reason for this total obliteration of old sites, as given by Gait, is that nature has vied
with man in destroying them. The Brahmaputra valley is an alluvial country, and the
impetuous, snow- fed rivers which debouch from the Himalayas find so little resistance in
its friable soil that they are constantly carving out new channels and cutting away their
neighbourhood can be expected to remain for more than limited time, except few points like
Gauhati, Tezpur, where solid rock pierces through the alluvium.
Further,though occurring at distant inter-
vals, violent earthquakes are, in Assam, quited as great cause of destruction as fluvial
action. A less sudden, but almost equally potent, cause of damage is found in the
luxuriant vegetation of the country. Instances are also not wanting where religious zeal
led the early Moslem invaders to raze the temples to the ground.
We have therefore, very little material for the
study of temples in Assam although there are quite a few legends. We have here selected
some of the important once and have also added a chapter on Vaisnava religious centres or
Satras so as to make them intelligible to those outside Assam.