Mahapurush Srimanta Sankaradeva
Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankaradeva (1449-1568) saint-scholar, playwright, social-religious reformer, is a colossal figure in the cultural and religious history of Assam. He is credited with providing a thread of unity to Assam straddling two major kingdoms (Ahom and Koch Kingdoms), building on past literary activities to provide the bedrock of Assamese culture, and creating a religion that gave shape to a set of new values and social synthesis. Srimanta Sankaradeva had not only reformed the entire Assamese Society but also laid the foundation of Assamese culture with his contributions in the field of literature, dance, drama, music, painting etc. His literary and artistic contributions are living traditions in Assam today. The sect of religion he preached is practised by a large population and Sattras (monasteries) that he and his followers established continue to flourish and sustain his legacy.
As a mark of deep respect for his personality, teachings and oeuvre, he was named Mahapurush, the “Great Man”.
The project for construction of Mahapurush Srimanta Sankaradeva Museum at Srimata Sankaradeva Kalakshetra, Guwahati with an estimated project cost of Rs. 50 crore is sanctioned under funding from the Assam Infrastructure Financing Authority in May 2018 under Cultural Affairs Department.
There is no such type of an organized museum in operation at present in this part of the Nation, displaying life and works of this Great Saint. The present Museum in ‘Sankaradeva Kalakshetra’ lacks sufficient, organized and well-planned space, lack of modern technology to display articles, non-application of safety and security systems to protect the components, study materials etc.
The proposed Museum is going to incorporate all facilities and amenities of a modern Museum with characteristics and architectural features in the buildings that will resemble those of a ‘Naamghar or Kirtan Ghar’. This will depict the life of Sankaradeva as an artist and architect. Studies and research work reveals that the Architectural characters of Kirtan Ghar of Tembuwani were like those developed in the Western World in the 20th century about 400 years ago. The architectural floor plans of the building will be based on an ellipse, which will be achieved from smoothening the edges of a “Khol or Mridanga”. Visitors will be encouraged to go to the individual floors by staircase and lifts from the ground floor towards upstairs. The exit will be at the 4th-floor from where the visitors will take the way out through a wider ramp down with a very gentle slope. Various works of Srimanta Sankaradeva and his disciples will be architecturally displayed with landscaping and sitting arrangements throughout the walkway down to the ground floor, entering into a Souvenir Shop and then the final exit from the core building.
The main Attraction of the Museum will be a lifetime memorable journey on a wheeled boat shaped cabin, through a fully air-conditioned tunnel mode fibre boards, where the guests will be able to see and experience the phases of life and contributions of Sankaradeva right from birth till death. This will be executed by dramatic effects of light, sound and working models using world-class modern technology and technical experts.
Other major components of the Museum Building will be :
List of Galleries to be Displayed :
a. Sankaradeva’s First pilgrimage.
b. Sankaradeva as a Worshipper of man.
c. Sankaradeva’s Missionary work.
d. Sankaradeva as a Master painter or artist (“Sapta Baikuntha Painting”)
e. Sankaradeva as a poet.
f. Sankaradeva in the world of drama/ Ankiya Nat.
g. Sankaradeva as a creator of “Vrindavabi Vastra”
h. Sankaradeva as an author.
i. Sankaradeva’s contemporary.
j. Sankaradeva’s unique creation such as Naamghar, Kirtan Ghar, Satra institution.
k. Sankaradeva’s Borgeet as a performing art.
l. As a National Integrator, the role of Sankaradeva Movement for Cause of National Integration.
m. Musical instruments, Bhaona Materials, Dress materials etc.
n. Different Sattriya dances.
o. Mati Akhora (Sattriya Exercise)