May 31, 2023

The ultimate stretch of the street from Sivasagar to Charaideo Maidam is definitely part of the historic “Dhodor Ali”, actually the “Highway of the Slackers”. That is known as so as a result of the king acquired it constructed by forcing the much less hardworking members of the society who had been in any other case recognized to do no productive work. This made me surprise, what would have been the state of a travelling slacker in that kingdom? This was not a really nice realization for me. Nonetheless, I carried on.

Charaideo (Che-Rai-Doi) roughly means a shining city on the hill in Tai language. The Ahoms, who originated from the Yunnan province in China, descended right here from the Patkai Mountains and made it the capital. Whereas Tipam Hills was the primary main settlement, Charaideo grew to become the capital after they established themselves as a political energy. In a while, the capital moved to close by Garhgaon and finally to Jorhat. As of now what’s left here’s a collection of graves (known as “Maidam”s, and don’t mistake it with the generic Indian phrase “Maidan”) belonging to these kings and different members of the royalty. Nevertheless, there’s additionally an alternate idea in regards to the etymological origins of the phrase which says that Charaideo means a spot the place the deity of Chutias might be discovered. I discovered this in Pavitra Axom by Dr. Maheshwar Neog, one of many seminal books on vital temples and historic websites in Assam. It was in all probability an vital website even earlier than the arrival of Ahoms.

Hobbiton on the Hilltop

I reached Sivasagar within the afternoon after a visit to Majuli. There was loads to see within the city in lower than 24 hours. So, I made a decision to first be performed with the one that’s the farthest and took the bus to Charaideo, which is 30 Kms from Sivasagar metropolis. The bus moved at a snail’s tempo and took nearly one and a half hours to achieve. It was 4 PM and as I feared, it was already getting too darkish for images. As the complete nation follows one time zone, the solar rises and units too early within the easternmost components of the nation. This is the reason the debate for separate time zones retains rearing its fairly head repeatedly.

Anyway, I acquired my tickets and tried to take advantage of the scenario. The positioning appears to have been repaired and beautified so it was good to lastly see an archaeological website in Assam that was not in a totally uncared for state. The protected maidams are on the highest of a small hillock, now adorned by stairs and a few cannons in entrance.

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As I reached the highest, a collection of hemispherical mounds appeared. They had been principally earthen mounds with no opening. However I might see a few bigger ones within the neighborhood. Finally, I reached the one which had a gap, type of a gate with a door fabricated from stone. It jogged my memory of the little houses of the Hobbits. The one

catch right here is that those popping out would be the undead ones.

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In spirit, these maidams had been near pyramids. The interiors of those mounds labored as crypts for burying lifeless kings together with precious objects and meals for the afterlife. In line with some particulars additionally they buried servants, pets, and even wives together with the lifeless king. I hope these tales aren’t true.

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I climbed up the subsequent hillock, overlooking the huge tea estates on the south. That is the purpose that provides an excellent 360 diploma view of the realm. I noticed that there are much more maidams on the japanese aspect of this advanced. It was getting darkish so I got here out and tried to achieve that half. The entry to the japanese aspect had a separate gate and extra importantly, it was locked! It was solely 4.30 PM however the individuals on the gate stated that this different half closes down at 4 PM which actually made no sense to me as the opposite aspect was nonetheless open. It regarded like extra of the identical from outdoors so gave up on that and began popping out, whereas silently cursing the same old bureaucratic whimsy.

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As I used to be popping out, I observed a shiny oriental construction that no one informed me about earlier. It appeared to be a brand new construction however as you may need guessed it already, it had additionally closed down by then. However I did just like the design of the constructing, principally, a museum devoted to Chaolung Sukaphaa, the founding father of Ahom Kingdom. It’s named evocatively as “Yunnan to Patkai to Che-Rai-Doi”, describing his epic journey.

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It’s noteworthy that the Ahoms progressively transformed to Hinduism and gave up the follow of burying. However even then the ashes of among the kings had been buried. Over time lots of the maidams have been looted and vandalized. Initially there have been greater than 150 of those maidams on this space however solely round 30 of them have now been protected by ASI. Additionally, it could have been nice to know which grave belonged to whom however I feel that info shouldn’t be obtainable anymore.

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I returned not totally glad however on the identical time there was sufficient to see and ponder about. That is solely the primary glimpse of my latest journey. It must be famous that the Assam Authorities is now pushing for the inclusion of this website as a UNESCO World Heritage Web site however we should look forward to the outcomes.

Charaideo Traveller FAQ:

Methods to attain Charaideo?

It’s 30 KMs from Sivasagar city. So, it’s a bit removed from the opposite sights of Sivasagar that are kind of inside the city. Search for buses or shared vans going in direction of a spot known as Sonari. Ask the bus conductor to drop you on the proper place. Learn extra about complete of Sivasagar intimately.

What to see at Charaideo?

There are “maidams” or royal graves of the Ahom Kings are the primary sights of Charaideo. There may be additionally a small museum now which teaches you about Ahom historical past.

What are the timings?

Go early and attempt to wrap it up newest by 4 PM. Preserve at the very least a few hours for sighteseeing.

What are the ticket worth?

INR 15 for Indan travellers and INR 200 for international nationals together with digicam cost (non-commercial).