Arunachal living history facing extinction!

* Who did it & why: GenNext?

By Pradeep Kumar

ITANAGAR | Mar 11 | An iron gate along Roing-Dambuk double-lane blacktopped road, part of Trans-Arunachal Highway, drew attention of a media team recently.

Survey inside the gate was mindboggling. A spacious RCC building with many rooms was standing stall with heaps of garbage inside every room lying open and vacate without anyone to take care. The doors and windows are in good condition. The iron sheet notice board read: Bongal Yapgo-1893-94, a stockades wall, located at Dambuk along Roing-Dambuk road. Made out of random rubble masonary, it was built by the Padams during their war with the British in the last part of the 19th century. 

Besides the uncared for stacked rock wall that finds mention in Lower Dibang Valley archeology, a concrete warrior’s one arm was missing & body damaged while another archer’s arm was missing. Three concrete elephants, probably a family, with a man sitting on the tusker standing nearby were also partially damaged. All these concrete structures were built to showcase the bravery of Padams. Should not the research department take care of the existing history of British time?

Tourist attractions intriguingly are either left in dismal condition to get ruined, contradicting the state Govt’s  top priority to tap vast tourism potential.

Like this 19th century war memorial, Bhsimaknagar, is located 30-km away from Lower Dibang Valley district HQs Roing. Ruins of a fort built by a Chutiya king in 8th century and later rebuilt by King Gaurinarayan still exists as symbol of past glory and indicating high standard of civilization that once prevailed.

The remains are generally ascribed to the rule of Chutias, a Tibeto-Burmese tribe, who ruled over the region of Sadiya from 11th to 16th Century CE. Traditionally, the rulers of Chutia dynasty trace their ancestry to Bhismaka, the legendary King of Bhismaknagar.

Structural remains are comprised of group of brick built structures enclosed by a fortified rampat wall. It is said to be the capital of Chutia dynasty. Remains of two impressive gateways can be seen on the eastern and western side of the fortified complex.

Legend has it that Lord Krishna; King of Dwarka had eloped with Rukmin, princess of King Bhismaka. Rukmini Devi’s servant messenger is believed to have appeared in this world as Vadirajatirtha (1480–1600), the greatest saint in Madhvacharya tradition, who composed a famous work Rukminishavijaya glorifying Rukmini and Krishna in 1240 verses spread over 19 chapters.

This proves Krishna-Rukmini love story as history, not mythology to prove wrong the so called intellectuals who consider Maharbharat and Ramayan as mythology.

This fort extended over an area of 1860.52 sqm, displays three halls, six ingresses and two extension rooms. The architecture of the fort displays the primeval culture. Fabricated from burnt bricks gave this fort an impressive and remarkable top view reflecting dexterity of people of ancient era. This fort is marveled as an astonishing work of art having high relevance for researchers, travel writers and tourists.

Though the fort is under tourist department but is totally uncared for. A group of tourists – Mumbai-based NE nodal officer Prof Ranjit Bhattacharya, Kolkata-based lecturer Anupam Das and professional counsellor Pallas Dutta (of Ali Yavar Jung National Institute of Speech & Hearing Disabilities) while visiting the site on 20.09.17  were shocked at the prevailing dismal condition of the heritage site, despite having historical and mythological relevance. Overgrown bushes block the entrance gate and the fort structures, were covered by grasses reflecting total negligence, as seen in pictures.

It is high time for those who matter to wake up from their deep slumber, lest whatever visible remains of history are left will disappear to oblivion!

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