ASI renovating Ahom era monuments in Assam

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2012 06:19 hrs

Guwahati: Monuments and temples associated with the Ahoms, who ruled ruled Assam between 1228 and 1826, would be renovated by the Archaeological Survey of India using the material that they were originally built with.

"We want to remove cement plaster that was used during earlier renovations and use original material for restoration," ASI Superintending Archaeologist S S Gupta said.

The Shiva Dol (temple) in Sibsagar town, the Gaurisagar Tank, the Gaurisagar Shiva Dol and the Charaideo Maidams (graveyards of Ahom kings) built during the heydays of the Ahom rule were to be restored.

"The intention of the project is to give back the monuments, temples and structures their old looks and ensure that our heritage is protected," Gupta said.

Gupta said work has already begun at the Gaurisagar Dol and lime-surkhi plaster would be used in renovation.

"I had visited the place and found that many things did not reflect the tradition and glory of the Ahom era. Use of cement plaster at many places, besides erection of a frame over the sacred stone, gave an awkward look," he said.

the ASI would also construct a pathway.

The Gaurisagar Shiva Dol, along with the nearby temples -- Vishnu Dol and Devi Dol and the Gaurigasar tank were constructed by Ahom queen Rani Phuleswari Konwari in 1723.

The Shiva Dol is the biggest among them and is 32 metre in height and 60 metre in perimeter located around 12 kilometre from Sibsagar.

He said that each project would cost around Rs 10 lakh to restore.

Gupta said the adjacent Gaurisagar Tank, a major tourist destination, would be fenced to improve the ambience and an apron constructed to prevent seepage.

The Charaideo Maidams (tombs) were around 30 kilometre from Sibsagar town and encircled by ramparts. There were around 150 Maidams of Ahom kings and queens at the Charaideo hillocks encompassing an area of around 10 square kilometre.

"At Charaideo we have started work on retaining the bars at both flanks," Gupta said.

There were 55 ASI protected monuments in Assam, including 18 in Sibsagar district.

He said the ASI was working with other stakeholders such as Indian Railways, departments of Tourism, Culture and Environment & Forest for feedback on putting more monuments in the North East on the heritage list and some proposals had been forwarded to the ASI head office in New Delhi.

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