The Historical Route
This land is strewn with corroborative pieces of relics from the past
- The beautiful structure of ‘Talatal Ghar’ near Sivasagar is one of the perfect examples of Ahom architecture. The visitors here can look around the upper floors. The underground floors have been sealed-off as visitors earlier used to get frequently lost in them.
- Another grand example of Ahom architecture is the ‘Kareng Ghar’ (also known as the Garhgaon Palace) situated in the afore-mentioned area.
- ‘Rang Ghar’, also in Sivasagar, is considered by many as one of Asia’s first amphitheatres and is another monument of sheer grandeur.
- The ruins of the Khaspur Fort near Silchar in the Barak Valley also hold great historical value.
Assam has an extensive history going back to the ancient times. Through archaeology and later through the modern DNA analysis, it has now been established beyond doubt that the region was inhabited by Austro-Asiatic, Tibeto-Burman and Indo-European tribes from an early age. However, the earliest presence of any inhabitants here is thought to be from the Middle Pleistocene epoch of the geological time-scale of the planet, which starts from around 760,000 years ago. They are assumed to have roamed the Garo Hills, Rongram Valley, not very far from modern Guwahati.
As we have already seen, Assam was known as Kamrup earlier, and its capital was at Pragjyotishpura, which is roughly modern-day Guwahati. The region of Kamrup has been extensively mentioned in some of the inscriptions of the famous Gupta Empire (the Allahabad inscription of Samudragupta). Historically, it has been ruled by several important dynasties. One of the earliest ones was the Varman Dynasty. Their most famous and illustrious ruler was Kumar Bhaskaravarman, who was a friend and ally of Harshavardhana and has been profusely glorified in the accounts of the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang. The other important dynasties were the Pala, Koch, Chutiya and eventually the Ahom, who later consolidated and gave its identification to the region and its people. Assam has indeed seen many upheavals in its history and this land is adorned with the narratives of its brave warriors who have graced its beautiful valleys with the saga of their immortal deeds-either the first Ahom king Sukhaphaa or great generals like Lachit Borphukan who had given the mighty Mughals the most resounding defeat in the now- famous Battle of Saraighat or the legendary warrior Prince Chilarai.