Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had announced in January that the resting place of the Ahom kingdom’s royal families, ‘Moidams’ located in Charaideo district, will be India’s sole nomination for the Unesco World Heritage Site tag this year.
According to Sarma, the ‘Moidams’ were first included in the tentative list of Unesco World Heritage Sites in April 2014. Spread over an acre under the Patkai hills, the burial grounds house 42 tombs of kings and queens. It is believed that the cemetery was built at the most sacred place in the Ahom kingdom.
Sarma said it had taken almost nine years for the dossier to reach the status of nomination and that this had been possible only because of the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He added that an exhibition organised in New Delhi last November to mark the 400th birth anniversary of Ahom general Lachit Borphukan had included a model of the ‘Moidams’.
The Ahom dynasty ruled present-day Assam for six centuries, from 1228 to 1826. The ‘Moidams’, located about 28 km from Sivasagar town and known as the ‘Pyramids of Assam’, are compared with the mausoleums in China and the Pyramids of Egypt. Prime Minister Modi selected the dossier on the ‘Moidams’ as India’s nomination for the coveted Unesco World Heritage Site tag for 2023-24, out of a list of 52 sites from across states.
A Unesco team will be visiting Charaideo in September and the choice for the World Heritage Site tag would be revealed by March 2024. Charaideo, which means a major hill town in the Tai-Ahom language, was the first capital established by Ahom King Sukapha. Interestingly, the dossier states that ‘Moidams’ have been seen in various parts of northern Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, northern Myanmar, southern China, and Northeast India.
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