Talk:Kamakhya Temple

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Ahom builders[edit]

The report by Banerji is available on the web. Please read it before contesting the claims, as done here.

Banerji mentions constructions and structures between the 8th and the 17th century. The Koch kingdom broke up by the end of the 16th century, and Kamakhya was under the control of the Ahoms/Mughals in the 17th century. The report mentions 3 successive constructions. The first is attributed to the 8th century. The second is to the Koch, and the third to the Ahoms. He writes, "the lower part of the sanctum is in good preservation and was used by the Ahom builders".

Chaipau (talk) 11:46, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

/* The current structure has been built during the Ahom times,[4] in "Kamakhya Temple" */[edit]

Dear Chaipau, In the book "The Mother Goddess Kamakhya" by the noted scholar Dr. Banikanta Kakati, in page 37 it is clearly mentioned that the present temple was re-built in 1565 A.D. by king Naranarayan of koch kingdom after the destruction of the original Temple under Moslem invasion. You can also refer to this in the following link

http://www.assamtribune.com/sep2709/sunday.html

Since Naranarayan(1540-1587) was not under the Ahoms, it makes no sense if you write "The current structure has been built during the Ahom times". As you pointed out, Benarjee might be wrong in giving historical data such as during whose reign the temple was built(I already pointed out such mistakes) or may be we are misinterpreting his writings(like I suggested one alternative explanation). Books can be wrong like you removed * Sukhabilāsa Barmā (2004). Bhāwāiyā: Ethnomusicological Study. Global Vision Publishing Ho. pp. 74–. ISBN 978-81-8220-070-8. Retrieved 30 May 2013.  considering it a terrible book in the article Sankardev.

One more thing, can you please give me an account as to why and how the Ahom king had to come into construction of the temple? (eg. Naranarayan re-built it because it was destroyed, like that what reasons led Ahom king to do the re-construction as you told.)

Last but not the least, the very inscription inside the temple itself mentions that the temple was built by Chilarai during Naranayan's reign; so, does it really need a debate?!?

Hope, you will consider the matter with due care and take necessary steps. Padmanlp (talk) 18:57, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

No one is denying the fact that Naranarayan built the Kamakhya temple in 1565. But there has been additions after that. Look at the ASI report (again). Naranarayan built it atop ruins of a much larger temple. Most of the relief figures on the outside walls of the sanctum are believed to be from the original temple. His major contribution is probably the shikhar (dome). There is a massive kalash nearby, which is believed to be from the original temple, and which would be too heavy for the current one. So, Naranarayan does not get complete credit for the temple, because he rebuilt it, on the plinth of the original temple (look at the ASI report). It looks like at least one of the skikhara on the mandap of the temple is from a later period. And the western most part of the temple does not belong to the same architecture as the rest of the temple --- which must be a later addition. So the evidence is overwhelming that there were constructions after Naranarayan (1565). The point to note is that there were many builders of the temple---but all of them tried to carry as much of the earlier designs as much as possible. Naranarayan built it on the foundation of the 8th-9th century temple. The Ahoms preserved the original structure, as much as possible, from Naranarayan's time. Chaipau (talk) 19:11, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
The most distinguishing Ahom feature in the current Kamakhya temple is the western most brick building. Look at the sloping roof and the crocodile (western facing) on top. Now look at the Ranghar. Chaipau (talk) 20:59, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

I understand that Naranarayan re-built the temple- everyone is aware of that. I would like to explore some points:-

0) You mentioned things like- "Naranarayan built it atop ruins of a much larger temple. Most of the relief figures on the outside walls of the sanctum are believed to be from the original temple. His major contribution is probably the shikhar (dome). There is a massive kalash nearby, which is believed to be from the original temple, and which would be too heavy for the current one. So, Naranarayan does not get complete credit for the temple, because he rebuilt it, on the plinth of the original temple (look at the ASI report). It looks like at least one of the skikhara on the mandap of the temple is from a later period. And the western most part of the temple does not belong to the same architecture as the rest of the temple --- which must be a later addition."

Can you please give me some proper references to your claims?? Otherwise, there is no point of sticking to these things.

You also mentioned "the sloping roof being similar to that of Ranghar, must be by Ahom builders"- believing these are not assertions made by you, can you please give me suitable references?? OW, I really cant agree to your claims.

1) You already mentioned that the author is an archaeologist and not a historian in response to my question "The reference book given mentions that The temple of the goddess Kali or Kamakhya on the top of the hill was built during the domination of the Ahoms. (Banerji 1925, p. 100). It also mentions that This temple was built on the ruins of another structure erected by king Sukladhvaja or Naranarayana, the first king and founder of the Koch dynasty of Cooch Bihar, whose inscription is still carefully preserved inside the mandapa. (Banerji 1925, p. 100) That means the book treats Sukladhwaj and Naranarayan to be the same person-though they were not. Moreover it describes Naranarayan as the first king and founder of Koch dynasty of Cooch Bihar, whereas Viswa Singha was the first king and founder of Koch kingdom." You also told that at that time very little about Assam history was known. Then, is it not quite possible that the author may mess up during whose time the temple was built?? Moreover, the book (by Benerjee) referred to is an old one but "The Mother Goddess kamakhya" by the noted scholar Dr. Banikanta Kakati is a new one when more of Assam hisory was known as compared to earlier.

