Abhayapuri is a small town in Bongaigaon district in the Indian state of Assam. Surrounded by natural forests and hills, it is located on the National Highway 31, about 200 km west of Guwahati. Nearest airport is at Guwahati. Abhayapuri Railway Station is managed by the North East Frontier Railways.
Abhayapuri was the capital of the ancient Bijni Kingdom established by the king, Raja Bijit Narayan alias Chandra Narayan in 1671. Bijit Narayan was the son of Parikshit Narayan who was the grandson of Yuvaraj Sukladhwaj alias Chilarai, a famed Koch general and the younger brother of Moharaj Nara Narayan, the great emperor of Kamata Kingdom in the 16 th century.
The estate was in possession of the Bijni family, descended from the Koch king Nara Narayan, who reigned over Kamata kingdom from 1534 to 1584. Before his death, Nara Narayana allowed his kingdom to be divided between his son Lakshmi Narayan and his nephew Raghu Rai (son of Chilarai). Raghu Rai established his capital at Barnagar in the Barpeta (now a district in Assam), and received as his share the Koch territories lying to the east of Sankosh River.
Ram Rajar Garh near Deohati village is a man-made historical pond which was excavated by Ramsingh I of Ambar Kingdom of Rajasthan. Ram Singh excavated here with army of Delhi Sultan at the time of invading Ahom Kingdom in the second half of 17th century. The Lalmati-Duramari Ganesh Temple near Abhayapuri, is one of the oldest temples in Assam. The historical authenticity of the images are yet to be ascertained. Based on the study of the stone carvings and modes related to the carved idols, some archaeologists has opined that the temple and images belong to 8th to 10th centuries AD.
The existence of ruins in Lalmati-Durgamari area along with temples was brought to the notice of the Historical & Antiquarian Department of the Govt. of Assam in 1974. The department undertook excavation work which resulted the discovery of the temples, images and idols of Gods and Goddesses. The Lungai Pahar Shiva Temple is located 10 km away from the main town of Abhayapuri. Visitors need to climb the 227 stairs to reach the temple inside which there are stone carvings of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Kali.
People And Culture:
Since time immemorial, Koch-Rajbonshies (belong to Indo-Mongoloid ethnic group of people) have been the living in this area now known as Abhayapuri. These people are the original sons of the soil and their existence can be traced back to the "Kiratees" of pre-vedic epic age (Mahabharata). These Kiratas of dim past are also mentioned in Kalika-Purana and Yogini Tantra and also in histories written both by native and foreign scholars. Yogis,Kalitas, Kayasthas and older Muslims are also indigenous who settled in this part of land prior to the advent of Britishers in North East Region. Some of them settled in the area centuries before the advent of Britishers. In a much later period, people from different parts of Assam migrated to Abhayapuri.
Among major festivals, Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja, Swaraswati Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Kalipuja, Shivaratri are celebrated by the Hindus of Ahbayapuri. Those of Islamic faith celebrate Idd and Muharram. Besides the religious festivals, Bihu, the agricultural festival of Assam is celebrated by all Assamese, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. The people of Abhayapuri have long been known for their interest in culture and education. The 44th conference of The Asam Sahitya Sabha was held in Abhayapuri in 1977 under the presidentship of Syed Abdul Malik, a big name in the history of modern Assamese literature. The area where the conference was held is still known as Sahitya Sabha Path (Road).