News Brief

Assam's Moidams Recommended For UNESCO World Heritage Site, Here's All About The Ahom Burial Grounds

Nishtha Anushree

Jul 04, 2024, 06:14 PM | Updated 06:14 PM IST

Ahom Moidam
Ahom Moidam

UNESCO's International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) has prepared a report evaluating 36 sites for inclusion in the World Heritage Site list including Assam's Ahom Moidams.

Ahom Moidam is the only applicant from India, which is set to be evaluated at the 46th ordinary session of the World Heritage Committee, scheduled to be held in New Delhi between 21 and 31 July.

Moidams are described as the Mound-Burial System of the Ahom Dynasty in the ICOMOS report and have been recommended for being "exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilisation which is living or has disappeared."

It is also considered "an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates significant stages in human history."

There are 90 Moidams found in the Charaideo district, situated on elevated land. Moidams are the burial grounds of Ahom kings and queens and have been built using brick, stone or earth.

An earth mound is built over a hollow vault, which has been topped by a shrine at the centre of an octagonal wall, demonstrating 600 years of Tai-Ahom traditions.

"ICOMOS considers that the nominated property is an exceptional example of a Tai-Ahom necropolis that represents in a tangible way their funerary traditions and associated cosmologies," the report said.

The site is currently managed jointly by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Assam Government's Directorate of Archaeology (DoA). ICOMOS recommends the need for a sustainable tourism strategy.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.