) and stands in the western part of the north bank of the Joysagar tank.

The temple was built with brick masonry and its architectural design has been classified as Nilachala. The temple has a domical sikhara (tower) with honeycomb designs. The design has a regional character with traces of Brahmanical and Islamic architecture.

The temple has an octagonal garbagriha (shrine) and a square mandapa connected through an antarala (antechamber). The exterior wall of the temple is carved with figures of various Brahmanical divinities. The temple campus also houses a Ganesh temple and a Surya temple.

A bhog griha was also built at the side to distribute prasada to devotees.

A Shiva temple and a Durga temple are also situated near the Joysagar tank, the largest man-made tank built by Ahoms, spread over 318 acres.