Hemmed in the south region of Assam lies the verdant hill district, Karbi Anglong, formerly known as the Mikir Hills. The Archaeological Survey of India has not included Karbi Anglong in its fold, in spite of its rich archaeological evidence. This is obviously due to lack of proper exploration and excavation.
|photo Above: VISHNU AVTAR (STONE)|
In the Baraganga area of Dokmoka, there is a site, which contains rock inscription belonging to the 6th century AD. It states that Avaguna a minister of the state of Maharajadhiraj Bhuti Barman of Bhouma-Naraka dynasty of Kamrupa, had established an Ashram for the long life of the King. Of the findings of this Barganga area, mention may be made of the image of Ganesh in door lintel, image of two lions with a commonhead over two elephants image of Nagini or Manasha Devi, etc. There are several broken images of women. Near the rock inscription, a male figure bearing tribal affinity in a Dimasa Kachari attire has been found. In the Mahamaya temple of Dokmoka, there are some gorgeous archaelogical findings. The temple is situated at a vaey high altitude of more than 1000 feet. The site contains of stone temple of circa 11th century AD. It was a Durga temple. Historical evidences show that this area was included in the kingdom of the Kachari king Krishna Chandra (AD 1790-1813). During this time, the Mahamaya temple was known as Ma-Chandi and greater Dokmoka region as Krishna Nagar. A royal charter of AD 1812, reveals Krishna Chandra entrusted the management of Orang to Laskar of Buri Ganga region. Here a good collection of images of Shiva, Chandi (Durga) with Lakshmi, Kartik, Saraswati and Ganesh are found.
The remnants of Phuloni Borpukhuri are no less gorgeous. The image of Bishnu engraved in limestone in a sitting posture, with apsaras fanning, highlights the sophistication and artistic nature of the sculpture, the craftsmanship of these sculptures are far superior than any other findings in Karbi Anglong. Images of dancing apsaras, broken images of Shiva, large stone pitchers, images of Ganesh etc. form the bulk of the collection of that area. Relics of the ancient door lintels and large floral ceiling pieces are found scattered. Among some findings of this place, a door jamb with eighteen images of Bishnu avatar, octagonal stone with floral apsaras, a stone image of a woman in a welcoming pose have been collected by the District Museum, Diphu. An image of Narashimha of the 13th century was also collected from Phuloni.
About 15-15 Km from Dokmoka there is another locality called Langlokso of Rongpi village, where many archaeological specimens were discovered. From this area, decorative architecture, stone pillars with geometric designs etc. were collected by the District Museum, Diphu.
A few angraved stone objects have been found in the Rani Pukhuri and Padum Phukhuri of Phuloni. Of them, a block of stone measuring approximately 14// x 14// bears the engraved images of delities and inscription in ancient Assamese. A large numbers of coins were also reportedly found in an iron pot, while earth-cutting was in progress in the same area. The inhabitants of Padumpukhuri locality near Tarabasa believed that there are some valuable archaeological objects beneath the tank. About 2 Km. west of Bokolia Ghat, there is a sort of temple with ancient stone images of Bishnu, Ganesh, etc. Several door jambs, bricks, etc. were found together with the images. Besides, the earlier discussed archaeologically important region of Diphu subdivision, there are places like Borbil of Howraghat, Udali near Bokolia, Teteliguri Rajpathar, Singason hill, etc. which merit a mention here.
In the Moi Ingti hill of Hidpi area, lies a good collection of broken stone images. There is evidence of an ancient temple of Shiva & Parvati. A large stone ox and a gigantic stone pitcher are the significant findings of the area. A broken Nandi or ox has been collected by the District Museum, Diphu from this area. One of the important findings in Deopani near Sarupathar are the remnants of an ancient Durga temple. It is reported that there is an image of Durga riding on a lion.A Hari-Hara stone image from Deopani and the inscribed Vishnu image from the same place are good sculptures.
The physiognomy of both the figure bears tribal affinity. These images belong to the 8th century. this is referred in the Cultural Heritage of Assam published by the Directorate of information and Public Relations. A peculiar type of monuments of Karbi Anglong, which also exist in Meghalaya and Garo Hills are the megaliths. They are group of huge sandstone cists. These monolithic stones are abundantly found in Ulukunchi and Methalong-e village of Dongkamokam. Both are in the Hamren subdivision.
About 3 Km. from Khanduli ( Hamren meghalaya border) are unidentified stone image inscribed in a huge stone has been eroded by nature. The local inhabitants, the Karbis, believed it to be the image of their legendary hero “Thong Nokbe“. So far, proper identification has been made of the image.
Recently, a sword of unknown period has been found in the vicinity of Diphu town. It was found by some labourers while cutting earth. Numerous broken pieces of potteries with designed, pointed knobs were found abudantly with the sword, thus indicating the flourishing of some kind of civilization in the past. The sword has been preserved in the District Museum, Diphu. A few months back, several elongated stones with faints incised lines had been found in Diphu town. Further exploration of the area has been done yet. The elongated stones are worshipped by the public as Shiva Lingas in a temple.
The state in which the archaeological objects are found scattered makes it quite obvious that the objects had to withstand the revages of nature and time. It is high time that proper exploration and systematic study of these areas are undertaken so that it may lead to unloading of an unknown culture.