I have replied to most of this here. Further, archaeological evidence do not bend to history, but it is the other way around.

Suppose the archaeologist is correct(though historical descriptions allowed to be wrong), Why can't the three period of construction be-


i) Original temple

ii) Foundation laid by Viswa Singha

iii) Temple erected by Chilarai and Naranarayan

???

Also, you have not answered "Is it not quite possible that the author may mess up during whose time the temple was built??"

2) You have still not given an account so as to why the Ahom kings were led to again re-construction of the temple- was the temple erected by Chilarai and Nara Narayan destroyed by someone or something else(say, Ahom builders added to the already built temple by Naranarayan); please give in details.

Not needed at all. Not all archaeological evidence has historical evidence. For example, the Ahoms built a brick temple over an older stone temple at Dah Parbatia. Do we have any historical evidence of why/how/when the stone temple broke apart? No.

Seriously!! Do you really mean that!??!! Then any one can claim anything like this feature resembles that and so both must be built by the same one!!!

3) Supposing you are correct, you mentioned that Ahom king later added some parts to the temple noticeable of which is the sloping roof like Ranghar. Except that others were made by Naranarayan including the main sikhara. Then, if you write The current structure has been built during the Ahom times, with remnants of the earlier Koch temple carefully preserved it merely means that whole of the temple was reconstructed by Ahom builders on the top of the destroyed temple(please give an convincing account of the destruction of the temple built by Chilarai and Naranarayan if that is the case- I am really not aware of such an incident) constructed by Naranarayan and this sentence does give full credit to Ahom builders. So, if you are aware of that Naranarayan does not get the full credit, I really don't see how Ahom builders will get a full credit.

That the natyamandapa of the Kamakhya was constructed by Rajeswar Singha has been recorded. The entrance via the antarala on the northern side has the do-cala roof that developed under Rudra Singha. So the evidence is clear that the Ahom reconstruction took place not just under one king, but many. The antarala itself has Bengal type roof, which with a Bengal type shikhara, which is different from the Koch type shikhara. Except for the shikhara and the walls containing Koch artefacts, it seems Kamakhya temple has little else to show for the period. Both the adhithana as well as the vimana portions of the temple are accepted to be from the pre-Koch period.

Please give me proper references for everything you are saying. Even if all these correct, how can you really claim that Ahom builders get full credit?!!

Do give reliable references.

4) Last but not the least, the edit I did and you did 'undo' contained whatever you told also(you can include too if i missed). I edited everything with reference from the book by the noted scholar Dr. Banikanta Kakati (which I believe reliable to the highest extent). Alternately, I will prefer you to write in details- who built which parts with reliable citation. Even in latest books like "Reknowned Goddess of Desire"(2007, OXFORD University Press) by Loriliai Biernacki, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies University of Colorado at Boulder there is mention of Naranarayana rebuilding Kamakhya temple in 1565 but no mention of any later rebuilding or destruction of the temple.

Above all, I can give you numerous reliable citations(like above) in support of what I wrote. Can you give some other sources in support of what you wrote which is reliable enough??

Are they archaeological references?

All kind of references you can give- which are reliable enough.

Instead of doing this do-undo business, I expect you to come to an agreement. Do consider the matter and inform. Padmanlp (talk) 17:33, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Please do not remove the archaeological evidence.

I was not removing anything, you only removed whatever I have written even after giving with proper references- including by the noted scholar Dr. Banikanta Kakati!

Moreover, I would like to bring your notice that- "the temple had three different period of construction" is an archaeological data but that "part of it was build by Ahom builders" is a historical data and you yourself told that Author might be wrong in giving historical references as he is an "Archaeologist", not a "historian"!? After all, "Contrary to much popular opinion, archeology does not usually give us “the hard facts.” Rather, the meaning and implications of most archeological artifacts is usually ambiguous and thus open to a variety of interpretations. This ambiguity has often been ignored, or at least minimized, by both Christian apologists and liberal New Testament critics. Some on both sides have consequently tended to overstate their cases, one side arguing that archeology “proves” the New Testament to be true while the other side argues it “proves” it to be full of historical errors. The reality is that archeology proves very little – if by “proof” one means something like, “making a case that no reasonable person can deny.”" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Padmanlp (talkcontribs) 07:32, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Please answer my questions properly and don't give "gaa era montobyo".

One more thing, supposing Benerjee and your interpretation of his writings are correct, it would imply that the temple erected by Naranarayan and Chilarai was destroyed and some others(need not Ahom builders) reconstructed the temple on top of that ruined temple. Can you give me an account of the destruction of the temple erected by Naranarayan with proper references as I am really not aware of such an incident;- Don't tell simply "no need". Do give suitable references.

To conclude, in the book "The Mother Goddess Kamakhya" (page 37) by the noted scholar Dr. Banikanta Kakati, it is clearly mentioned that the present Kamakhya temple was rebuilt by King Naranarayan and upto my knowledge there was no reconstruction of the temple after the first publishing of the book.

