The Ocean of Lord Shiva, Sivasagar is a town located in Assam in North Eastern India. Primarily known because of its service as the capital of the infamous Ahom Dynasty during its six century long rule over North Eastern India, Sivasagar is now famous in Assam for its oil and tea factories. A visit to Assam demands a tour of this beautiful historic town to witness the beautiful monuments, waterbodies, architecture and much more.
Here is a list of the top 5 places you can visit when in the town of Sivasagar.
Probably one of the most prominent destinations of Sivasagar, the Shiva Dol is a complex of three Temples of Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Devi. Built by the Ahom king when Sivasagar was the capital city, the Shiva Dol reflects the intricate architectural preferences and color palette of the people of Ahom. The best time to capture the true beauty of these three Temples is during sunset as the color of the monument and the hues of the setting sun blend together exposing a magical picture. Right opposite the Shiva Dol is the man made Borpukhuri tank which is considered sacred because of its proximity to the temples. Early mornings are the best to visit as the roads are devoid of traffic and you can experience the beauty of the Borpukhuri tank filled with fish and ducks swimming on the top as well as watch the sunrise over the three Temples of Siva Dol. Hence, this is a must visit when in the city of Sivasagar.
Ornate walls adorned with floral designs and a strong Mughal influence, the Rang Ghar has been a topic of discussion among historians and archeologists for several decades. Although the Rang Ghar is heavily adorned with Mughal art, the Mughals were never able to invade this place during the Ahom rule even after fighting ten long wars. The Rang Ghar was a brainchild of the Ahom king whose main purpose of this structure was to serve as a sort of theatre to witness demonstrations of battles and fights among warriors for their honor. Apart from this, bull fights, bird fights, elephant fights along with wrestling matches are the other activities that took place at the Rang Ghar for the Ahom Kings entertainment.
Built in the 1700s, the ancient Temple of Joy Dol was built as a dedication to Lord Vishnu. You can explore this vacant Temple by yourself although there is very little daylight to support you through the excursion. However, it is an exciting and fun adventure walking the corridors of this ancient Shiva Temple. Beautiful carvings representing all the incarnations of Vishnu are present on the outer face of the Temple along with other detailed stone carvings of animals, birds and mythical creatures which were a part of the Ahom Dynasties religious beliefs. A man made reservoir, the Joy Dol tank, is placed opposite the Vishnu Temple which enhances the beauty of this ancient structure ten fold.
4.TALATAL GHAR COMPLEX
The largest Ahom monument to embrace the world, the Talatal Ghar complex is one of the finest pieces of architecture to have been built by the skilled craftsmen of the Ahom dynasty. Throughout the course of the long Ahom rule, this complex served as the Royal palace as well as the Army barracks. Few meters within the Talatal Ghar complex is the Gola Ghar, and as the name suggests it was the place where the artillery was stored, specifically the war cannons. The museum inside the complex has on display articles on the Ahom Dynasty, an interesting fact highlighted is the compulsory army service for male members of the family between 15-50 to keep the Ahom army strong and secure to ensure Mughal defeat time and again. All the walls of the Talatal Ghar have cannon holes as they were used to insert the cannons and fire. This is probably one of the secrets to the 600 year rule of the Ahom Dynasty in North Eastern India. Underground complexes and tunnels are also part of the Talatal Ghar blueprint which served as secret pathways for the Ahom rulers.
This includes the four maidans also known as the burial grounds of the Ahom Dynasty. The Ahom Dynasty followed a unique way of saying goodbye to the dead, they initially put them in coffins, buried the coffin and then built a pyramid shaped mound over the burial spot. The mounds almost appear to be naturally developed hills, however, they are actually man made. An octagonal brick wall that circulates the perimeter of the mound is the only aspect that differentiates these man made mounds from naturally occurring hills.
The ancient city of Sivasagar is a true representation of Ahom culture and heritage and is a beautiful sight for the eyes. If you ever visit Assam, this once upon a time historic capital of Assam and headquarters of the long ruling Ahom Dynasty is definitely a must visit. You can catch our actual tour of the city of Sivasagar on our Vlog, ‘https://youtu.be/aCyRCwVlSJc’ on the YouTube Channel, ‘The Crimson Canvas’.