Mukherjee,a retired school teacher of Dumka,had highlighted the historical significance of Maluti.He had worked hard to keep atleast 72 out of the 108 temples of Maluti famous.
It is only due to the efforts of this Mukherjee the temples of Maluti have survived and are presently being conserved by the Government of Jharkhand.”Mukherjee not only saved the temples from destruction but also documented the history of the village. He has written several books on Maluti in Bengali, Hindi and English.
His Bengali books include “Devbhumi Maluti,”
“Bajer Badale Raj” and “Nankar Maluti.” His English book “Temples of Maluti” is all set to be published. His Hindi works include a booklet titled “Guptakasi Maluti.”
The state government today honoured him by awarding him and offering a cheque of Rs 51,000.The chgeque was handed ober to Mukherjee by Chief Minister Raghubar Das in Dumka.’I am happy that Maluti has attracted the attention of the country and the world at large”,said Mukherjee.
As per the records of history,Maluti has 72 old temples. It was built under the Baj Basanta dynasty. The 72 temples are edifices to the kings of the Pala Dynasty. They portray various scenes from Hindu mythology including the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Maluti is known for the annual sacrifice of over 100 goats on Kali Puja, besides one buffalo and a sheep, though animal activist groups have often strongly looked down at this activity. Today Maluti is endangered by insufficient management of the old temples, and threatened by natural disasters.
Wikipedia gives details about Maluti saying as follows:”Maluti village came into limelight in fifteenth century as the capital of nankar raj (tax-free kingdom). The kingdom was awarded to one Basanta Roy of village Katigram by Sultan Alauddin Hussan Shah of Gaura (1495–1525). Son of a poor Brahmin Basanta managed to catch the pet hawk of the sultan and gave it back to the sultan. In lieu of the hawk (Baj), Basanta was given the kingdom. Hence, the king was called Raja Baj Basanta. The capital of Baj Basanta dynasty was in Damra. Later it was shifted to Maluti. The royal family was very pious.
Basanta became a king in lieu of a baj (hawk) by the help of a Dandi Sanyasi of Sumeru Math, Kashi may be true to a great extent because the word Baj has been pre-fixed with the name if Basanta to commemorate the event. The name Baj Basanta is comparatively prominent because it can be found both in local history and government records. Swamiji, the head of Sumeru Math, Varanasi, was the preceptor of Basanta. Since then the head of Sumeru Math who is called Rajguru becomes the preceptor of descendants of king Baj Banata. Even today Rajguru from Sumeru Math Varanasi spends sometime at Maluti every year.
How Maluti — the capital of Baj Basanta dynasty — turn out to be a ‘temple city’ is also an interesting story. Instead of constructing palaces, the Rajas built temples. The dynasty was broken into parts (tarafs) but each taraf kept building temples, competing with the others. In the end, it turned out be a unique temple village. Inscriptions in Proto-Bengali on the temples show they were named after women.
Around 1857, Swami Bamdev (or Bamakhyapa), one of Bengal’s greatest spiritual leaders, came here to be a priest but failed because he couldn’t memorise Sanskrit mantras. He was made to cook food for the puja. During his 18-month stay in Maluti, Bamakhyapa used to spend most of his time at Mauliskshya temple. Here he was first blessed. Then, he moved to Tarapith. His trident is still preserved at Maluti.