Hajo, a village in Kamrup district, is about fourteen miles to the northwest of Gauhati. It was a great centre of culture and learning . It served as the camp of the Mohammadans during there in vasions of Assam and was included in the Koc king- dom. It is now one of the important centres of Community Development.
There is an excellent bus service to Hajo from Gauhati. There are no good hotels or rest-house at Hajo and therefore the visitor has to halt at Gauhati itself.
There are two temples at Hajo, the Haya- griva Madhava temple and the Kedaresvara temple, of which the temple of Hayagriva Madhava figures more prominently in the religi6us history of Assam. The existence of this temple attests to the prevalence of Vaisnavism in Kamarupa.
The principle of general layout of the temple and its adjuncts is quite in keeping with other temples met elsewhere in Kamarupa. The temple, as mentioned before, is built on a small hillock and a flight of stone steps composed of slab leads to the main precincts of the temple.
The temple is built in stone, octagonal in plan, about thirty feet in diameter and crowned with a pyramidal roof. It appears "from the disarrangement of many of the mouldings and cornices, and awkward position of several bas-reliefs, that the upper portion of the temple has been reconstructed From the old materials, without much precision of arrangement. "33
In its vertical elevation, the temple consists of three parts, the high basement, and the middle portion of the temple and the Sikhara. As in many other temples. a row of elephants, gajathara, appears as a basement moulding. On a moulding of about two feet above the plinth, a row of caparisoned elephants in high relief encircles the building and appears to bear the full brunt of the edifice. The elephants, all tuskers, are facing outwards, and standing each 16" in height, and are finely designed and executed showing only their tusks, trunks and front legs. The basement moulding is identical with the decorative style of the Kailasa cave temple at Ellora.
The garbhagriha "is a crypt, 14 feet square, into which you descend by a flight of stone steps. It contains the image and its pedestal. The door case to this shrine, is formed of four blocks of granite, and is ten feet high by five feet wide: a lotus over the door- in the entrance of the lintel, is the only ornament. The door opens into an anteroom, also of stone, ten feet by ten feet, having niches of four feet square, stone screens, one on each side with apertures for the admission of light and air, cut in form of lotus flowers. "34
The Sikhara of this imposing Hayagriva temple has a pyramidal plane face, which continues right upto an apex point.
The Sikhara of this imposing Hayagriva temple has a pyramidal plane face, which continues right upto an apex point.In its horizontal aspect, the temple, in addition to the garbhagriha and the anteroom just described, has a large vestibulemeasuring 40 feet by 20 feet built of brick and resting on massive brick pillars. This is a new addition to the original structure, per haps constructed by Naranarayan, the Koc king in 1550 A.D.35
The upper walls of the exterior of the temple contain life-size sculptured figures. Here are re presented the ten avataras with Buddha as the ninth. The rest of the figures are of a non-descript character, but they are mostly male, and nearly all figures carry a trident (Trisula). According to the Lamas, these figures were originally inside the temple, but were ejected by the Buddha.36
The temple derives its revenue from the land endowed on it by the kings. Artisans and. others are supported out of the temple funds. The chief priest of the temple is called Dalai. He is elected from among the local priests and holds office till his death. He resides in a large house situated at the foot of the hill, just below the temple.
The temples of the Hajo, could be conveniently seen by camping at Gauhati which has all the tourist facilities.
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