Assam’s Ancient Royal Burial Mounds, Charaideo Moidams Recommended For UNESCO World Heritage Status

The recommendation for UNESCO World Heritage status brings a renewed focus.

by Tejashee Kashyap
Assam’s Ancient Royal Burial Mounds, Charaideo Moidams Recommended For UNESCO World Heritage Status

Located in Assam, Charaideo is a significant archaeological site of royal Ahom burial mounds (Moidams). These Moidams are now recommended for UNESCO World Heritage status.

UNESCO World Heritage Site Recommendation

The recommendation for UNESCO World Heritage status brings a renewed focus on the need for the preservation and conservation of Charaideo Moidams. The “Moidams,” are the resting places of Ahom kings and queens. They have drawn attention from all over the world. The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a crucial UNESCO advisory body. These pyramid-like buildings at Charaideo are on the suggested World Heritage List of UNESCO.

This esteemed suggestion was included in the ICOMOS report “Evaluations of Nominations of Cultural and Mixed Properties” for the World Heritage Committee’s 46th ordinary session. It is set to take place in New Delhi from July 21 to July 31. The ICOMOS report emphasises the importance of these Moidams. They serve as a depiction of the 600-year-old Tai-Ahom customs at Charaideo.

Additionally if chosen, the 90 royal burials at Charaideo would be the first cultural heritage site in the entire northeastern area of India to be recognised with such distinction. This would be a historic milestone.

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Charadeo Moidams: Historical & Architectural Marvels

The Ahom dynasty is a crucial chapter in the history of Assam. The Moidams in Charaideo serve as the burial grounds for Ahom royalty and nobility. These structures are not merely tombs but are symbolic representations of the Ahom’s architectural ingenuity and their burial customs.

Each Moidam is a hemispherical mound. The Charaideo necropolis (cemetery), which is home to 90 Moidams, has the biggest concentration and the best-preserved examples of these burial mounds in the Brahmaputra Valley. The remains of kings and other royals are in these burial vaults along with food, horses, elephants, and occasionally even queens and attendants.  Gaining UNESCO World Heritage status would have profound implications. Additionally, it would encourage local communities to take pride in their heritage and actively participate in its conservation.

Moreover, it is a step towards acknowledging the contributions of the Ahom dynasty and promoting the cultural legacy of Assam on a global platform.

Cover image credits: Wikimedia Commons