Art & Culture

Charaideo Maidams of Assam nominated for a UNESCO tag

  • The UNESCO World Heritage Centre has decided to nominate Assam’s Charaideo Maidams — the Ahom equivalent of the ancient Egyptian pyramids — this year.
  • The nomination is significant because it comes at a time when the country is commemorating the 400th birthday of Lachit Barphukan.

Charaideo Maidams

  • The Charaideo maidams represents the late medieval (13th-19th century CE) mound burial tradition of the Tai Ahom community in Assam.
  • The Ahoms preferred to bury their ancestors at Charaideo, where the first king Sukapha was buried.
  • According to historical records, wives, attendants, pet animals, and a large amount of valuables were buried with the departed kings.
  • The Charaideo Maidams enshrine the mortal remains of Ahom royalty, who were previously buried with their paraphernalia.
  • After the 18th century, the Ahom rulers adopted the Hindu cremation method and began burying cremated bones and ashes in a Maidam at Charaideo.
  • Out of the 386 Maidams discovered thus far, 90 royal burials at Charaideo are the best preserved, representative, and complete examples of the Ahoms’ mound burial tradition.

Architectural specifics

  • It is designed as a massive underground vault with one or more chambers with domical superstructures.
  • It is surrounded by an earthen mound heap and appears to be a hemispherical mound from the outside.
  • A small open pavilion chow-chali is provided at the top of the mound.
  • The entire maidam is surrounded by an octagonal dwarf wall.
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