Sivasagar district,Assam

Sivasagar district, formerly known as Sibsagar, is one of the 32 districts of Assam state in Northeast India. Sivasagar town is the administrative headquarters of this district. This historic place is also known for its rich and diverse biodiversity.The districts covers an area of 2668 square kilometers as against total area of 78438 square kilometers of Assam as per census of 2001. The district comprises two sub-divisions – Sivasagar and Nazira. The district of Sivasagar lies between 26.45°N and 27.15°N latitudes and 94.25°E and 95.25°E longitudes. The district is bounded by the Brahmaputra River on the north, Nagaland on the south, the Charaideo district on the east and the Jhanji River on the west. The Sivasagar district has acquired its distinct identity due to the co-existence of different races, tribes, languages and cultures.

Before the British period, the center of administration of Assam was around Sivasagar where the famous Ahoms ruled for nearly six hundred years. The Ahom kings took keen interest in building different temples, dedicated to various deities and which were usually flanked by large tanks which till today stand out as memorials to their glory in the district.[1] Sivasagar, or Rongpur as it was known then, was the capital of the Ahom Kingdom from 1699 to 1788. The famous Joysagar Tank was excavated within 45 days by Rudra Singha (1696-1714) in memory of his mother Joymoti Kunwari. The Joy Dol is situated on the bank of the Joysagar Tank. Pramatta Singha (1744-1751) built the Ranghar with bricks in 1745. Gaurisagar Tank is situated at a distance of about eight miles from Sivasagar town. The Sivasagar Tank was excavated by queen Ambika Devi in 1733. The Siva Dol, Vishnu Dol and Devi Dol are situated on the bank of the Sivasagar Tank. Rajeshwar Singha (1751-1769) built the Kareng Ghar in Gargaon. Charaideo, about 28 kilometers away from Sivasagar, is famous for a cluster of Maidams, the Ahom age tumuli. Sukapha, the first Ahom king, constructed his capital at Charaideo in 1253. Sivasagar was earlier known as Rongpur and Rongpur was earlier known as Meteka.[2] The original name of Sivasagar district was Sibpur. On February 24, 1826, the treaty of Yandaboo consolidated the British occupation of Assam. This treaty of Yandaboo brought an end to the roughly six hundred year long Ahom rule in Assam. After the 1826 teaty, the British government in Assam incorporated a number of administrative changes such as the formation of districts. The Sivasagar district was created after the annexation of Purandar Singha’s dominion of upper Assam in 1839. The Sadar headquarter of Sivasagar was transferred to Jorhat in 1912-13. The undivided old Sivasagar district comprised three subdivisions, namely Sivasagar, Jorhat and Golaghat. In 1983, the Sivasagar district was reorganized to carve out the Jorhat district.[3] It was further divided on 15 August 1987 for the creation of the Golaghat district.
Joysagar, said to be the biggest man-made lake in the country, is spread over 318 acres (1.29 km2) of water on the edge of the town in an area called Rangpur, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) away from the present town of Sivasagar. This lake was built by Swargadeo Rudra Singha in honour of his mother, Joymoti.
The Ahom queen Bor Kuwori Phuleshwari Devi built this tank, which is spread over 150 acres (0.61 km2).
Swargadeo Lakshmi Singha built this tank, and dedicated it to his father Swargadeo Rudra Singha, in 1773. A Shiva Temple was also built on the bank of this beautifully constructed tank. It is 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) away from the town of Sivasagar.
Sivasagar Sivadol
It was built in 1734 by Kuwori Ambika, wife of the Swargadeo Siba Singha. Dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, this is the most sacred of the three temples. Rising to a height of 104 feet (32 m), it encircles an area of 195 feet (59 m). It is thronged by devotees during the festival of Shivratri.
This was also built by Kuwori Ambika. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. According to the Hindu calendar, the month of “Bhada” is considered auspicious and sees a greater number of visitors to the Dol, although it remains open throughout the year.
This is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess of Power, Durga. Durga Puja, the most important festival marked at the temple, is celebrated twice a year: in the months of Chaitra (April–May) and Ashwin (September–October).
Rang Ghar
Of Sivasagar’s famous Ahom ruins, the Rang Ghar is a double-storied, oval shaped, amphitheater with a roof shaped like an inverted boat. It was constructed by Swargadeo Pramatta Singha. The Rang Ghar is said to be amongst the largest of amphitheaters.
Talatal Ghar
The Talatal Ghar is a palace which was initially built as an army base. It houses two secret tunnels, and three floors below ground level which were used as exit routes during the Ahom wars (and which give the structure its name).
The Talatal Ghar constitutes the below-ground structure of the Rangpur Palace, whose four floors above-ground make up the Kareng Ghar.
In all, the Rangpur Palace is a seven-storied building. Bakhar Bengena: it is a rare breed of tree is situated at Bokota Mouza, and the place name is known as a Bakhar Bengena.
Sivasagar Tai Museum
A new addition is the Tai Ahom Museum on the banks of the Sivasagar. It stores artefacts from the Ahom kingdoms and their rulers, including vestments, swords, manuscripts, goblets, and household utensils.
Pani Dihing Wildlife Sanctuary

A rich wetland eco-system of 33.93 square kilometres (13.10 sq mi) on the southern bank of the river Brahmaputra, in Sivasagar district. A paradise of migratory and resident birds, over 165 species of birds have been identified and recorded here. Among these is a high concentration of geese and other migratory birds. Common species include bar-headed goose, grey leg goose, spot billed duck, mallard, gadwall, wigeon, gargany, shoveller, red-crested pochard, common pochard, ferruginous duck, adjutant stork, lesser adjutant stork, open-bill stork, and the white-necked stork. Aquatic fauna: Several varieties of fish have been identified here, along with various species of frogs, snakes, and other amphibians and reptiles.

Consider a 6×8 km unpopulated treeless wetland adjacent to the Brahmaputa dotted with half a dozen fresh water lakes, puddles crisscrossed with many water tracts. Even in the hardest hit winter these wetlands are never dry thanks to the presence of a natural feeding channel flowing into the area. This land has no permanent human settlement as regular summer monsoon flood inundates the area every year. All the trees chopped off cleaned by the surrounding villagers 40–50 years ago.

Panidihing (67005/ N and 94035/ E) existing at the angle between the south bank of Brahmaputra and the mouth of its tributary Disang, In the core of this wetland a 3393 hectare bird sanctuary has been set up by the Forest Department of Assam in 1999 and announced open to public in 2001.

In fact the story of establishing a bird sanctuary here goes back to 1984 when Dr. Anwaruddin Choudhery published a report in ‘Forktail’ — a semi-scientific journal popular among bird lovers and ornithologists from all over the globe and published from the UK, where he suggested protection of this wonderful site. The Sivasagar Office of the Forest Department sent a preliminary report on the site to the Chief Conservator of Forest in 1985 suggesting the feasibility f some detail investigations.Prior to these developments, the status of Panidihing was a reserve forest known for its rich source of Cane, bamboo & trees like Sissu, Simalu and Azar. Deforestation and poaching are fast reducing the flora and fauna of this sanctuary in the recent years.

Other Attractions
The ancient capital of the Ahoms is Gargaon, about 13 km east from Sivasagar, home to the Kareng Ghar, a seven-storied palace built by 18th-century architects. Charideo, situated nearby, is another old capital which was built by Sukaphaa, the founder of the Ahom dynasty. There are Maidams, or vaults for kings and other members of the royal families here. Travellers cross the Namdang stone bridge, carved out of a single boulder hundreds of years ago, over which the busy national highway (NH 37) still runs today.