GUWAHATI: As usual, the state government and several organisations will be celebrating 'Siu-ka-pha Divas' or 'Asom Divas' tomorrow (December 2). However, it is still a matter of concern as to why the maidam of the founder of the only dynasty in the world that reigned uninterrupted for 600 years is still not officially notified.
Even the area of the Chariadeo maidam area is not demarcated entirely.
According to local residents and some historians, another maidam located about a kilometre away from the main Charaideo maidam is supposed to be the maidam of Chaolung Siu-ka-pha. However, the Directorate of Archaeology has not initiated any step to confirm the premise.
Talking to The Sentinel, Prasanta Dutta — a central executive member of the AASU (All Assam Students' Union) and hailing from the Charaideo District, said, "It is unfortunate that neither the state nor the central government has taken a pro-active step for the protection and preservation of this historical site."
Dutta added, "Though the DLR (Directorate of land Records) does carry out the land survey in the larger Charaideo maidam area of and on, yet the demarcation of the Charaideo maidam area has not been done till date.
"It is laudable that the Assam government has decided to make the Charaideo maidam area a 'World Heritage Site' under the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). But in this regard, demarcation of the Charaideo maidam area is mandatory."
Dutta emphasised, "There are many encroachments in the maidam area. The authorities concerned should carry out a special drive to ascertain how many areas in the Charaideo maidam area has been encroached upon. Such people should be shifted to an alternative location with due compensation only after due consultation with the stakeholders."
"We urge Dispur to identify and notify which is the actual maidam where the founder of the greater Asomiya kingdom is located."
Responding to a query as to why the location is still not identified, a top source in the Directorate of Archaeology, Government of Assam, said, "Owing to lack of adequate proof, we have not been able to identify and notify the maidam of Chaolung Siu-ka-pha so far."
Mentionably, the Charaideo Maidam — situated at a distance of 28 km from Sivasagar town — is one of the most important historical sites of Assam. It was here that Tai prince Chowlung Siu-Ka-Pha laid the foundation of the great Ahom dynasty and established his kingdom in 1228 AD.
According to popular belief, the Ahom monarchs carried out a democratic reign in the then undivided Assam from Charaideo initially for 129 years. This laid the foundation of the glorious glorious 600 uninterrupted years of its regime.
The mortal remains of many members of the then Ahom royal families including Siu-Ka-Pha were ceremoniously laid down in various maidams at Charaideo.
The maidams (tombs) of the kings and nobles can be likened to the ancient Egyptian pyramids. The Ahom dynasty has roots in some of the countries of South-East Asia sharing a common past.
According to available government records, the total land area of the main Charaideo Maidam is 578 bighas, 2 kathas and 10 lessas.
The maintenance of the main Chariadeo Maidam is undertaken in two parts. One portion is looked after by the State government while the other part is managed by the ASI (Archeological Survey of India), Government of India.
The royal maidams are found exclusively at Charaideo; whereas many other maidams are found scattered in the region between Jorhat and Dibrugarh towns. Structurally, a maidam consists of vaults with one or more chambers. The vaults have a domical superstructure that is covered by a hemispherical earthen mound that rises high above the ground with an open pavilion at the peak called 'Chow chali'. An octagonal dwarf wall encloses the entire maidam.