Sunday, 8 January 2012

Joy Dol, Sibsagar

Built during the reign of the renowned Ahom king, Rudra Singha, there is a set of three temples, located on the northern bank of the Joysagar tank, about five km from the township of Sibsagar. The most famous among these temples is the Joy Dol, also known as the Kesavanarayan Vishnudole. As the name suggests, the temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu and His many incarnations. The temple was constructed in the year 1734 and has an octagonal shaped Garbhagriha, which is the most sacred shrine located within the temple.

The Garbhagriha of Joy Dol is decorated by honey-comb designs and lotus medallions and stands adorned by a dome like structure. Just bordering the sanctum is a small brick-like structure, which was originally meant to be the kitchen house or the Bhog-Ghar. The walls of the main temple are beautifully carved with the figures of various Brahmanical divinities and the various forms of Lord Vishnu Himself. The western side of the temple has a square shaped mandapa. This connects to the sanctum, through an antara or vestibule.

Besides the main sanctum in Joy Dol, there are two small temples, located behind the main shrine, dedicated to Lord Surya and Ganesha respectively. The exquisite architectural designs and patterns of the temple are indeed like a feast to the eyes of the beholder and people come from far and wide to appreciate these ancient creations of the Ahom Dynasty. The month of Bhada (as per the Hindu calendar) is very special for this temple. Naam-kirtans and prayers are held throughout the month, to honor Lord Vishnu. This is, in fact, the best month to visit the place............

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