Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sibsagar, Assam

Sibsagar is an important historic and industrial city of Assam, with a population of about 5 lakh. A leading centre for oil production, this region was once the capital of the Ahom rulers, who reigned over the whole of Assam from 1228 until; their kingdom fell in the hands of the British, in 1826. Previously known as Rongpur, Sibsagar (or Sivasagar) is situated at a distance of 350 kilometers from Guwahati. The region has a total area of about 4996 sq. m and is divided by the Disai River into two parts - east and west. The climate here is the same as in the other parts of the Assam valley - mild and moderate.

The surface towards the east of Sibsagar is flat and the soil in these parts has a whitish appearance, favorable for the cultivation of rice. The western surface, on the other hand, is divided into innumerous small sunken patches or holes by the ravines and watercourses, found in abundance in these areas. In general, the region is quite fertile for the cultivation of tea and thus, a large number of tea gardens are situated here. In addition to tea, the adjacent areas produce rice, mustard, silk and even timber. Sibsagar enjoys an average annual rainfall of about 94 inches.

An important landmark in Sibsagar town is the 200 old Sibsagar tank. This tank is situated in the center of the town. On its banks are three major temples, namely the Shiva Dol, the Vishnu Dol and the Devi Dol, dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Durga, repsectively. Apart from this, the major attractions within the town are Rang Ghar, Kareng Ghar, Tolatol Ghar, Gaurisagar Tank, Gargaon Palace and Charaideo. On a vacation to Assam, do make sure to plan a short trip to the town of Sibsagar as well.

Places to See:

Amazed and awestruck, this is the reaction of the most of the people while looking at the 42 tombs of the Ahom kings and queens, in the Charaideo hillocks of Assam. The excellent architectural skills and craftsmanship of the masons and architects of medieval Assam are revealed in the numerous pillars

Gaurisagar Tank is a major tourist destination in Assam, located at a distance of about 12 km from the center of the Sibsagar town. Built about 200 years ago, the tanks as well as the three temples built on its bank are dedicated to the goddess of power - Goddess Durga and her many forms. 

Built during the reign of the renowned Ahom king, Rudra Singha, there is a set of three temples, located on the northern bank of the Joysagar tank, about five km from the township of Sibsagar. The most famous among these temples is the Joy Dol, also known as the Kesavanarayan Vishnudole.

History has it that Rangpur, one of the former capitals of the Ahom Kingdom, was founded by the Ahom ruler of the 17th century Swargeo Rudra Singha. He then constructed a palace in the city, from wood and such other locally available materials. Later, his successor Rajeswara Singha added some more stories to the palace

Rang Ghar is one of the major attractions of the state of Assam. It is said to be the oldest amphitheatre in the whole of Asia and has often been referred to as the 'Colosseum of the East'. Situated to the northeast of the Tolatol Ghar, in the Joysagar area of the Sibsagar district

One of the most sacred and revered pilgrimage centers in India, Shiva Dol is a major tourist attraction in Sibsagar. It is not only the tallest Shiva temple in northeast India, but also the highest Hindu temple in the whole of India. The entire temple has a height of about 104 feet and a perimeter of 195 feet at the base.

Ajan Pir Dargah

This dargah was built in the memory of the great Muslim reformer and saint, Hazrat Shah Milan, also known as Ajan Pir. It is a very famous tourist destination in Assam and revered by both the Muslims and the Hindus. The dargah is situated in the Saraguri Chapori region, which is about 22 km from the town of Sibsagar. Every year, on the occasion of URS, thousands of devotees come here to honor the great reformer.

Namdang Bridge 

Around 12 km from Sibsagar, over the vast Namdang River, a bridge was constructed from a single solid rock, which still stands proud and erect as Namdang Bridge. This famous bridge was built in 1703, by King Rudra Singha of the Ahom Dynasty. It was actually constructed by the skilled craftsmen of Bengal and was later brought to this state. A visit to the legendary Namdang Bridge is a must if you are in Sibsagar.

Vishnu Dol

Vishnu Dol is a temple of great architectural importance and is located just adjacent to the Shiva Dol. Constructed by Queen Madambika, wife of Shiva Singha, in 1734, the temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu and can be visited all round the year. However, the month of Bhada (a month in the Hindu calendar) is very special for this temple. Daily kirtans and prayers are held in the temple all throughout the month and devotees from far and wide come to get a glimpse of the Lord.

Devi Dol

Standing 60 feet high and 120 feet wide, Devi Dol is situated close to the Shiva Dol and Vishnu Dol and symbolizes the Hindu Goddess of Power, Durga. For the last three centuries, the temple has been an epitome of Shakti Puja in the state and people from different parts come to offer their prayers to the Goddess. The most important festival in the temple is Durga Puja, which is celebrated twice a year, one in the month of Chaitra (April-May) and then in the month of Ashwin (September-October).

Joysagar Tank & Temples

Joysagar Tank was built by the Ahom King Rudra Singha, in the memory of his mother Joymoti, in the year 1697. The entire tank was constructed in just 45 days in the Rangpur region, which is about 5 km away from Sibsagar town. It covers a total area of 318 acres and on its bank lie four important temples of Assam, namely Vishnu temple, Devi Ghar, Shiva Temple and Ghanashyam Temple.

Rudrasagar Tank & Temples

Rudrasagar Tank was built in the year 1773, by the Ahom king Lakshmi Singha and was dedicated to his father king Rudra Singha. Located on its banks, at a distance of eight km from Shivsagar town, is a huge temple devoted to the worship of Lord Shiva. Besides the temples and forts mentioned above, a number of Vaishnava Satras, Muslim Dargahs, Buddhist and Sakta shrines are also found here, constructed by the Ahom, Manipuri, Jaintia and Shah rulers.


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