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Current Affairs 2023

Charaideo Maidam - UPSC Current Affairs

Assam's Charaideo Maidam, a cultural heritage site and burial ground of the Ahom dynasty, may soon become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Assam government has submitted a proposal to the Archaeological Survey of India for evaluation by UNESCO.

Jan 22, 2023

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Assam's Charaideo Maidam, a cultural heritage site of the Ahom dynasty, may soon become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen Charaideo Maidam out of 52 tentative sites across the country. The Assam government has submitted the World Heritage Nomination Dossier of the site to the Archaeological Survey of India, which will be forwarded to UNESCO for evaluation this year.

 

Charaideo Maidam is a sacred place for the Ahom community and served as the burial ground of Ahom monarchs. It is famously known as the "Pyramids of Assam" and is located about 28 km from Sivasagar city. The Ahom community has been advocating for the nomination of the site as a World Heritage Site for some time.

 

Charaideo was the first capital of the Ahom kingdom established by the first Ahom king Chao Lung Siu-Ka-Pha in 1253. Even though the capital moved to other places over the course of the 600 years of rule, Charaideo remained the symbol of Ahom power. The town contains 31 maidams belonging to kings and 160 belonging to queens. The tombs, known as maidams, resemble the shape of pyramids and are objects of wonder, revealing the excellent architecture and skill of the sculptors and masons of Assam during medieval times.

 

However, not all of the maidams are protected. Only 30 are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and Assam State Archaeology Department, while the rest are unprotected and at risk of damage or encroachment. The biggest unprotected Maidam is the Bali Maidam near Nimonagarh, which got its name because while the British plundered it, they got obstruction from excess sands (Bali) in the surrounding of the Maidam. Image: Wikimedia Commons

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