Sibsagar, the by gone glory

#1 Feb 17th, 2015, 16:52
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Sibsagar, named after a large tank, is now the district headquarters of Sibsagar District of Assam. It is difficult to believe that this small and calm town was the main centre of Ahom rulers from where they ruled their kingdom for six centuries starting from 1228 CE to 1819 CE. There are three large temples beside the tank which are the main attraction of this old town. Sib dol (Dol= Temple) is the biggest one followed by Bishnu dol and Durga dol. Queen Ambika of Ahom dynasty dug this tank and built these three temples between 1731 to 1734.
Starting at 11 am from Nagaon by bus with a friend of mine who lives there we reached Sibsagar at about 4 p.m. The road runs through the Kaziranga National Park and plenty of tea gardens famous for Assam tea. Our accommodation was booked at the Circuit House which was on the side of the tank and the huge Sib dol and its sikhara were clearly visible. The tourist lodge of Sibsagar is situated just beside the circuit house and the temple-complex is a 3 min walk from there. There were plenty of white lotuses in full bloom along the corners of the tank. The ambiance beside the tank with the bells ringing in the temples was really great.
Next morning we visited the temples thoroughly spending more than an hour. There are some relief works of Hindu gods and goddesses on the walls of the temple. The deities in the temples are worshipped regularly. A handful of devotees gather every day but the chaos we find in the temples on other parts of India were missing there. A weeklong festival was going on but the place was over all calm and quiet. On the notice board among the singing groups to perform that evening we found the name of a kirtan-group from Medinipur of my state WB!
Then we went to visit the ruins of the Royal Palace of Ahom dynasty known as Karenghar or Talatal Ghar. It was the citadel of Ahom rulers with all its pomp and dignity. The palace was originally a seven storeyed building, four above and three below the ground. But now very little exists. The present ground floor apparently served as servantsí quarters, stables etc. The royal apartments located in the upper storeys exist no more. There is an octagonal room with a dome at the top is believed to the Puja-ghar (room for worshipping god). We just went up and down with the staircases and ventured all part of the ruins. There is another building close to the main palace known as golaghar (magazine store) which is constructed as a Bengali do-chala roofed hut. It seems that various styles of architecture were intermingled with one another while building these palaces.
Our next destination was Rang-Ghar, a two storeyed amphitheatre used by kings for enjoying sports and other games like the Roman Colosseum! This building is of typical style with a roof like an upturned boat.
That was all we were able to see in Sibsagar. There are some other ruins and age-old temples at a distance but we could not cover. Visiting Rang-ghar we roamed here and there for an acceptable restaurant for our lunch and after a long search we found one and finished our lunch at 3.30 pm. There after we boarded a bus for Jorhat which reached us there after an hour. We spent the night at Jorhat at another friendís home.
Attached Images
sib dol shikhara.jpg lotus  at sibsagar.jpg durga dol wall devi on lotus.jpg durga dol wall- indrani.jpg sib dol wall durga2.jpg sib dol 1.jpg Talatal-ghar puja ghar 2.jpg Talatal-ghar 3.jpg Talatal-ghar puja ghar.jpg Rang-ghar2.jpg 

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