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Hajo (Assamese: হাজো) is an ancient pilgrimage centre for three religions: Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims. Hajo word is derived from Bodo word 'Hajw' which means Hill. It lies on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, 24 km from the city of Guwahati in the Kamrup district of Assam, India. The area is dotted with a number of ancient temples as well as other sacred artifacts. The Hayagriva Madhava Mandir is the most famous temple of Hajo. Lesser known temples of Hajo like that of Ganesha was constructed during the reign of Ahom King Pramatta Singha in 1744 AD. The Kedareswara Temple, a Shiva temple, has an inscription on the temple showing that it is of Rajeswar Singha period. Hajo is also famous for Powa Mecca which is the holy destination of Muslim community.
According to a legend popularly prevalent among the Hajongs, they are Suryawanshi (Surjo bung-shi in Hajong) or the descendants of Surjo or Bila (sun)and they are Kshatriyas. The Hajongs belong to the Indo-Tibetan group of the main mongoloid race. They had come from Tibet to the north-east India along the Brahmaputra and Tista and their tributaries and had spread over in the Sankush Valley. Some records state that the Hajongs were a section of the Indo-Burmese group of the Mongoloid Race. The Hajongs claim that their ancestral home was in Hajo area of present Nalbari district of Assam. The meaning of 'Hajong' can be comprehended as 'descendants of Hajo'.
- Hayagriva Madhava Temple is situated on the Monikut hill. The present temple structure was constructed by the King Raghudeva Narayan in 1583. According to some historians, the King of Pala dynasty constructed it in the 6th century. It is a stone temple and it enshrines an image of Hayagriva Madhava. Some Buddhists believe that the Hayagriva Madhava temple, best known in the group of Hindu temples, is where the Buddha attained Nirvana. At this imposing temple, the presiding deity is worshipped as the Man Lion incarnation of Vishnu by the Hindus. It is a stone temple and it enshrines an image of Hayagriva Madhav. The rows of elephants are seen on the body of the temple and they are fine specimens of Assamese art. There is a big pond known as Madhab Pukhuri near the temple. Doul, Bihu and Janmastami festivals are celebrated every year in the temple. Moreover, this temple preaches both Hinduism and Buddhism, which attract Buddhist Monks from far-flung places. Sayani, the first wife of Kalia Bhomora Borphukan donated a family of paiks and also a plot of land for their maintenance to the Hayagriva Madhava temple during the reign of Ahom king Kamaleswar Singha.
Poa Mecca, meaning a quarter of Mecca, also known as Barmagam, is a place of pilgrimage for the Muslims, situated atop the Garurachala Hills. An Iraqi Prince turned Preacher, Ghiyasuddin Auliya, is said to have built the mosque here in the 12th century A. D. It is held by the Muslims that the preacher had brought a lump of earth from Mecca and enshrined the same at a spot where the mosque was built at a later period. It is believed that by offering prayer, a faithful gains one-fourth (Poa) spiritual enlightenment of what could be gained at Mecca and so this place is known as Poa-Mecca. However, a Persian epigraph at the site indicates that the original masjid of Poa Mecca, built in 1657 by Mir Lutfulla-e-Siraj during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan, is no more. A pilgrimage to this shrine is believed to be equivalent to a quarter of the piety attained by a Haj pilgrimage to Mecca. The Ahom King, Rudra Singha, continued to pay great attention to this Muslim shrine at Poa Mecca even after the expulsion of the Mughals from Assam in 1682. During the months of March and April, thousands of Hindu and Muslim pilgrims assemble here to celebrate Urs.
- Madan Kamdev Temple:This temple is located 42 km east from Hajo. It is situated on top of the Dewangiri Hillock. It is one of the ancient Hindu temples of Kamrup District.
- Hajong, B. (2002). The Hajongs and their struggle. Assam, Janata Press. p. 1-2.
- Hajong, B. (2002). The Hajongs and their struggle. Assam, Janata Press. p. 2-3.
- "Temples of North Eastern India". Retrieved 10 September 2006.
- "List of Parliamentary & Assembly Constituencies" (PDF). Assam. Election Commission of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 May 2006. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
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