(Last Updated on : 11/10/2018)
Malinithan is located at the foothills of the Siang Mountains in the Likabali town, which is the nearest administrative centre. It is at an elevation of 69 feet and is known to be a holy place. The main temple here is devoted to Goddess Durga
which showcases their classical tradition. It is located on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra River
and is known to be built by the Chutiya king, Lakshmi-Narayan in the 15th century. The temple was once an extravagant site but now completely in ruins. It was in the early 20's, between 1968 and 1971 that all these relics were unearthed on this site. The ruins found near 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.
History of Malinithan
At the time of excavation, the archaeological finds at the site were granite sculptures of four lions on two elephants. There were sculptures of Goddess Durga, a Shiva lingam and a large Nandi bull, which was the mount of Lord Shiva
. Along-with these there were other sculptures like Lord Indra
riding his mount Airavata; Kartikeya
riding a peacock; Lord Surya
riding a chariot, and Lord Ganesha
mounted over a mouse. Archaeological studies revealed erotic Maithuna sculptures in different positions, thus it was believed that tantricism prevailed there as a fertility rite of the tribal people, who held the "mother principal as the procreative power of nature". It was said that the Shakti
cult was practiced in the region. It was one of the three leading centers of Shaktism
Legend of Malinithan
According to the legends, it is said that Lord Krishna
wanted to elope with Rukimini, the daughter of King Bhishmaka of Vidarbha. He abducted Rukimini
before her wedding and travelled from Bhishmakanagar to Dwarka, before finally stopping at Malinithanon the way over. Here, they were greeted by Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati
, who were doing penance. Parvati, Shivas consort warmly greeted her guests and presented with flower garlands made from her own orchard. Krishna was so enamored by the beauty and the scent of the flowers that he addressed Parvati as Malini, which meant "the mistress of the garden", and since then the place is named as Malinithan. But according to another legend, there was once an image of a female without the head which was unearthed during the excavations. This image represented Malini who was the lover of Shiva. The image of the Goddess Durga also found here and is known as "Pupane", an ancient name for the Divine Mother.
Visiting Information on Malinithan
The nearest helipad is the Along Airport
also known as the Aalo Airport is located at Along in the state of Arunachal Pradesh
. The state has a series of railway stations
from where one can reach the ruined temple site of Malinithan easily via roadways.