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Maidams of Ahom Swargadeos to be India’s official nomination for UNESCO World Heritage site

First Published: 21st January, 2023 16:41 IST

The Assam Chief Minister, said the state government had been making efforts to facilitate for the recognition of the Maidams as one of the World Heritage Sites under the UNESCO

It is indeed a proud moment for Assam. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today informed that the Maidams of Ahom Swargadeos (burial mounds of the Ahom Kings, Queens and nobles) in Charaideo will be India’s official nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Chief Minister Sarma said that he has already received information in this regard from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as well as Union Minister for Tourism, Culture and Development of Northeast Region (DoNER) G Kishen Reddy.

Briefing newspersons, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the decision to nominate the Moidaams of Ahom Swargadeos for the UNESCO World Heritage Site was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday.

The Assam Chief Minister, said the state government had been making efforts to facilitate for the recognition of the Maidams as one of the World Heritage Sites under the UNESCO since the past few years.

Chief Minister Sarma said that there are currently 52 sites across the nation, which have been vying for the World Heritage Site status. He said, “At present, there are 52 heritage sites across the nation, where these sites are competing against each other because only one site can make it to the list of heritage site once in a year as nominated by the respective nation.”

Besides, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma added that the state government has been making sincere efforts since 2014, when it had sent the first proposal to the Government of India for recognizing the Maidams of the Ahom Swargadeos as a World Heritage Site.

ASI GUWAHATI CIRCLE.GOV.IN

In this context, Chief Minister Sarma said, “But in the long process we had failed to convince the Government of India that the Maidams in Charaideo are capable of getting a recognition from the UNESCO.”

“But yesterday PM Narendra Modi took the decision that this time for India the Maidams of Ahom Swargodeos in Charaideo will be sent for the nomination of World Heritage site,” the Assam Chief Minister added.

It may be mentioned that the Ahoms took up a number of secular and religious architectural activities during their reign from the 13th to the early 19th century. One of them which has drawn the attention of the world community is the Maidam (the burial mounds) architecture.

As per available data, there are 4 Maidams under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Charaideo. These are Maidam No 1 (265m diameter), Maidam 2 (300m diameter), Maidam 3 (150 diameter) and Maidam 4 (150 diameter).

Traditionally, the Ahoms buried their dead. The Maidams are the burial mounds of the Ahom Kings, Queens and nobles. The word Maidam is derived from the Tai word Phrang mai-dam or mai-tam. Phrang Mai means to put into the grave or to bury and dam means the spirit of the dead.

Though Maidams are found in all the districts across Eastern Assam, Charaideo, the first capital of the Ahoms was the necropolis of almost all the Ahom Royals.

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