Go back in time at Madan Kamdeva in Assam

Author: Madhawi Rai
Date: 2019-12-12

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Nothing speaks so eloquently and nothing is more vibrant with eternal life force than images wrought on hard lifeless stones by a sculpture's Chisel Carvings that arrest time and remain ageless proclaiming eternal yearning for love and Joy. Every carvings surface here is vibrant with passion which transformed rocks into living, breathing, dancing beauty. This is known to be one of the best tourist places in Assam. 
Scattered all around this hillock, with an idyllic backdrop of green hills and flowing rivulet, are nymphs, (lancing faces, gods and goddesses in cosmic evolution, walls pillars lintels and door frames decorated with flowers. Kalpa-vnksha (the tree of fulfillment) six headed Bhairava, four headed Seca, demon serpents and men, women and animals in every conceivable erotic postures, all in ruins of gigantic proportion that is Madan Kamdeva who orchestrated these symphonies in stone who commissioned the Archeologists historians scholars in endless debates. While time goes on Madan Kamdeva will continue to inspire awe and wonder in the hearts of puny mortals. Barely forty kilometer away from the sprawling metropolis Guwahati, on National Highway 52, Madan Kamdeva is an enigma of mystery, a marvel and in words of Omar Khayam, a veil past which we could not see. Very little is known about the magnificent archeological ruins written history is almost silent on it, leaving wide room for conspiracy and hupothesis. Kamrupa-the ancient name of Assam, is believed to have derived its name from legend that love god Kama or Madan after being turned into ashes by an angry "Shiva" was reborn here. One believes that Madan was reborn and united to Rati in this tiny hillock. Others more rational argue that the name Madan Kamdeva is a romantic association to the place, because of the numerous erotic sculptures. The earliest reference to Madan Kamdeva is perhaps found in the writings of a British captiain Delton who in 1855 wrote in the Journals of the Asiatic society of Bengal, the existence of avast archeological ruins not far from the silsako (Stone bridge) of Sangsari. It was however left to an Instructor of Basic Education Shri Tarani Kanta Sarma to draw attention of the scholarly world to the existence of this ruins of generous proportion and artistic excellence. 

Perhaps there is no place in India except Khajuraho and Konark, where basic weaknesses of mortals caught in fear, doubt, love, jealously and consuming mate passion have been so eloquently expressed. It is really a mystery, how Madan Kamdeva a place of exquisite antiquities, so near to Guwahati escaped the notice of all for such a long time. It is now established that many priceless images of Madan Kamdeva were either stolen by curio hunters or by religion duped villagers without perhaps realizing the value of the carvings they removed. Assam Archeology more or less confirm that the ruins of Madan Kamdeva, belonged to the 10th to 12th century A.D. when the pala dynasty ruled Kamrupa. The ruins are believed to be the remains of more than twenty temples consigned to Lord 'SIVA'. The surviving portions of Madan Kamdeva shows that these were perhaps the finest medieval temples ever built in the Brahamaputra Valley Be it so, or it otherwise Madan Kamdeva, continues to remain an archeological challenge, beckoning you to unravel her enigma.

How to get there

Baihata Chariali. 35 km from Guwahati is on National Highway 52. Madan Kamdeva one of the best tourist places in Assam is 5 km to the south east of Baihata Chariali. Being on a National Highway Baihata Ghanali is well connected with buses which ply every 15 minutes from Guwahati. Taxis, Minibuses are also available. Transports at moderate price can be had from recognized tour operators and excursion agents of Guwahati.

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