Also known as ‘Malinithan Temple’, the ‘Akashganga Temple’ located on the foothills of Siang Hills in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh is another popular Hindu pilgrimage site in the North Eastern state of India and is visited by hordes of devotees and tourists every year. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, the temple showcases a classical Odissa style of architecture. The interiors of the temple are adorned with beautiful carvings of Hindu pantheons and animal & flower motifs dating back to 14th-15th century AD.
According to Kalika Purana, it is at this place where Lord Krishna and his wife Rukmini, on their way to Dwarka after their marriage rested for some time and Goddess Parvati welcomed them with garlands. Also, Goddess Parvati addressed Rukmini with the name of Malini and thus, the place and this temple got its name. As far as the date of construction of this temple is concerned, the original temple is believed to have been built somewhere between 14th and 15th century AD but, the site lay deserted for centuries until the archaeological excavations in 20th century revealed the temple ruins along with many other artefacts such as carved pillars and granite sculptures dating back to the bygone era. Soon, the temple was restored to its original glory and devotees started flocking in with their prayers and wishes. There is a sacred kund near the temple where devotees often take a holy dip before entering the sanctum sanctorum. Needless to say, a very popular religious site, the ‘Akashganga Temple’, also fascinates many archaeologists and historians who often flock here in great numbers to study the art and architecture that was prevalent in the region during olden times.