From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Charaideo Maidams, Ahom Kingdom
Mains level : Medieval kingdoms of India
The Centre has decided to nominate Assam’s Charaideo Maidams — the Ahom equivalent of the ancient Egyptian pyramids — for the UNESCO World Heritage Centre this year.
Why in news?
- The nomination has attained significance at a time when the country is celebrating the 400th birth anniversary of Lachit Barphukan.
- 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 place the departed family members at Charaideo where the first king Sukapha was laid to rest.
- The historical chronicles inform that wives, attendants, pet animals and huge quantity of valuables were buried with the departed kings.
- The Charaideo Maidams enshrine the mortal remains of the members of the Ahom royalty, who used to be buried with their paraphernalia.
- After the 18th century, the Ahom rulers adopted the Hindu method of cremation and began entombing the cremated bones and ashes in a Maidam at Charaideo.
- Out of 386 Maidams explored so far, 90 royal burials at Charaideo are the best preserved, representative of and the most complete examples of mound burial tradition of the Ahoms.
- Architecturally it comprises a massive underground vault with one or more chambers having domical superstructure.
- It is covered by a heap of earthen mound and externally it appears a hemispherical mound.
- At the top of the mound a small open pavilion chow-chali is provided.
- An octagonal dwarf wall encloses whole maidam.