Madan Kamdev, Assam

History is always fascinating with its treasured surprises. For history buffs and researchers the knowledge about the ancient time are available from various sources of texts, legends, myths and excavation. Archeology is a branch that provides immense knowledge about history or a particular civilization. The contribution of archeology has a great impact in throwing light about ancient civilizations. In India there are several archeological sites that provides valuable information about past. The origin of a civilization can be traced form its age old remains that provides way of life observed by people in the past. Assam is a state that has unique culture and traditions that is rooted in rich civilization in ancient time that is being observed even today with its ethnic essence.  Madan Kamdev is an archeological site in Baihata in Kamrup in Assam. An archeological site can be of avid interest and importance only when it has synchronization with past time and historical evidence. Madan Kamdev has ruins of medieval temple structures that blend with several legends form Hindu religious texts. It also proves a powerful dynasty that one ruled this place identified as the mighty Pala Dynasty of Kamarupa in Kamrup. The ruins of Madan Kamrup are found in an extent of 500 meters in Kamrup in scattered form.

There are several myths and legends relating to the origin of this place. According to the most popular belief, it relates to Lord Shiva in Shiva purana. Kamdev or God of love according to Hindu religion interrupted the meditation or Yoga nidra of Lord Shiva. Shiva disturbed by the intervention of Kamdev, opened his third eye and the cosmic fire from it reduced Kamdev to ashes. When Lord Shiva’s wrath was subsided, he gave rebirth to Kamdev in this place. This myth has some resonance with the remains in this site where the idols of Lord Shiva, Uma Maheshwar, Ganesha, sun and Vidhyadhar, Bhairav with six heads, kalpavriksha, Vishnu with six heads, four headed Shiva, Saraswathi, carvings of animals and idols engraved stone walls, statues of animals were found from excavation. Regarding the construction and origin of the site ruins difference of opinion had aroused between archeologists. The authoritative information regarding the site is given by Pradeep Sharma the Assistant Director of Archeological Directorate of Assam. He quotes ancient texts and history written by authors that gives sufficient evidentiary value to this site. He finds quotes from an 1855 magazine, Asian Society of Bengal, written by Captain Daltan. Captain details about the 15 temple ruins found around the Silsako Bridge in Assam. Later in 1897 Silsako Bridge was completely ruined in an earth quake. According to Dr Sharma this mention synchronizes with the geographical conditions and the discovery of the ruins from this archeological site. In 1949 Tarnikant Sharma a primary education inspector, cited historical facts about the place in the magazine Assam Research society (kamarupa Anusandhan Samiti). Even though several articles about the site came out during the period of 1943 -1949, the historical and cultural value of this site wasn’t noticed until 1977. In 1977 Archeological Directorate of Assam decided to conduct further archeological research and excavation in this site. Under the guidance of Dr Pradeep Sharma, excavation was conducted and valuable ruins of 12 temples other than the main temple were found. After deep research the origin of the temple ruins was found to be constructed during 10th and 12th centuries. The carvings and engraves in the walls were made during the reign of Pala dynasty in 10th and 12th centuries. Dr Sharma opines the powerful kings Ratna Pala, Indra Pala and Go Pala of medieval period is connected with the temple constructions who ruled this place in the Brahmaputra valley.

Madan Kamdev archeological site is located in hilly region of thick dense forest and beneath the hills are swampy lands and Kamdev River Madankuri flows in the eastern direction to the north. Currently this site is supervised under the Archeological Directorate of Assam and being protected as a reserve for future generations to have knowledge about the historical value of a rare civilization that gave importance to art and architecture.