Information Gallery

Barpeta

Barpeta is renowned in Assam as the "Land of the Satras". These Satras bear the testimony of the great Assamese reformer, saint, Scholar and Cultural exponent Srimanta Sankardeva and his able disciple Shri Shri Madhabdeva who arrived from Upper Assam to lay down strong foundation of Assamese Culture in the region. The town of Barpeta is uniquely divided into 22 Hattis that are inhabited by the devoted followers and families of the Gurus that are administered by the Satra administration. This unique feature is not found in any other place of Assam. The various Satras or Monasteries scattered around the district which attract devotees from every nook and corner of Assam.Some of the famous Satras are - Barpeta Satra, Patbaushi Satra, Sundaridiya. Satra, Sunpura Satra, GanakKuchi Satra, Kanara and Jania. Fagua Festival (Holi) is the main festival and is celebrated with great grandeur. The traditional handicrafts of Barpeta including ivory carving are popular all over Assam. The indigenous fire cracker industry is also well known in Assam. Brass metal industry of Sarthebari is known all over the world.

Barpeta has been a place of great religious importance. Known by various names like Tatikuchi, Porabhita, Mathura, Vrindavan, Choukhutisthan, Nabaratna-Sabha, Icchakuchi,Pushpak Vimana, Kampur and Barpeta. It was Koch King Naranarayan who founded Barnagar (Sorbhog) The present District formed an integral part of the Koch-Hajo and the Ahom Kingdom till British Administration took over. From the ancient period Barpeta witnessed the rule of the Varmans (380-654) the Salasthamas (655-985) the Palas (985-1260) the Kamatas (1260–1509)& the Koches from 1509. During the Kamata & Koch rule major historical development took place. During this period large number of local feudatory-chiefs who are primarily land lords called 'Bhuyans' ruled the region. Number of villages constituted a 'Chakla' placed under a Bhuyan was patronised by the Kamatas. These Bhuyans arrived from eastern part of India like Kanauj, Gauda and Bengal who in passage of time became general Assamese caste and accepted the Vaishnava faith under influence of Shrimanta Sankardeva.

Koch King Naranarayan established his temporary capital at Barnagar. Here he met Shrimanta Sankardeva and his renowned disciple and sub-sequently accepted Vaishnavism when Sankardeva was invited by the monarch to Koch- Bihar. It was during king Naranarayan's regime at Barnagar the great saint established Satra at Patbaushi to spread his Socio-religious faith. The Koch rule ended with annexation by the Mughals. The valiant Ahom fought a number of battles against the invading Mughals. Some of the well-known battles were fought at Jakhlikhana, Bhabanipur and Bhatekuchi. Ahoms were defeated and Mughals took over the Administration and systematised the entire revenue administration. Kamrupa became a Sarkar,which was divided into Parganas. Barpeta,Khetri, Bajali, Barnagar, Bahbari and Bijni became Parganas. A Gomasta was appointed to run the 'Tapa' and a number of Tapas became a Pargana. For administrative convenience the Parganas were divided into Taluks, lats and villages. Parganas were placed under Barbaruas and Choudhuries. Taluks remained under Talukdar. They were assisted by Thakurias, Patwaries,Kakati,Gaon barika etc. who kept the revenue accounts. Judges in Parganas were called Shikdar,whereas Amin and Kanango were responsible for land-survey, assessment and collection of revenue.

With the advent of Shrimanta Sankardeva, this region turned into a religious place dotted with numerous satras and in fact Barpeta town came to be called 'Boikunthapuri Dham'. As a part of providing pantronage to various religious-places irrespective of religions, the Ahom rulers provided a large number of land-grants to the Satras. Dr. Maheswar Neog in his edited work" Prasya Sasanawali" has mentioned a large number of land-grants during the region of Shiva Singha,Rajeswar Singha,Lakshmi Singha,Gaurinath Singha and Chandra Kanta Singha. Grants were made to Muslim-Darghas of Shah Madar at Baushi, Shah Fakir at Barnagar,Panch Peer at Khetri, Syed Shahnur Dewan Fakir at Bhella,where Chandra Kanta Singha granted 100 bighas la khiraj land. Grants were made to Devalaya also. These grants were made in copper-plate inscriptions which are invaluable source of history. Widespread destruction of life and property took place when the Maans invaded from Myanmar. Even the Barpeta Satra was razed to the ground during this invasion. To restore peace British army entered Barpeta to drove-off all the invaders. With the advent of British rule Mouzadari system came into effect.In 1841 Barpeta became a Civil Sub Division and John Batlor became the first administrator. As a part of policy of exploitation,land-revenue rates were suddenly enhanced which resulted in a number of peasant unrest in between 1893-94 particularly in Bajali and Sarukhetri area. Large number of arrests were carried out to foil attempts of unrest. The Lachima up rising is one such shining example of peasant revolt against British rule. Raijor Sabha constituted during this period raised the banner of revolt.

During the struggle for independence large number of people participated and were jailed. Madan Chandra Barman and Rauta Koch were first martyrs to sacrifice their lives during Quit India Movement of 1942. Some of the important Congress leaders who lead the Freedom-struggle are Umesh Chandra Brahmachari, Dhaniram Talukdar, Ganesh Lal Choudhury, Debendra Nath Uzir, Akshay Kumar Das, Bongshidhar Choudhury, Nanamohan Mazumdar, Golak Pathak, Sonaram Choudhury, Dr. Jinaram Das, Biswanath Das, Praneswar Das, Ambikagiri Raichoudhury, Mahendra Mohan Choudhury, Madhusudan Das, Upendra Chandra Das, Debendra Sharma, Naranarayan Goswami, Kabiraj Ghanashyam Das, and Chandraprava Saikiani. Mahatma Gandhi visited Barpeta in 1934. So did Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937.

The heritage and culture of Barpeta District is predominated by the remarkable work of the great Assamese renaissance figure and reformer Mahapurush Shrimanta Sankardeva who laid the foundation of Assamese culture and heritage in and around the district. Subsequently the great saints disciples namely Madhabdev, Haridev, Damodardev and their devotees followed the good-works of the great figure.

A good number of Satras were founded by these great saints and scholars that are considered regio-cultural institutions or monasteries that had a deep impact on the Social, political, economy etc.of the region. Although the Satra institutions were established for the propagation of Vaishnavite faith but with passage of time these institutions gradually transformed into open universities to become all-embracing socio-cultural centres covering numerous subject including education, music, dance, sculpture, drama, fine-art, Ivory-works etc.

Website Design and Developed by dbanerjee.com