An expedition to thrilling hilly shrine

SILCHAR, Aug 30: How about exploring the less frequented and inhospitable jungle-infested terrain on Asom-Mizoram border? In the midst of the forest hills, is located a sacred place with natural stony idols of Shiva and other gods at Gutguti Punji, revered and worshipped by the Reangs or Brus as well as other Hindu tribes of the area.
A team of adventurers of the Explorer Club of Silchar decided to visit the place after covering a distance of 125 km, trekking through 10 km of treacherous hilly track. Nivia village is the last point till which two wheelers could be taken. From there, it was a journey on foot to Ranpur. After an overnight stay, the trekking began early morning.
As programmed earlier, Sumesmeswar, Asim and Robin Sekasek were to guide the rest through the jungle path. Intermittent rains had made the hilly track a bit slippery. At some ridges, path strewn with stones and fossils made their ascent tenuous. It took four hours to reach Gutguti. Village headman Pabitra Reang and Prenajaya Tularam too joined the expedition on the critical Kalolian tilla.
The strenuous trekking was often obstructed by leeches creeping out of the deep bushes and grasses. Poisonous serpents too created fear-psychosis. Narrow and slippery jungle-infested passage called for caution and balance in movement. After a few hours of trekking, it was a descent down to a stream filled with stones and then it was climb up with the support of bamboo sticks. The wild pigs in the areas also the caused enough fear. A few more steps took them to the foot of a massive stone on the top of which lay the man-made Shiva-Linga. Quite amazingly, water from the hilly stream was rolling down the statue of Lord Shiva. The stone is of 60 feet height. Images of various gods and goddesses could be seen around the Shiva idol. On the other side of the hill, is the idol of Lord Ganesh. Kalolian hillock has been named after the idols of gods and goddesses.
President of the Explorer Club Kumar Kanti Das said, “The objective behind this is to have a darshan of lord Shiva, located in an isolated hilly range.”
“We made two abortive attempts earlier. Now that we did make it, is a matter of joy,” Das said.
It was time to clime down with all the equipment of mountaineering and rock climbing. It was around 10 at night when the team reached Gutguti Punji. Dilip Nath of the team said, “Our expedition reminded us of our journey to Unnakuti at Kailashsahar in Tripura which abound with innumerable idols of gods and goddesses, most prominent being that of lord Shiva”. (Source - Sentinel Assam)

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