The Telegraph
Thursday , January 8 , 2015
 
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Facelift for Dhubri church

Armenian church in Dhubri

Dhubri, Jan. 7: The Armenian church in Dhubri, built in the 19th century, will be renovated by Ladies Club, Dhubri, soon.

The church is located on PM Datta Bahadur Road of the town and is close to a life-size statue of Queen Victoria and the historic Gurdwara of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji.

At present, the church houses the club and its members have been collecting donations through gift coupons to raise funds to renovate the old church and construct a separate building on its premises.

The church, which is one of the 33 heritage sites dotted across the town, and Ladies Club are keen to preserve this heritage Armenian-type church building as part of history.

"Any building which is over 100-year-old becomes antique and tagged with heritage status. But now new guidelines are being drawn freshly by the archaeological department," an official source said.

Secretary of the club Lilly Chanda said after services in the church was closed, some European residents of Dhubri town founded the Ladies Club in 1935.

"Women belonging to the European community as well as benevolent local women were members who used to render social service," Chanda said.

"This church is not only a heritage site but also a precious possession of the town and the club wants it to be preserved at any cost," said the club's president Chandana Paul Choudhury.

"We are finding it tough to raise funds, but we will try our best to collect necessary funds needed for renovation of the church's structure and construction of a new building which is urgently required for various kinds of training to empower poor girls and women living. "

Talking to this correspondent, Sankar Kumar Bose - a renowned numismatist who originally hails from Dhubri but is now based in Calcutta - said over phone today that this was built probably between the end of East India Company's rule and beginning of the British Raj.

"In my childhood I saw this church illuminated. People of the European community visited there. It is now in a dilapidated condition and should be renovated and preserved," Bose said.

Residents of Dhubri town demand that the state government come forward to preserve this site and other sites too. Otherwise, the glorious history of the district and the town would be lost in the passage of time.

Dhubri town and the district as a whole are dotted with many important sites that evoke tourist interest. Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji, Panch Peer dargah, Mahamaya Dham, Mahamaya Snan Ghat, Kamakhya Dham, Bura-Buri Than, Jinkata Satra and Ramrai Kutir are some of the pilgrimage sites in Dhubri. Gauripur palace, too, is one of the precious heritage sites.


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