The historic Ramkhapeeth Devalaya in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district still eludes media attention.
Durga Puja is being celebrated at this Devalaya for the last 250 years.
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Apart from animal sacrifice, the rituals are performed in Vedic style not with idols but with Vigraha.
The historic devalaya is situated at Deoghoria village in the district.
The devalaya was reconstructed by the Ahom ruler Swargadeo Lakshmi Singha at the culmination point of the three rivers – Dikhou, Dorika and Brahmaputra at Dikhoukukh way back in the year 1769.
It is believed in mythology that when Vishnu through his ‘Sudarshan chakra’ had cut Shiva’s wife Sati, the head part had fallen at Kesaikhaiti Peeth in Dhemaji, the portion from the chest to naval fell at this Ramkhapeeth Devalaya, while the lower part fell at Kamakhya.
According to local legend, when Ahom ruler Swargadeo Lakshmi Singha was travelling by a boat, his boat got stuck at the culmination point of the three rivers – Dikhou, Dorika and Brahmaputra at Dikhoukukh way back in the year 1769.
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Even the huge army of the Ahom ruler could not move the boat despite using the services of the elephants.
Legend says later in the night the Ahom ruler dreamt that the place contains the Vigraha of Sati and he has to perform certain rituals by some particular priest.
Only then he can leave the place.
The king acted accordingly and calling a particular priest, the king managed to retrieve the stone Vigraha from the river bed and established the same at the Develaya.
He then reconstructed the Devalaya.
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However, because of the change in the course of the Dikhou and Brahmaputra rivers, the Devalaya had to be shifted at least four times till date.
Durga Puja is celebrated at this Devalaya every year with much pomp and gaiety.
Animal sacrifice on Saptami and Ashtami has been prevalent since ages.
The Mising community residing at Desangmukh and on the north side of Dhemaji and Lakhimpur take active part in the Durga puja rituals here.