Did You Know Where the Gauhati University Anthem Was Composed?
G Plus brings to light another beautiful ancestral home of Guwahati.
Situated at Uzan Bazar, with the Brahmaputra River flowing close by, the house belongs to the Das family - the owners of the Bijulee and Urvashi cinema halls of Guwahati.
The house was built in 1936. It was the dream project of a prominent lawyer of the time, Sisir Barua. However, due to unavoidable circumstances he had to sell it.
Dharmi Das, Sisir Barua’s immediate neighbour, bought the property. Initially, it was used by the American soldiers as a barrack during the Second World War. As such, the Dharmi Das was paid Rs. 100 as rent per month by the Accountant General of Assam.
When the American soldiers left, Rai Bahadur Bhuban Ram Das took full control of the property. The entrance to this house is through a short drive-in, flanked on both sides by well-kept gardens. Upon crossing the verandah, one reaches the huge living room.
This room has a very colourful history. It was here that Rai Bahadur Bhuban Ram Das nourished the idea of helping Cotton College to grow as a major educational institute of the region. Later, Tilak Das became the heir to this property.
In this very living room, the idea of the All Assam Music conference was conceived by RG Baruah, Tarini Mohan Barua and Tilak Das. "Jalsaas” were also arranged here regularly where classical luminaries like Pandit Ratan Jhankar, Pandit Vinod Patwardhan, Mrs Girija Devi, Rasudan Bai, well-known tablists Gyan Prakash Ghosh and Santa Prasad took part.
The Gauhati University anthem “Jilikabo Luitore Paar” composed by Dr Bhupen Hazarika saw its birth at this very house. The Latasil Bihutoli anthem “Srimoyee Asomir Sital Bukut” by noted lyricist and music composer Purushottam Das also took shape in the very same drawing room.
While the pillars of the verandah are built of steel, the walls of the house are made of mud and “ikora” (Saccharum ravennae).There are, in total, sixteen rooms. Some of the rooms have ceilings as high as twenty feet. Facing the verandah is a verdant square courtyard.
The house also boasts of a Shiva Temple that was built around 1915-16. It was built by Lila Ram Das on the birth of his son Tilak Das. An interesting story is associated with the building of the temple. As 'Shiva Linga' was not found in Assam then, Lila Das decided to get one from Banaras. It had to be transported by bullock cart then. But it got stolen midway. A second Linga from Banaras also got lost midway. So the third time, Das got a Shiva Linga from Pashupatinath Temple of Nepal. That Linga was finally established in the temple.
One might not believe but the main 'Akhand Pradeep’ (ever-lit diya) of this temple has been continuously burning, day and night without a break, since it was first lit.
The house has a "bharalghar" (granary) which is still in use, alongside a kitchen garden. Fruit-trees and medicinal plants are also valuable components of the garden.
Presently, Tripti Das, daughter-in-law of Tilak Das resides in this beautiful house.
Credits: Kaberi Choudhury, Ancestral Homes of Assam Facebook page.
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