Sivasagar was the capital of Ahom kingdom from 1699 to 1788. There are many impressions of the kingdom left behind by the rulers and their relatives in the form of buildings, sculptures, tanks and temples. Early rulers and their family members constructed temples and monuments in remembrance of their dear ones. This has resulted in some extraordinary structures like Taj Mahal of Agra. Sivasagar incorporates similar trends and showcases temples and buildings built by Ahom rulers for their dear ones. Kuwori Ambika, wife of Swargadeo Siba Singha was responsible for the construction of iconic Sivadol temple which holds great significance to the devotees of Shiva. It is one of the largest Shiva temples of India. Historically, Sivasagar has several evidences of Ahom architecture, lifestyle and defense mechanism. The collection of such temples and monuments can be exhaustive. Pani dining Bird Sanctuary is one spot for bird and aquatic life observance.
Summers can be quite hot in Sivasagar especially in the months between March and June. Monsoon begins from July and ends in September. Winters are pleasant and cool and considered to be the best season to visit Sivasagar.
Jorhat, Majuli, Dibrugarh and Dhemaji.
There are several large tanks in Sivasagar. The largest among them is Joysagar Tank which is said to be the largest man-made pond in India comprising an area of 318 acres. The tank was built by Ahom king Rudra Singha in the memory of his mother Sati Joyamoti, wife of Gadapani. The tank was constructed on the spot where Suilikpher forced Joyamoti to disclose the whereabouts of herb exiled husband. The tank is located in Rangpur which is 5 kilometers drive from Sivasagar town.
There are three set of temples located on the northern bank of Joysagar tank. These temples were constructed by Ahom king Rudra Singha after the construction of Joysagar tank. Joy Dol is three temples. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as king Rudra was a great patron of Vaishnavism. The architectural design is a parody of Nilaeda Type temple structure. It is an octonal building covered by a dome like structure which is decorated with honey-comb design and lotus medallions. There are two temples adjacent to Joy Dol dedicated to Goddess Durga and Lord Vishnu, respectively.
Gourisagar is a 150 acres tank constructed on the instruction of Ahom queen Phulesnwar, first wife of Siva Singha in 1723. There are three important temples named Siva Dol, Vishnu Dol and Devi Dol are situated on the northern banks of the tanks Siva Dol is the tallest and the most popular among the three situated 20 kilometers from the main town of Sivasagar. The temples with tank make the most significant religious attraction of Sivasagar.
Rudrasagar Tank was built by Swargadeo Lakshmi Singha in the memory of his deceased father Swargadeo Rudra Singha in 1773. There is a Shiva Temple on the bank of this tank. It is 8 kilometers from the town of Sivasagar.
‘Dole’ means a temple in Assamese. Shiva Dole of Sivasagar is said to be the tallest Shiva temple of the world. It is 180 feet tall and 195 feet in diameter. Its golden dome can be seen distinctly from different parts of the town giving it a majestic air. Shiva Dole along with Vishnu Dole and Devi Dole was constructed by Queen Ambika, wife of Ahom king Shiva Singha in 1734. The walls of the Dole were decorated with sculptured statues of different Hindu Gods and Goddess. Every year thousands of devotees come here to pay homage to Gods and Goddesses. All three temples are located on northern bank of a bog water tank named Gaurisagar tank. The temple surrounding itself has an inexplicable beauty and calm. Shivratri is the main festival and is celebrated here with great enthusiasm. The temple is situated at the heart of Sivasagar town.
Vishnu Dole is situated adjacent to Siva Dole. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and a strong influence of Vaishnavism can be felt inside the temple. In terms of structure, it is little smaller in size than Shiva Dole. Vishnu Dole rises to a height of 60 feet and stretches 120 feet in diameter. One can also find some sacred texts like ‘Namoghosha’ of Srimanta Sankardeva’s inside the temple.
Sivasagar Devi Dole is dedicated to Goddess Shakti or ‘Durga’. The temple stands 60 feet tall and 120 feet wide. Since, it is a temple of Durga, Durga Puja and Kali Puja is celebrated here with great enthusiasm. There is a ‘bolisthal’ where Durga Puja celebrations are enjoyed. One can also find a temple of ‘Shani’ besides Devi Dole.
Namadang Stone Bridge
Namadang Stone Bridge is an architectural marvel of Ahom Dynasty. The bridge is situated 15 kilometers west of Sivasagar. It is 60 meters in length, 6 meters in width and 17 meters in height. Excellent bridging technique has miraculously kept the stone bridge upright from the fatal hands of time. The arched bridge is shaped so that the load is distributed to the corners. The floor of the bridge is made of a single rock perfectly curved while, arches are built from slabs of rocks cemented through stone nails and masonry. The stones used for the construction of bridge were brought from Silakuti hills. The stone bridge is functional and capable of handling modern load. The bridge is a part of NH 37 and responsible for connecting Sivasagar, Dibrugarh and Tinusukia districts to the rest of India. This stone marvel was constructed by Ahom king, Rudra Singha in 1703. Namadang Stone Bridge got its name from Namadang River ones which it is constructed.
Charideo was the first capital of Ahom founded by first Ahom king Sukapha. Presently, it upholds 42 tombs of Ahom kings and queen secured within an earthen mound that looks like earthen dome rising from ground like small hills. At the tip of this mound is a small open pavilion called chow-chali. While at the foot is a small octagonal opening which gives access to a chamber comprising maidams and tombs of royal family. Ahoms believed in burying their kings with wives and all the necessities of royal life like valuable jewels, servants, pet animals and attendants.
These maidams are important from architectural point of view because the buried objects have helped in identifying and understanding the lifestyle and culture of Ahom dynasty was buried here.
Ranghar is a unique octagonal amphitheatre constructed by Ahom kings for family members. It is said to be the only building of that time in Asia which was built for a specific purpose. It is a double-storied pavilion with an inverted boat like structure for a roof. It was constructed by Swargadeo Pramalta Singha. Ranghar is 3 kilometers from the main town.
Kareng Ghar and Talatal Ghar
Kareng Ghar palace is one of the unique remaining examples of Ahom architecture. It is a seven-storied building with four stories above the ground and three below. The three underground stories make Talatal Ghar which had two secret tunnels to escape during enemy attack. The construction of this building was started by Swargadeo Rudra Singha and completed by Swargadeo Rajeshwal Singha and his successors. Kareng Ghar and Talatal Ghar are located in Rangpur. Swargadeo Rudra Singha shifted his capital from Garhgaon to Rangpur in 1702-03. After which it continued to serve as the capital of Ahom kingdom. This station was not only used as a capital but also as a military base of Ahom kingdom. Unquestionably, one can witness a display of Bartopu outside the palace.
The ground floor of Kareng Ghar was used as servants quarters, stable and store rooms. The upper stories were used as Royal apartments. Presently, the visitors have access only to ground floor and what remains of the 2nd and 3rd floors of Kareng Ghar. The floors of the Talatal Ghar underground have been sealed. Kareng and Talatal Ghar are 4 kilometers from town.
Sivasagar Tai Museum
Sivasagar Tai Museum is located at the heart of Sivasagar town, on the bank of Sivasagar Tank. The museum is dedicated to the exhibition of Ahom relics. It displays ancient manuscripts, dresses, metal cane, bamboo and wooden items of Ahom kingdom. The museum was started in 1972.