Sivasagar or Sibsagar is majorly known historical monument built during the reign of Ahom rulers, who ruled in the Assam region for about 600 years.
Sivasagar district of Assam state is located at a distance of about 360 km from Guwahati. This place makes a wonderful tourist spot. Sivasagar is adorned with both nature’s beauty and historical monuments.
In the region of Assam, Ahom Empire was established by Sukhphaa also called Chaolung Sukaphaa. He was a prince of Mong Mao who established the rule of Ahom empire in Assam region in the 13th century.
In 1228 Sukhphaa arrived in Brahmaputra Valley where he and his army were opposed by the Nagas. Sukhphaa defeated the Nagas and went on to establish an empire which later became famous as Ahom empire.
Sukhphaa started an empire that was here to stay for almost 600 years. Sukhphaa made Saraideo his first capital.
Over the years, the kings of the Ahom empire built many structures. Out of which some of them are still there reminding us of glorious days these Kings, who once enjoyed power and prosperity and ultimately got destroyed. Some of the most prominent of Sivasagar is: Ranghar, TaltalGhar, Eight Canons of Ahoms, Gauri Sagar Tank, Kareng Ghar (Royal Palace of Ahom Kings), Ghanshyam house, maidams, Shivsagar Tank, AjanpirDarghetc
Saraideo: The First Capital of Ahoms
Saraideo also spelled charaideo was the first capital of the Ahom rulers which was established in 1253. As of today, you will find a number of hill locks at this site i.e Saraideo. An interesting fact about these small hills is that these are man-made hills. These are actually resting place (tombs) of the royal family members of Ahom dynasty. These are called Maidams (tombs).
The Archaeological Survey of India has excavated one of these Maidams i.e. resting places, from this excavation it was found that, like the Egyptians, Ahoms were also buried with a lot of valuable and useful things. These people believed that there is life after death and the deceased would need certain things for his/ her survival in the afterlife. Hence, they were buried with a lot of valuables.
Another important city of Ahom empire was Rangpur which now is called Sivasagar. Historically and archaeologically this city is pretty significant, one of the reasons for that is from 1699-1788 it held the status of capital of the Ahom empire.
This city is dotted with Historical monuments of the Ahom era. Most prominent attractions of Sivasagar include:
Kareng Ghar translates to Royal Palace. It is said that this palace was originally a seven storey wooden palace which was later built with bricks. Three out of seven storeys of this structure are underground and four of them above it. The underground chambers are assumed to have been used by the servants, the ground floor was perhaps used as stable and rest of the upper floors as the royal residence. This beautiful piece of architecture was built in 1698 by Ahom king Swargadeo Rudra Singha
Rang Ghar meaning house of Joy
This structure was used by the royal family for entertainment purpose like a sports and entertainment pavilion. This two storey structure was built during Swargadeo Pramatta Singha’s rule. Here various cultural events and competitions were organized by the Royal family. The famous Assamese festival Bihu is believed to have been started during the Ahom period.
This palace was built between the years 1751- 1769 by King Rajeshwar Singha as a barrack for the army of the Ahoms. Originally Talatal Ghar was a multi-storey building. As of today, most of it is lying in ruins and only remains of this structure are present.
Talatal Ghar has two secret passages that were supposed to be used during the times of emergency. One of these tunnels connected to Kareng Ghar and other connected Talatal palace to Dikhow river.
As you roam the complex, you’ll find some temples belonging to the Ahom era. Some of these temples are built in octagonal shape which is quite different from the temples we usually see.
Joy Sagar Tank
Ahom kings built many water tanks in their Kingdom. Out of the Joy Sagar built by the king, Rudra Simha is the largest. It built in an approximate area of 318 acres. This tank was built in the memory of queen Joymati who was the mother of King Rudra Simha.
JoydolBuilt during Ahom empire Joydol Tempe is dedicated to Lord Vishnu
Some of the most impressive features of these Ahom monuments are their remarkable engineering, building techniques, and architectural style. All these well thought out features are the reasons why these monuments still stand strong.
The decline of Ahom empire:
Many reasons ultimately lead to the decline of Ahoms one of which was Incompetent successors. Later the clash between religious sect Maya Mora Satra and Ahoms added to their difficulties.
Eventually when the hunger for the royal seat became prominent in members of royal family one of the royal members (Chandrakanta Singha) called rulers of Barma to attack Assam so he could ascend the throne. Thereafter three battles between Barma and Ahom followed.
In 1819 during the reign of Purandar Singha, the Burmese defeated Purandar and Burma rulers made Chandrakanta Singha the next ruler. With the help of the British, Purandar Singha got back his throne. But this second term of the kingship of Purandar Singha did not last long either. In 1838 the British East India company dethroned Purandar Singha and established their rule over this region.
This ended one of the strongest empires of North East India that ruled the region for over 600 years but finally collapsed.
North East is truly a heaven in its own right. Culture, history, and warmth you feel it all at once here. This part of the country enriched with treasures like these. Visit here to feel the splendor of this charming place.