Sivasagar: Capital of the Mighty Ahom Kingdom

Sivasagar

Sivasagar is a historic town located in the state of Assam in northeast India. It was once the capital of the powerful Ahom Kingdom, which ruled the region for six centuries from the 13th to the 19th century. The town is named after the Sivasagar Tank, which is a man-made lake that was created by the Ahom kings to provide water to the town.

Sivasagar is an awe-inspiring destination that boasts remarkable architectural, archaeological, and engineering marvels, which are evident in its numerous temples, palaces, stone bridges, tanks, and pyramid-shaped Maidams. The town is home to more than 350 ancient monuments, which speak volumes about the rich heritage and culture of the region.

Brief History of Sivasagar

Sivasagar has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the reign of the Ahom Kingdom, which ruled the region for six centuries from the 13th to the 19th century. The Ahom rulers were known for their military prowess, administrative skills, and cultural contributions.

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Sivasagar served as the capital of the Ahom Kingdom from 1699 to 1788, during which time it witnessed a period of great prosperity and cultural growth. The Ahom kings were patrons of the arts and literature, and under their rule, Sivasagar became a center of learning and culture.

During the Ahom period, Sivasagar was a hub of trade and commerce, and it played a significant role in the economic development of the region. The town was home to several markets and bazaars, where merchants from all over the region would come to trade their goods.

In the late 18th century, Sivasagar came under the control of the Burmese, who occupied the town for several years. However, the Ahom Kingdom was eventually able to regain control of the town, and it continued to flourish under their rule until the arrival of the British in the 19th century.

Places to visit in Sivasagar

Rang Ghar

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The Rang Ghar is an amphitheater that was built during the reign of King Pramatta Singha in the 18th century. It is one of the most iconic landmarks of the Ahom Kingdom and is considered to be the oldest surviving amphitheater in Asia. The Rang Ghar was used for hosting various cultural events and games during the Ahom reign. The structure of the Rang Ghar is unique and is made of bamboo and wood. The Rang Ghar is located in the heart of Sivasagar and is a must-visit destination for anyone who is interested in history and architecture.

Talatal Ghar (Kareng Ghar)

Kareng Ghar Talatal Ghar of the Ahom Kings
Image Via Wikimedia Commons (Mozzworld)

The Talatal Ghar is a palace that was built during the reign of King Rajeshwar Singha in the 18th century. It was used as a military base and is considered to be one of the most important landmarks of the Ahom Kingdom. The Talatal Ghar is unique in its architecture and is built on three levels. The first level was used for administrative purposes, the second level was used for military purposes, and the third level was used as a watchtower. The Talatal Ghar is located about 6 kilometers away from Sivasagar and is a must-visit destination for anyone who is interested in history and architecture.

Sivasagar Tank (Borpukhuri)

Sivasagar Tank
Image Via Wikimedia Commons (Dhrubazaanphotography)

Sivasagar Tank also known as Borpukhuri is one of the most important landmarks in Sivasagar and is a man-made lake that covers an area of 257 acres. It was created by the Ahom kings in the 18th century to provide water to the town, and it is surrounded by several ancient temples and monuments. The tank is considered to be a holy site by the locals and is a popular destination for pilgrims.

Joysagar Tank

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Image Via Instagram (@ __vivid_captures)

Joysagar Tank is a man-made lake that was built during the reign of King Rudra Singha in the 17th century. The lake is spread over an area of 318 acres and is considered to be the largest man-made lake in India. The lake is surrounded by lush greenery and is a popular picnic spot among locals. You can also enjoy boating and fishing at the lake.

Shivadol

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Shivadol is a group of three Hindu temples that were built during the Ahom reign. The temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and are considered to be one of the finest examples of Ahom architecture. The temples are made of stone and are adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures. The Shivadol temples are located in the heart of Sivasagar and are a must-visit destination for anyone who is interested in history and architecture.

Gaurisagar Tank

Gaurisagar Tank
Image Via Instagram (@JibanJyotiPhotography)

Gaurisagar Tank is a man-made lake that was built during the reign of King Rudra Singha in the 18th century. The lake is spread over an area of 150 acres and is surrounded by lush greenery. The lake is considered to be a sacred site among Hindus, and there are several temples and shrines located around the lake.

Tai Ahom Museum

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Image Via Wikimapia (ashupaul123)

The Tai Ahom Museum is a museum that is dedicated to the history and culture of the Ahom Kingdom. The museum has a collection of artifacts, manuscripts, and other items that date back to the Ahom reign. The museum is located in the heart of Sivasagar and is a must-visit destination for anyone who is interested in history and culture.

Charaideo

Charaideo Maidam of Ahom Kings at Charaideo in Sivasagar Assam 4 e1674932045509
Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons | Creator: Mozzworld

Charaideo is a town that is located about 30 kilometers away from Sivasagar. It was the first capital of the Ahom Kingdom and is home to several important landmarks of the Ahom reign, including the Charaideo Maidam and the Gargaon Palace.

Namdang Stone Bridge

Namdang Stone Bridge
Photography: Veronica Christopher

Namdang Stone Bridge is a bridge that was built during the Ahom reign. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of Ahom architecture and engineering. The bridge is made of stone and spans over the Namdang River. The Namdang Stone Bridge is located about 10 kilometers away from Sivasagar and is a must-visit destination for anyone who is interested in history and architecture.

Things to do in Sivasagar

Explore the temples and palaces of the Ahom Kingdom

Sivasagar is home to some of the most important landmarks of the Ahom Kingdom, including the Rang Ghar, the Talatal Ghar, and the Kareng Ghar. Exploring these temples and palaces is a must-do activity for anyone who is interested in history and architecture.

Visit the man-made lakes

Sivasagar is home to several man-made lakes, including Joysagar Tank and Gaurisagar Tank. These lakes are surrounded by lush greenery and are popular picnic spots among locals. You can also enjoy boating and fishing at these lakes.

Take a heritage walk

Sivasagar is a town that is steeped in history and culture. Taking a heritage walk is a great way to explore the town and learn about its rich past. You can hire a guide or take a self-guided tour and explore the various landmarks of the Ahom Kingdom, including the temples, palaces, and museums.

Magh Bihu

Attend a cultural festival

Sivasagar is home to several cultural festivals that are held throughout the year. These festivals are a great way to experience the local culture and traditions. Some of the popular festivals include the Magh Bihu, Rongali Bihu, and Durga Puja.

Try the local cuisine

Sivasagar is known for its unique cuisine which is a blend of Assamese, Ahom, and Bengali influences. Some of the must-try dishes include the traditional Assamese thali, fish curry, pitha, and laddu. You can find these dishes at local eateries and restaurants throughout the town.

Shop for souvenirs

Sivasagar is home to several markets and bazaars where you can shop for souvenirs and local handicrafts. Some of the popular items include Assamese silk sarees, bamboo handicrafts, and traditional jewelry. The Shivsagar market is a popular shopping destination among tourists.

Best time to visit Sivasagar

The best time to visit Sivasagar is from October to March when the weather is pleasant and mild. The temperature during this time ranges from 10°C to 25°C, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The monsoon season, which lasts from June to September, should be avoided as the town receives heavy rainfall and the weather can be unpredictable.

How to reach Sivasagar

Sivasagar is well-connected to major cities in India by road, rail, and air.

By Air

The nearest airport is Jorhat Airport, which is located about 70 kilometers away from Sivasagar.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is Simaluguri Junction, which is located about 16 kilometers away from Sivasagar.

By Road

You can also reach Sivasagar by road through National Highway 37, which connects it to Guwahati and other major cities in the region.

(To know more about Assam State Tourism check the link here.)

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