More items found at Jokai temple ruins

Ruins of the temple. Picture by Avik Chakraborty

Dibrugarh: The seven-member archaeological team, which recently discovered the ruins of ancient temple during excavation in Jokai Than-gaon, 15km from here, has found four silver flowers and some British coins at the site.

Chabina Hassan, exploration officer, Directorate of Archaeology, Guwahati, said, "On January 1, we started excavation at Moiramora archaeological site after getting the nod from the government and discovered ruins of an ancient temple. We have found pottery, British coins and silver flowers which were offered to the goddess. We cannot confirm the exact year when the temple was built. But we believe it must have been built in the eighth or ninth century. We found bricks at Hojai Na Nath temple during excavation, which are similar to the temple here. We will send the brick samples for optically stimulated luminescence test in Dehradun."

Earlier, the team recovered three stone sculptures and other like clay plates, pottery items and silvery jewellery.

Hassan said Lahowal MLA Rituparna Barua had requested them to conduct exploration in the area. "Because the area was listed as an archaeological site, we applied for permission to carry out excavation. We found one side of the temple while the other side was washed away by the Dehing river. We believe it could be one of the ancient temples in Assam."

She said they are thinking of building a museum at the site to preserve the temple ruins. "We have no funds to build a museum. But if the Assam government helps us to build one, we will be able to preserve the ruins," she said.

She said professor Alok Tripathi of Assam University's history department, was assisting them in the excavation.

The team believes that the temple could have been built during the reign of the Salastambha dynasty, which ruled Assam from 675AD to 725AD.

Prof. Tripathi said the temple was small but its architecture showed it was an ancient temple. "After proper research, it may open many shades of ancient history."

Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) members on Sunday visited the site and interacted with the team.

Pollav Chakravorty, president of VHP's Dibrugarh nagar committee said, "Its a proud moment. We should conserve the rich heritage and we demand Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to build a museum to preserved the ancient ruins."


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