Assam’s Maidams: India’s very own pyramids

Maidam, Ahom, Assam
Having been systematically restored, the Assam government will send a dossier on maidams to the Centre and to Unesco for world heritage recognition | Photo - Wikimedia

As the Assam government finalises the dossier of Charaideo maidams for Unesco World Heritage Site recognition—seen as an attempt to woo Ahoms voters ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections—Monideepa Choudhuri profiles India’s very own pyramids.

On April 15, 2014, Unesco included maidams, the mound-burial system of the Ahom dynasty that ruled most of present-day Assam from 1228-1826, in its tentative list of World Heritage sites.

It was included under criterion V—“an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment, especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change”.

India’s very own pyramids, the maidams in Charaideo, about 30 kilometres east of the historical town of Sivasagar in upper Assam, were built—quite like those of Egypt’s—to endure an eternity.

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