Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Maidam: Pyramids of Assam


               The Post is for A to Z April 2015 Challenge, I took up a topic : 'M' for 'Maidam'

Historians say that the Egyptian pyramids are their only competitors. Series of stories from localites about the richness of the place....still finding gold or silver jewels, coins under the ground, inside the ponds, wells... 

Yes, I am talking about ‘Maidam’, probably very few of you have heard about it. May be none of you also.

Why it’s in the ‘Don’t Know’ list….though it has incomparable beauty and grandeur of its own?

Till last few years, these sacred burial ground of the kings of Ahom kingdom laid depressing, desolated, and abandoned. But now, with the zeal of some energetic local folks, it has received proper attention and developed to be an extremely stunning place and got a World Heritage Site tag from UNESCO too.

Externally Maidam appears like a hemispherical mound. But, architecturally, this is a two or three bed rooms set. It comprises of a huge underground burial chamber with one or more compartments having domical superstructure and covered by a heap of earthen mound. At the top of the mound there is a small open pavilion called 'chow-chali'. An octagonal dwarf wall encloses whole maidam. The historical chronicles say that wives, attendants, the dancers, cook, pet animals and huge quantity of valuables like jewels, gold and silver coins were buried with the departed kings. 

The structural construction and the process of royal burials are explained in historical documents called Chang-Rung Phukanor Buranjiwith the details, even with the mention of the articles that were buried. Later excavations under the Archeological Survey of India found some of the maidams previously defiled, with the articles mentioned in the Buranji missing.   

Many of the maidams were excavated and looted, mostly under the Mughal general Mir Jumla who had occupied Garhgaon briefly in the 17th century; and under the British after 1826. Fragmentary remains of ivory and wooden objects have been recovered from the inner chamber of the maidam too. 

Situated 28 km east of Sivasagar district of Assam, situated in the northeast of India, Charaideo was the first capital of the Ahoms founded by Sukapha who migrated from Mong-Mao or Mong Mao Ling, a south-west province of China. The king Sukapha was first laid to rest at Charaideo, after his death. Since then, it became the sacred burial ground of the kings and queens of the Ahom kingdom.

Enormously beautiful green landscape, park in front of all the major maidams, Ahom kings' Palace, royal architectures are the special attraction of this place. Go to the top of the maidams, have an eye-soothing sight of the green surroundings.

Timings of visit: sunrise to sunset

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