Likabali- The Malinithan Temple cum Archaeological Site, Likabali is now open for visitors from 21st November 2020. A new grand temple constructed as a replica of the ruined one, display gallery for displaying the monuments found from excavation, landscape lightings are the added attractions.
The entire campus is illuminated, which greatly enhanced the beauty of the archeological site. Er. Kirpak Dini designed and supervised the entire electrification work and told that the landscape lighting was done, strictly keeping sanctity of the grand temple and aspects of monumental lighting.
After the construction of the grand new temple, the main challenge was to shift the idol of the main deity, weighting 2.5 metric ton, from old temple to new one. The task was challenging and critical because the idol was needed to be shifted unhurt as in Hindu mythology broken idol cannot be place in a new temple.
The Deputy Commissioner, Lower Siang District, Mr. A.K. Singh assigned the critical responsibility to Er. Kirpak Dini, who designed lifting structure and combined trolley as per the shape and size of the idol and he himself made the same and efficiently executed the most critical task and successfully shifted the idol on 17th November 2020 without even a minor scratch.
The Malinithan temple cum Archaeological site has not only become an asset of great value for Lower Siang District but also for entire Arunachal Pradesh.
History of Malinithan Temple
Located in the foothills of the Siang hills, hardly a kilometer from the Likabali. It was in early 20’s, between 1968 and 1971, all these relics were unearthed on this site. The ruins found nearby the temple indicates that it was built with granite stones during the period of Aryan influence in the region, which is quite unique as most of the temples in Northeast are build with bricks.
There’s an intriguing story associated with the name of the temple, according to which Krishna eloped with Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhishmaka of Vidarbha, and then travelled from Bhishmakanagar to Dwarka. During their journey, they stopped at Malinithan, where they received a wall welcome and was presented with garlands made of flowers plucked from her orchard.
Krishna was so much fascinated by the scent of a flower that he addressed Parvati as Malini, meaning “the mistress of the garden.” That’s how the place got its name – Malinithan. As per another story, the image of a female without the head was unearthed during the excavations, which represented Malini who was the lover of Shiva. The image of the goddess Durga found here is known as “Pupane”, an ancient name for the Divine Mother.
At the time when the temple was in the excavation process, four sculptures of lions on two elephants was found. The granite sculptures of Indra riding his mount Airavata; Kartikeya riding a peacock; Surya (Sun) riding a chariot, and Ganesha mounted over a mouse, and a large Nandi bull were also found here. There are some erotic sculptures to see too in different postures, which means that at the time when temple was in making process, tantrism prevailed here as a fertility rite of the tribal people. ( input from i-net sources )