Jogighopa Cave Temples

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There are good proofs that ancient states in Assam belonged to cultural realm of Indian subcontinent. One of such proofs is unusual monument at the northern bank of Brahmaputra river in Jogighopa – five rock-cut chambers – Jogighopa Cave Temples. Visually these structures are incomparable to unbelievable achievements of art and engineering in Ellora or Ajanta – these are just plain chambers cut in grey rock. But technically they are a part of Indian rock-cut temple tradition, albeit the only ones in Assam.

Caves belong to the best preserved examples of the architecture of the Salasthambha period or Mlechchha dynasty, ruling the ancient Assamese state of Kamarupa in 655 – 900 AD. Ascetics used these chambers for meditation also in later times. Even the name of Jogighopa comes from these caves – this name means approximately “cave of mendicants”.

The best preserved chamber is 2.6 m wide, 1.8 m deep and up to 1.9 m high, with a sligtly concave ceiling. In front of it, there is verandah – 75 cm long and 35 cm wide. In later times there has been added a platform of brick and mud. An interesting detail is a ledge around the entrance – it drains the rainwater away from the cave. Otherwise, the cave has no ancient adornment. Rock-cut flight of steps is placed in the front of the cave.

Other caves are smaller. One of the caves has flights of stone-cut steps on either side of entrance.

References

  1. Jogighopi Cave Temples, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. Image gallery.

Jogighopa Cave Temples on the map

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Jogighopa Cave Temples 26.218725, 90.573357 Jogighopa Cave Temples
Location, GPS coordinates:26.2187 N 90.5734 E
Categories:Buddhist shrines, Rock cut temples and monasteries
Values:Art, Architecture, History, Archaeology
Rating:1.5 out of 5 stars (1.5 / 5)
Where is located?Asia, India, Assam, Bongaigaon district, South Salmara, Jogighopa city
Alternate writing:Jogigopa Caves
Writing in Hindi: गोलपाड़ा
Age:Around 655 – 900 AD
Religion:Buddhism

Video of Jogighopa Cave Temples


Rubul Sarkar, December 2017

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