Nearly after four decades after its encroachment by Bangladeshi Muslims, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on June 5 inaugurated the prehistoric Dhalpur Shiv Mandir in Sipajhar Revenue Circle in Darrang district. He also inaugurated the guest house and pujari griha constructed along with the temple.
Assam government evicted the encroachment in the historic Dhalpur Shiv Mandir in September 2021. Hundreds of Bangladeshi-origin Muslim families were evicted from the temple premises, which they encroached on during the late 70s.
गरुखुटी में अतिक्रमण के दौरान हमने प्रण लिया था कि वहाँ के 5000 वर्ष प्राचीन शिवालय को अपनी पुरानी महिमा में लाने का प्रयास करेंगे ।
आज इस कार्य को भोलेनाथ के चरण में समर्पित किया ।
With the blessings of Mahadev & cooperation of all, Garukhuti is reclaiming its ancient heritage pic.twitter.com/qgc2d1t9Zw
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) June 5, 2023
The Dhalpur encroachment started during the late 70s. Local Assamese people said that only 37 Muslim families were from Nagaon district till 1979. The 5000 years old Dhalpur Shiva Mandir is at the top of the Dhalpur hill in the middle of the river Brahmaputra. The Kirat community established the Cave Mandir during the 4th century. The Archaeological Department has discovered many age-old structures at the Mandir site. Mandir management committee general secretary Dharmakanta Nath told that the plains of the Dhalpur hill were farmland of Hindu dairy farmers until 1979.
Under the patronage of Congress in the late 70s from 37 Muslim families in 79, the Dhalpur area was filled with several hundreds of Muslim families by the end of 1981. The encroachers’ first target was the age-old Shiv mandir and its land. By 1981, when the Assam agitation was on the rise, Muslim Congress leaders brought 100s of Muslim families to Dhalpur. They first encroached on the 180 bighas of land that belong to the Shiv mandir. They initially cut down the big trees on the temple campus and looted various valuable particles belonging to the temple.
In February 1983, Muslim miscreants killed the priest of the temple Siba Das. Another priest, Kartik Das, fled to a nearby Assamese village. Deceased priest Siba Das was declared a martyr of the Assam agitation, as he was one of the 855 martyrs of the long agitation.
During his first visit to Dhalpur on June 7, 2021 after becoming Chief Minister, Dr Sarma said that he would help in creating a permanent structure of the Shiv Mandir at Dhalpur, which has been existing since prehistoric days. So, fulfilling his promise, Chief Minister on June 5 dedicated the Mandir to the devotees.
CM Himanta Biswa Sarma inaugurates the reconstructed pre-historic Dhalpur Shiv Mandir at Sipajhar Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister said that visiting the Shiv Mandir in the pristine milieu of Dhalpur is a heavenly feeling for him.
“I really feel blessed to have got the opportunity to inaugurate the prehistoric Shiv Mandir at Dhalpur along with a guest house and pujari griha”.
On the occasion of World Environment Day, Chief Minister also planted saplings at the Mandir premises. A host of devotees and people from all sections were present on the occasion.