Sivasagar: Exploring the Glorious Ahom Kingdom

12th May 2023
Photo of Sivasagar: Exploring the Glorious Ahom Kingdom by Junmoni Kalita
Day 1

Sivasagar, located in the northeastern state of Assam, India, holds a significant place in history as the capital of the mighty Ahom Kingdom. The Ahoms, a Tai ethnic group, ruled over the region for nearly 600 years, from the 13th century until the arrival of the British in the 19th century. Sivasagar, also known as Rangpur, served as the nerve center of this prosperous and powerful kingdom. Today, it stands as a testament to the glorious past and cultural heritage of the Ahom dynasty.

Ahom Monuments:
The Ahom Kingdom left behind a rich architectural legacy, and Sivasagar boasts several remarkable monuments that are a visual treat for history enthusiasts. Let's delve into some of the notable Ahom monuments in the region.

Rang Ghar: One of the most iconic structures in Sivasagar, the Rang Ghar, or "House of Entertainment," is an impressive two-storied pavilion. Built by King Pramatta Singha in the 18th century, it served as the royal sports pavilion where the Ahom kings and nobles enjoyed various recreational activities, including traditional Ahom sports like buffalo fights and elephant fights. The Rang Ghar's distinct oval-shaped architecture and intricate detailing make it a true marvel of Ahom engineering.

Talatal Ghar: Situated near the Rang Ghar, the Talatal Ghar is a fascinating underground structure that served as the military base and secret escape route for the Ahom royalty during times of war. This seven-storied palace is a unique example of Ahom architecture, with its multiple levels, underground tunnels, and strategic defense mechanisms.

Ahom Temples:
The Ahoms were patrons of Hinduism and Buddhism, and Sivasagar is home to several magnificent temples that reflect their religious and cultural inclinations. Here are a few noteworthy Ahom temples in Sivasagar.

Shiva Doul: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Shiva Doul temple is a prime example of Ahom temple architecture. Constructed in the early 18th century, the temple features a distinctive pyramidal structure with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting various mythological scenes. The annual festival of Shivratri attracts a large number of devotees to this sacred place.

Devi Doul: Also known as the Vishnu Doul, the Devi Doul temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. It is famous for its grandeur and architectural beauty, adorned with exquisite carvings and sculptures. The temple complex also houses smaller shrines dedicated to other Hindu deities.

Ahom Ponds:
Water bodies played a vital role in the Ahom Kingdom, serving as a source of water, irrigation, and reflection of the rulers' power. Sivasagar is blessed with several magnificent man-made tanks or ponds that were created during the Ahom era. Here are a couple of noteworthy Ahom ponds in Sivasagar.

Sivasagar Tank: Also known as the Borpukhuri, the Sivasagar Tank is the largest artificial tank in the region, built by the Ahom Queen Ambika in the 18th century. This sprawling water body covers an area of about 129 acres and has a serene ambiance, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

Gaurisagar Tank: Situated near the town of Saraguri, about 30 kilometers from Sivasagar, the Gaurisagar Tank is another significant Ahom creation. Built by Queen Phuleshwari Devi in the 18th century, this tank covers an area of around 150 acres and is surrounded by temples dedicated.

How to reach sivasagar ?

Sivasagar is well-connected by road, rail, and air. Here are the different modes of transportation to reach Sivasagar:

By Air:
The nearest airport to Sivasagar is the Dibrugarh Airport, located approximately 80 kilometers away. Several domestic airlines operate regular flights from major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Mumbai to Dibrugarh. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Sivasagar, which is about a 2-hour drive.

By Rail:
Sivasagar Town Railway Station is the main railway station serving Sivasagar. It is well-connected to major cities in India. However, since it is a small station, not all trains pass through Sivasagar directly. The nearest major railway station is Dibrugarh, which is approximately 75 kilometers away. From Dibrugarh, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Sivasagar.

By Road:
Sivasagar is well-connected by road to major cities in Assam and neighboring states. National Highway 37 (NH37) passes through Sivasagar, making it easily accessible. You can reach Sivasagar by bus or hire a taxi from nearby cities like Guwahati, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, and Tinsukia. Regular bus services operate from Guwahati, which is approximately 360 kilometers away and takes about 7-8 hours to reach Sivasagar.

Local Transportation:
Once you reach Sivasagar, you can explore the city and its attractions using local transportation options. Auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws are popular modes of transport within the city. You can also hire a private taxi for more convenience and flexibility in visiting various sites.

Where to stay?

Here are a few resorts and hotels in Sivasagar along with their approximate rates:

Hotel Piccolo: Located in the heart of Sivasagar town, Hotel Piccolo offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities. The approximate rates start at INR 1,500 per night.

Hotel Brahmaputra: Situated near Sivasagar Tank, Hotel Brahmaputra provides cozy rooms and a restaurant. The approximate rates start at INR 1,800 per night.

Hotel Shiva Palace: Conveniently located in Sivasagar town, Hotel Shiva Palace offers well-furnished rooms and a restaurant. The approximate rates start at INR 2,000 per night.

Hotel Jironi: Situated near the Sivasagar Tank, Hotel Jironi provides comfortable rooms and a multi-cuisine restaurant. The approximate rates start at INR 2,500 per night.

Hotel Pankaj: Located in the heart of the town, Hotel Pankaj offers well-appointed rooms and a restaurant. The approximate rates start at INR 2,500 per night.

Please note that these rates are approximate and can vary depending on the season, availability, and room type. It's always recommended to contact the hotels directly or visit their websites for the most up-to-date information on rates and availability.

A gorgeous assamese girl in traditional attire at Sivasagar

Photo of Sivasagar by Junmoni Kalita

Inside Rang-Ghar, the Ahom monument

Photo of Sivasagar by Junmoni Kalita

Sivasagar Temple

Photo of Sivasagar by Junmoni Kalita

Rang-Ghar, Sivasagar

Photo of Sivasagar by Junmoni Kalita