IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


23rd January, 2023 Culture

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Context: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the Centre has decided to send a proposal to UNESCO nominating Charaideo Maidam of Ahom Kingdom as a World Heritage Site.


  • Charaideo (Literally: the shining city on the hills in the Ahom language) is a town in Charaideo district, Assam, India and was also the first capital of the Ahom kingdom established by the first Ahom king Chao Lung Siu-Ka-Pha in 1253.
  • It is now known for its collection of maidams, tumuli or burial mounds of the Ahom kings and Ahom royalty.
  • It was the permanent settlement of the first Ahom king Chaolung Sukaphaa. According to Tai-Bailung-Mohong Buranji (a manuscript in Tai), Sukaphaa was buried in his capital city Che-Rai-Doi.
  • Before the arrival of Sukaphaa the place was a place of worship for local tribes like Moran, Borahi.
  • Though the capital of the Ahom kingdom moved many times, Charaideo remained the symbolic center.
  • It contains sacred burial grounds of Ahom kings and queens and is also the place of ancestral Gods of the Ahoms.
  • The tombs Maidam of Ahom kings and queens at Charaideo hillocks resemble the shape of the pyramids and are objects of wonder revealing the excellent architecture and skill of the sculptors and masons of Assam of the medieval days.
  • The actual number of Maidam were more than 150 but only 30 Maidams are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and Assam State Archaeology Department, and the remaining Maidams are unprotected.
  • The biggest unprotected Maidam is the Bali Maidam near Nimonagarh. This Maidam is called Bali Maidam, because while British plundered it, they got obstruction from excess sands (Bali) in the surrounding of the Maidam.