Sivasagar, Assam: Come Durga Puja and the historic Devi Dol in Sivasagar district of Assam comes alive with visitors thronging the Ahom-era temple in large numbers. As an important part of the rituals, animals are offered to goddess Durga during this time of the year.
Dedicated to goddess Durga, the centuries-old Devi Dol has been keeping this legacy alive for the past 285 years. On Maha Ashtami, the temple buzzes with hordes of visitors lining up to offer animals such as goats, pigeons and ducks, among others.
“Yes, we are practising this ritual here for a long time now. This year, we have seen more of ducks being offered to goddess Durga,” said one of the organisers.
A devotee, who is a regular to the temple, added: “Every year, we come to this temple to pay obeisance to goddess Durga on this auspicious occasion. We seek the goddess’ blessings for the welfare of my family members as well as the people of the state.”
Built in 1734 during the reign of Ahom king Siba Singha, Devi Dol is flanked by Siva Dol on one side and Vishnu Dol on the other. Dol means temple in Assamese. The 60-feet-high temple has a diameter of 120 feet. The ‘bolisthal’ is the most sacred part of the temple and is reserved for the main rituals. A small ‘Shani’ temple is also nearby, which is visited by people in large number on Saturdays.
In Sivasagar, the Sivasagar Lake, Gaurisagar Lake and Joysagar Lake are famous as well. Hundreds of migratory birds visit these lakes during the winters. The Ahom Museum is also well-known and has exhibits that are several centuries old. Rang Ghar and Talatal Ghar are the other monuments of historical importance.
Durga puja is the best time to visit Devi Dol, though it is very crowded during this time of the year. The festival is celebrated with a lot of zeal.