Padmanlp (talk) 09:06, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Chaipau (talk) 03:25, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Padmanlp (talk) 06:32, 8 June 2013 (UTC) Padmanlp (talk) 07:37, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Ahom builders -- continued[edit]

Here are the references that you are looking for.

  • Even if Banerji, not being a historian, made some errors in naming periods (he did not), he did specify dates. He write: "...it is certain that in the pit at the back of the main shrine of the temple of Kamakhya, we can see the remains of at least three different periods of construction ranging in date from eighth to the seventeenth century." (p101) Since Chilarai (dies 1571) and Naranarayan (died 1586) belonged to the 16th century, the inference is clear---there were 17th century reconstructions which cannot be attributed to Chilarai/Naranarayan. By 17th century the Ahoms had taken over the region summarily (Gadadhar Singha won the Battle of Itakhuli in 1682). In the quote above Banerji is talking only about the "pit" at the back of the main shrine, which still exposes the adhisthana (here) and the vimana portion, not the entire temple. The plinth is below ground level in the rest of the temple.
  • Banerji has not talked about the natyamandapa, that was built by Rajeswar Singha. (Sarma, P (1983) "A Study of Temple Architecture under Ahoms" in Journal of the Assam Research Society, p39) The natyamandapa is the western most building with the sloping roof of the Ranghar type.
  • A discussion on do-cala roof of the Ahoms is given in Sarma 1983. In it, Sarma states that the do-cala type roof (here) that mimicked a thatched roof as found in Assam, developed during Rudra Singha's reign. The Ranghar-type roof, that mimiced an inverted boat, developed after Siva Singha, probably under Rajeswar Singha or Parmatta Singha.

Chaipau (talk) 11:36, 8 June 2013 (UTC)


You must have noticed as well that Benerjee had written "The carvings on these slabs indicate that they must belong to the seventh or eighth century A.D.,..." This does mean that arcaeological data are not pinpoint(certainly he does not mean that they belong to both centuries simultaneously). Anyway, archaeology can't pinpoint the time period and so 100 years in 1000 years should not be a big issue. Moreover the survey time is very old when very little of archaeolgical techniques were known and applied(it is like very less history was known at that time)-leading to less faithfulness of the reports. In that case, though the Author mentions- "...,we can see the remains of at least three different periods of construction ranging in date from eighth to the seventeenth century."- it does not necessarily imply that there has to be builders sharp in 17th centuary also. Above all I would like to bring your notice the following comment in one ASI report by M. N. deshpande (page 2, 1st half) which says- ...The consideration of the historical period is generally left out, for, it is during this period that written records are available and archaeological sources assume supplementary and secondary character. The link to the report is- http://www.new.dli.ernet.in/rawdataupload/upload/insa/INSA_1/20005b63_1.pdf

All and above, You still have not answered my main question- "One more thing, supposing Benerjee and your interpretation of his writings are correct, it would imply that the temple erected by Naranarayan and Chilarai was destroyed and some others(need not Ahom builders alone) reconstructed the temple on top of that ruined temple. Can you give me an account of the destruction of the temple erected by Naranarayan with proper references as I am really not aware of such an incident;- Don't tell simply "no need". Do give suitable references." In other words, what led new builders to rebuild the temple?? Otherwise, From all the things you have mentioned it can only be concluded that Ahom builders(actually it's even not clear whether all of the builders were Ahoms) just added to the already existing temple(Constructed by Naranarayan) and NOT re-built the temple. In that case you certainly can't write that "the current structure had been built during Ahom times". So, I really see no discrepancy in the version editted by me which I supplied with solid references including by the noted one Dr. Banikanta Kakati. Padmanlp (talk) 18:39, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

I answered your query (2) above. If you are trying to shoot down the Banerji reference, it will not work. Sarma 1983 has confirmed Ahom construction as late as the 18th century. Chaipau (talk) 21:40, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

you are calling that your answer!??!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Padmanlp (talkcontribs) 11:30, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

In the book "The Mother Goddess Kamakhya", page no. 37, the noted scholar Dr. Banikanta Kakati clearly mentions:" The original Kamakhya temple was destroyed under Moslem invasion early in the sixteenth century and the present temple was re-built in 1565 A.D. by king Naranarayana, the Coch king of Coch Bihar and fitted with all the paraphernalia of a mediaeval Hindu temple."

So, your behaviour is really compelling me to conclude that you are trying to shoot down Dr. Banikanta Kakati. Padmanlp (talk) 11:28, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

I have used Kakati's work profusely in my edits in this very article, beginning in 2006 (diff). His work is standard and accepted as the first systematic study of the issue (look at Shin's paper). But Kakati has not explicitly denied Ahom construction, has he? And his work is mostly based on textual evidence (Chilarai's inscription, for instance). So it is not at all surprising that he should ignore the evidence from Banerji. Kakati has not explored the fact that the temple was 8th- 9th-century either, and that the Varman dynasty/Huien Tsang ignored the workship at Nilachal hills. So, even though Kakati's work is standard, it is not complete. Chaipau (talk) 14:43, 9 June 2013 (UTC)