Guwahati: The Centre has nominated Assam’s historic Charaideo Maidam of Ahom kingdom for the UNESCO World Heritage Site tag, said Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday.
He said that the state government was working on preparing the dossier on the Charaideo Maidam since 2014.
“The hard work paid off well and now since it has become the country’s lone nomination this time, the Maidams will get the much-needed attention. The UNESCO team will reach Assam in September this year to survey the Maidams and will decide on it in March next year. We are hopeful that the historic Charaideo Maidam of Ahoms will get its due recognition,” he added.
Charaideo Maidam was selected out of 52 other tentative sites from across the country and was sent as India’s nomination in the ‘cultural’ category of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Know about the Charaideo Maidams of Assam
Charaideo Maidam, also known as the pyramids of Assam, was the original capital of the Ahom Kings built by Chaolung Sukhapa the founder of the dynasty in about 1229 CE. Located at the foothills of Nagaland, it’s situated at a distance of around 30 KM from the historical Sivsagar town in Assam.
Though the capital of the Ahom kingdom moved many times, Charaideo remained the symbolic centre. It contains sacred burial grounds of Ahom kings and queens and is also the place of the ancestral Gods of the Ahoms.
Some 42 tombs (Maidams) of Ahom kings and queens are present at Charaideo hillocks.
Charaideo Tai-Ahom word means “a prominent city on the hilltop”. The Tai-Ahom’s first king Chaolung Siukapha A.D. 1228-1256 ruled this area and founded his capital at this place.
Architecturally it comprises a massive underground vault with one or more chambers having domical superstructure and covered by a heap of the earthen mound and externally it appears a hemispherical mound.
At the top of the mound, a small open pavilion is provided. An octagonal dwarf wall encloses the whole maidam. The Ahoms preferred to place the departed family members at Charaideo where the first king Sukapha was laid to rest. The historical chronicles inform that wives, attendants, pet animals and huge quantities of valuables were buried with the departed kings.
The actual number of Maidam was more than 150 but only 30 Maidams are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and Assam State Archaeology Department.