HERITAGE & CULTURE
The heritage and culture of Barpeta District is predominated by the remarkable work of the great Assamese renaissance figure and reformer Mahapurush Shrimanta Sankardeva who laid the foundation of Assamese culture and heritage in and around the district. Subsequently the great saints disciples namely Madhabdev, Haridev, Damodardev and their devotees followed the good-works of the great figure.
A good number of Satras was founded by these great saints that are considered regio-cultural institutions or monasteries that created deep impact in the Society, polity, economy etc.in the region. Although the Satra institutions were established for the propagation of Vaishnavite faith but with passage of time these institutions gradually transformed into open universities to become all-embracing socio-cultural centres covering numerous subject including education, music,dance, sculpture ,drama, fine-art, Ivory-works etc.
Some of the important satras are-
- PATBAUSHI SATRA: The Satra at Patbaushi was established by Shrimanta Sankardeva. His Vaishnava faith was spread by the guru's able disciples Shri Madhav Deva, Shri Damodar Deva and Shri Hari Deva. It was from this satra that Srimanta Sankardeva spread his faith, literature, music art-forms, culture and work-culture to its fullest form. Here the guru spent 18 years of his life with remarkable achievement including completion of the 'Kirtan Ghosa' and composition of 20 number of invaluable Borgeets. Some of the items used by these Gurus and Sachipat puthis are well-preserved here. The Satra is located about 2 K.Ms North of the Barpeta town.
- GANAKKUCHI SATRA: This satra was founded by Sri Madhab Deva for which the land was purchased by Shrimanta Sankardeva for 1 Tola (about 10gm) Gold and nominated his close disciple Shri Madhab Deva as the satradhikar to stay here to spread his faith and he went on to stay here for 18 long years. Some of the items used by the guru and Sachipat puthis are well-preserved here. The Satra is located within the Barpeta town area.
- JANIA SATRA: This Satra was established by Sankardeva's disciple Shri Narayan Das Thakur Ata. He composed a large number of devotional songs here. This Satras located at a distance of 8 K.M. from Barpeta in Barpeta Jania Road.
- SUNDARIDIYA SATRA: The Satra was established by Shri Madhab Deva after leaving Ganakkuchi Satra. The first satradhikar of Barpeta Satra Sri Mathura Das Burha Ata initially come to this Satra and became a disciple of Shri Madhab Deva. It was here that Paal Nam and Beer Nam or Thiya Nam was created by sri Madhab Deva. A large number of items used by the guru including Sachipat-puthis are preserved here.
- BARPETA SATRA: Sri Madhab Deva founded the Barpeta Satra and stayed here for 8 long years. Here he appointed Sri Mathura Das Burha Ata as the first Satradhikar of the Satra. It was Burha Ata who systematised the administration of the Satra leading to development of the institution and the region of Barpeta. A democratic system was introduced which is effective till today. Large number of followers came to Barpeta & accepted the Vaishnava faith irrespective of their caste high or low that created an egalitarian Society. A new work culture developed among the followers. The Satra has several buildings. The front gate is called 'Batsora'. The main 'Kirtanghar' is where prayers or 'Nam Kirtan' are performed is an architectural splendour. Earlier built as a Kutcha house was concretised with big-pillars in 1952 with decorative wall paintings. All the 'bhakats' or 'devotees' discussed all kinds of problems in the Jagmohan Ghar. In the 'Bhajghar' a lamp is continuously burning for more than 400 years that is called 'Akhay Banti'. Sri Krishna Doul festival is organised at the premises of Doul ghar. There is a small zoo and small 'rangial' garden. Within the premises a cultural school, Keli kadam tree,Shri Shri Mathura Das Burha Ata Library, study-room, office and kitchen are also located. Constitution formulated by Sri Mathura Das Ata is still in vogue.
- BARADI SATRA: This satra was also established by Sri Madhab Deva and stayed here for a very short period.The Sankarite culture spread far and wide from Baradi making it a centre for learning. The place is located about 2.K.M. east of Barpeta town.
- SATRA KANARA: Established by Sri Sri Narayan Das Thakur Ata. This Satra is damaged by natural calamities. Floods creates problem for running the Satra. As a result the original habitants of this place shifted to Gajia and Ganakkuchi in Barpeta. The Satra is located at a distance of 16 K.M. from Barpeta.