GUWAHATI, Dec 12 – Two of the oldest archaeological sites of Assam are gradually fading into oblivion. No government or public initiative has in recent times sought to promote the heritage sites which lie within the city, and havew their own stories to relate.
Mekhelaujowa, the stone pathway leading to Kamakhya, is now relegated to the folds of history even though it used to be the only link between Kamakhya with the plains below.
According to MK Sarma, retired banker and former resident of Kamakhya, “It was a pleasure to walk on the Mekhelaujowa as it was like being a part of history.” Providing great views, the path meandered through lush forests filled with the presence of a variety of birdlife.
The birds have gradually disappeared over time, but monkeys still frequent the stretches close to the path. “It was a living link to our past… that we have lost over time,” he added.
First the path was dissected in two parts when the all-weather road was constructed. Thereafter, people started to avoid the old walking trail that was integral to the lore of the Mother Goddess.
At places, nature has reclaimed the stone blocks forming the path. Today, not many visitors will be aware of the ancient lore as there is no sign referring to the path and its legendary associations.
A similar situation is observed about the Umachal rock inscription, less than a kilometre away from the Kalipur bus stop.
One of the oldest rock inscriptions of Assam, the presence of the valuable inscription is not announced at Kalipur, and the lone sign near the site has faded to the extent that the words are no longer readable.
Sabah, a history enthusiast, who recently visited the site said, “It’s a pity that people have not been made aware of the object… the sign near the inscription is blank.” He wanted an information sign near the Kalipur bus stop acquainting people about the historic site and its significance.
His concerns are echoed by Mridul Das, a local resident, who believes that proper information about the Umachal rock inscription should be made available at Kalipur and also at the site. “The next generation should not miss out on their heritage,” Das remarked, who conveyed his disappointment about the absence of knowledge about the site in the public domain.