[ CI Mannou ]
The Golden Pagoda is locally known as Kongmu – Kham. It is a notable Buddhist monument of North-East India, located in Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh near Tenga-Pani River on the side of NH-52.
It is a sacred place which has become a religious and cultural centre of the region. The pagoda is nicely decorated and covered in gold paint and so, shines brightly when the rays of the Sun fall on it. The scene of the entire complex is really worth watching, especially at night with shimmering lights.
The pagoda was dedicated to the devotees and all members of the civil society by Chowna Mein and members of his family.
People of all religions from abroad and from all walks of life visit the Golden Pagoda with great devotion.
The construction of such a beautiful place of worship is therefore, a symbol of devotion of the patrons to promote religion and cultural heritage in the region. Such rich experience and knowledge are the chief forces that drive social development of the society. Experience is the most important tool that shapes mankind through an analytical approach which is essential for human life.
So, the success of the construction has strengthened the Buddha’s noble philosophy of ‘Right Thinking and Right Living’, which teaches us to respect ourselves and others by following the doctrine of ‘peaceful co-existence’ through universal equality.
Life in the monastic abode of the Golden Pagoda is regulated by code of moral conducts and body of rules of ethical training for the devotees and sramanas. Their ideas are to receive the grace of God in the monastery through monks who are considered as the ‘shadow of god’ by the Buddhist chronicles who portrayed the power of divine sanction at the place of worship.
Within the complex of the Golden Pagoda, there are many historical monuments and statues that illustrate the stories of human values of the past to inspire the young.
The patrons also visualized and established an old-age home and orphanage, which are great contributions towards mankind.
Besides, the monastery, nestled within the complex is quiet, except for the chant: “Buddham Saranam Gacchami, Dhammam Saranam Gacchami, Sangham Saram Gacchami.”
The monastery is simple and sparse with the ground and surroundings clean and tidy.
The Golden Pagoda holds a celebration every year. The devotees attend the celebration in large numbers with great devotion. During the event, numerous shops are set-up at the fair site. People buy sweets, toys and other things for their children, who are in a happy mood. Children attending the festival put on new clothes and make merry in several ways. The Golden Pagoda is therefore, a place of sacred devotion, joy and attraction for the people of the region.
For many, it may be a description of beauty to be told, but for me, the excitement, family values, their honesty and hospitality during the celebration was an unforgettable experience. (The contributor is the former principal of Government Higher Secondary School, Tezu)