On the auspicious occasion of the 575th birth anniversary of Srimanta Sankardev, CM Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma inaugurated a number of infrastructural projects at Batadrava Than (birthplace of Sankardev in Nagaon district) costing a total of Rs 22 crores. A Satriya Sora (Satriya dance centre), a conference hall, the Damodar Ata Tourist Guest House and the office complex constructed by the State government were dedicated to the devotees of the Batadrava Satra. The projects were completed in just 17 months by the government.
Along with the inauguration of the newly constructed projects, Chief Minister Sarma also formally launched the year-long celebration of the 575th birth anniversary celebration of Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev. Born in 1449, Guru Sankardev was a 15th–16th-century Assamese polymath; a saint-scholar, poet, playwright, dancer, actor, musician, artist, social-religious reformer and the tallest figure in the cultural and religious history of Assam. He is widely credited with building on past cultural relics and devising new forms of devotional music known as Borgeet , theatrical performance known as Ankia Naat and Bhaona, dance form known as Sattriya, literary language known as Brajavali.
Besides, he has left an extensive literary oeuvre of trans-created scriptures like Bhagavat in Brajavali, poetry and theological works written in Sanskrit, Assamese and Brajavali. The Bhagavatic religious movement he started known as Ekasarana Hari Naam and also called Neo-Vaishnavite movement influenced lakhs of disciples in Assam and beyond.
Speaking at the event, CM Sarma, paying rich tributes to neo-Vaishnavite saint Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev on his 575th birth anniversary, said the Government of Assam has been relentlessly working for development of the revered Batadrava Thaan and the projects inaugurated today manifest that very tireless commitment of the current dispensation in the State. He added that in days to come, steps will be taken to beautify the two ponds in the Thaan premises, build parking spaces for visitors’ vehicles, washrooms-toilets for the convenience of the devotees, among others.
CM Sarma also said that soon a law would be enacted to prevent sale and purchase of land within the 8-Km range of Batadrava Than premises to non-indigenous communities. The District Commissioner has been instructed not to give his assent to sale-purchase of land to and by people belonging to non-indigenous communities till the Act is brought in and implemented, CM added.
He also stated that the progress on the developmental activities that were initiated outside the Batadrava Than premises were going on in full swing and that till date, around 81 per cent of those works have been completed. While the first phase’s project cost was estimated at Rs 50 crore, a total of Rs 114 crore shall be spent in the second phase of development activities. In addition to the beatification process of Batadrava Than, the Government of Assam has decided to work on beautification of another 21 sites directly related to Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardev.