Hello! I am back again to give you a vivid account of my next journey to Sibsagar city. After exploring the largest freshwater island – Majuli, we went back to the Nimati Ghat on the banks of the river Brahmaputra. From the ghat, it took us only one hour to reach the historical city of Sibsagar by cab. Sibsagar located in the Upper Assam was once the capital of the Ahom kings. At that time, its name was Rangpur. Ahom kings rule for more than six hundred years and successfully defended the repeated attacks of rulers of Bengals and Mughals.
Talatal Ghar, Rang Ghar & Kareng Ghar – A Glorious Example of Ahom Dynasty
Located in the heart of the Sibsagar city, Talatal Ghar is a glorious example of the flourishing architecture of Ahom dynasty. The moment we saw the building, it appeared unassuming, but we were awestruck when told by our guide that the building was once a palace, built of bricks, duck eggs and sticky rice! It has even three underground floors with secret tunnels for a safe escape of royal family in case of a war. The upper four floors above the ground of the same building are collectively known as Kareng Ghar.
Initially, the palace full of secret passages from one end to other was an army base but later on becomes the abode of the kings. We spend an hour in exploring the palace and clicking pictures of the same. To our disappointment, the underground floors were completely sealed. However, we were fortunate enough that we got a lifetime opportunity to enjoy the Bihu Festival of Assam, right in front of the Rang Ghar! It is the national festival of Assamese people. The synchronous footsteps of the pretty girls dressed in traditional attire mesmerized us completely.
Rang Ghar is another monument built by the Ahom rulers. It is located at a walking distance from the Talatal Ghar. Our guide told that it is the oldest sports pavilion in the entire Asia. The two-storey building stands tall amidst lush greeneries.
Bohag Bihu Celebration
Since today is the 1st day of Assamese calendar ” Bohag Bihu” festival is celebrated here with a great joy. We spent a memorable evening by watching Bihu performance at Rang ghar and return back to our beautiful homestay arranged by Nexplore Travel, our travel agency. We relish Assamese food and their hospitality and spent a sound night here.
Next day, the second day of Bohag Bihu festival, owner of our homestay Chandan offer us a plate full of snacks(Pitha) and other traditional food items, made by his mother at home. Some of his neighbors also invited us to their home for Bihu. We felt very happy to be a part of the Bihu celebration and enjoyed a lot.
Jaysagar Lake and Shivadol
In the evening, we headed towards Jaysagar tank to explore some more attractions of Sibsagar. The sight of one of the largest man-made tanks was simply fantastic! Excavated by a powerful Ahom king in the fond memory of his mother, the lake offers a calm, serene atmosphere where one can soak himself for long hours. Some local people told us that it took a record of 45 days to excavate the vast lake, spreading over 318 acres.
There are 3 temples dedicated to various Hindu deities near the banks of the tank. We visited Shivadol, Visnudol and Devidol temple located in the complex . Of all the temples, the Shiva temple i.e. Shivadol is the star attraction with a magnificent dome. We also sat for long hours near the banks of Sibsagar tank and watch the small fishes and enjoy the beauty of nature until the sun set into the horizon.
Our third day in Sibsagar started with a stupendous breakfast served by our hosts. We then headed towards the Charaideo Maidam, also known as the pyramids built by the Ahom rulers. Maidams are royal graves with dome-shaped structures. It is interesting to note that Charaideo was the first capital of Ahom Kingdom and capital was shift to Gargaon. These maidams looks close like a pyramids but the interiors of these mounds worked as crypts for burying dead kings along with valuable items and food for the afterlife. According locals they also buried servants, pets, and even wives along with the dead king.
From the top of the hillock, we enjoy the bird’s-eye view of nearby place. In one of it’s corner, a beautiful newly constructed museum dedicated to Chaolung Sukaphaa is also located. Earlier, they were 150 in number, but gradually are lost due to lack of proper maintenance. The site is of immense historical importance. As I have a keen interest in the ancient history, the visit enthralled me even more.
After spending a few hours in the maidam surrounded by lush greeneries, we decided to cover the famous Pani Dihing Wildlife sanctuary. After covering around 30 kilometers reached the only bird sanctuary of Assam. We spotted many spectacular birds like the Ferruginous Duck, Fishing Eagle, Grey Leg Goose, and much more. Thanks, I had my binoculars in my bag. This really helped me to spot some more birds.
We reached our homestay in the evening and with a heavy heart as next morning, we had to say goodbye to the historical city.
Few images of our Sibsagar tour
- Ancient monuments: Rang Ghar, Kareng Ghar, Shiva Doul, Vishnudol and Devidol temple, Jaysagar Tank, Gaurisagar Tank, Rudrasagar Tank, Charaideo Maidam
- Time required to visit Rang Ghar and Charaideo Maidam: 2hrs
- Temperature: Moderate (we visited in April)
- Read more about Sibsagar city.
Our next destination is the Dibru Saikhowa National Park. You can read our last post “A trip to world’s largest river island Majuli”.
Stay with us and we will be back soon with our memorable journey account.