‘Maidam’ is an Ahom word meaning graveyard. ‘Mai’ means rest and ‘dam’ means dead person. Many maidams came into being during the reign of the Ahom Swargodeos. Among them, the Bahikhowa Maidam is one important maidam. The Bahikhowa Maidam is dedicated to Bahikhowa Dasarath Dowerah Borphukan.
Borphukan was a title given to the chief of the Army Staff of the Ahoms. Bahikhowa Dasarath Dowerah was the Army Chief during the rule of Rajeswar Singha. The Bahikhowa Maidam is situated within the premises of the Khowang tea estate. However, presently the Bahikhowa Maidam lies in ruins.
There are three smaller maidams close to the Bahikhowa Maidam, but all of them are in ruins today. Moreover, several other ruined maidams can be found in and around the Khowang tea estate all of which lie in dilapidated condition. Dibrugarh has several maidams, the popular ones being the Barbarua Maidam, Sorumechlow and Bormechlow Maidam and Lekai Chetia Maidam.
Satras are socio-religious institutions that have been the backbone of the Assamese society for centuries. In Dibrugarh, the Dehing Satra stands tall as a reminder of the rich history and patronage it has witnessed years back.
As a religious place, the Dehing Satra was regularly patronized by the Ahom kings. The names of the Ahom kings Rajeswar Singha and Gaurinath Singha stay at the top of the list of patrons for the unhindered dedication to the institution.
During the famous Moamoria revolution (1769–1806), the Dehing Satra was highly patronized by these Ahom kings. Though the Dehing Satra lies in ruins today, tourists visiting the place will still get a waft of the legacy of the olden days.
The name of the Satra is derived from the River Dehing. The Satra lies on the banks of the Dehing river. Its idyllic location has also made it a popular tourist destination today.
The Barbarua Maidam is located a few kilometres south of Dibrugarh close to the National Highway 37. There are two maidams that lie in close proximity and together are known as the Barbarua Maidam. Maidam is an Ahom word which means a graveyard. Since the graveyard lies in ruins, much is not known about them.
However, according to noted historian Sarbananda Rakumar, the two graveyards belonged to Deka Dihingia Barbarua and the other one to Bura Dihinigia Barbarua. Though much about these two people has not been found out looking at the structures of the maidam it can be assumed that these graveyards belonged to high-ranking officers of the Ahom kingdom.
Apart from the graves of these two high-ranking officials, there are two smaller maidams which probably belonged to dead soldiers. A visit to the Barbarua Maidam gives an insight into the rich Ahom kingdom that ruled over a large part of the area in the olden days.
The Jokai Botanical Garden cum Germplasm Center, well known for its migratory birds is situated in the Jokai Reserve Forest which is 12 km away from Dibrugarh in Assam. It is situated on the Mancotta Khamtighat Road. It has a storehouse of germplasm which is a living tissue.
The center is divided into different zones, namely the Rainforest Specimen Plot, The Orchid House, a section with medicinal plants, a water pond and so on. This botanical garden exhibits the rich biodiversity of flora and fauna of the region.
One can enjoy the elephant ride and view the natural scenic beauty of the forest reserves. The botanical garden is a major tourist attraction throughout the year. Boating facility is also available for the tourists.
Dinjoy Satra is the Assamese socio-cultural institution of the Vaishnavite sect. It is situated about 5 km from the Chabua Township in Dibrugarh. Devotees following Vaishnavism regularly visit this Satra. The Dinjoy Satra was founded by Aniruddha Dev, who is considered to be among the twelve main devotees of Gopal Atadev.
Originally the Satra was located at Bisnubalikakunshi village near North Lakhimpur. During the Moamoria rebellion, the Dinjoy Satra fell into trouble. For many years the religious seat at the Satra remained empty after the death of its then head. Later the Burmese invasion also caused havoc with the peace of Satra.
The Dinjoy Satra is famous for its prayers and strict adherence to the norms and culture of Vaishnavism. A visit to the Satra will definitely invoke the spiritual side of any person. Today the Dinjoy Satra isn’t just a religious institution but also plays a very important cultural and historical role, binding the society together.
Lekai Chetia Maidam is a ‘Thaan’ or a religious institution dedicated to an Ahom officer, Lekai Chetia who worked under Swragodeo Pratapsingha. The large ‘maidan’ is located near the Mankota road at Sessa. The Lekai Chetia Maidam is known as a ‘Thaan’ because it is regarded as a religious institution.
Within the premises of this religious institution there is a site which is called the ‘Lekai’. Today the Lekai is counted among the revered spots not only in Dibrugarh but also in the entire state of Assam. It is frequently visited by locals and tourists alike.
Apart from Lekai Chetia Maidam, Dibrugarh city has several other popular maidams, such as the Barbarua Maidam, Sorumechlow and Bormechlow Maidam and the Bahikhowa Dasharath Dowerah Borphukan Maidam. Reaching the Lekai Chetia Maidam is very convenient and apart from hired taxis, auto rickshaws and city buses ply on this route.
A visit to Dibrugarh is quite incomplete without visiting the ruined monuments at Raidongia Dol. Raidongia Dol is situated in Larua Mouza in the Kalakhowa region and can be easily reached on hired taxis and local buses. Raidongia Dol still has several ancient relics of the Ahom kingdom.
Though many statues that were initially there on the wall of the Dol have perished, today about 14 remain. It is believed that there were 24 such statues earlier. According to historical evidences it is believed that the Dol along with the adjoining pond and 200 pura were given as dowry by Swargadeo Pramatta Singha for his sister’s marriage to Raidnogia Barua.
Today the Raidnogia Dol as well as the adjacent pond gives a majestic view attracting tourists visiting Dibrugarh. If you are visiting Dibrugarh make it a point to visit the Dol.
The Moderkhat Satra is an extension of the Dinjoy Satra. Chandrakantadev, the brother of Sidanandadeb Dinjoy, the head priest of Dinjoy Satra founded it. The Moderkhat Satra is located about 5 km from the township of Chabua in the Dibrugarh district. It is well connected to the rest of the city with local taxis, rickshaws and buses.
The Moderkhat Satra like the Dinjoy Satra is respected not only by the people of Dibrugarh but also by all the devotees who come visiting it. In the earlier days, primarily during the Ahom rule, Satras were established not only as religious institutions but also as a place which would educate the masses about the culture of the Ahoms.
Today the Moderkhat Satra, along with the many other Satras in Assam stands as a reminder of just that. They have transformed into being more of socio-cultural institutions.
Garpara Satra is considered to be older than Dinjoy Satra, another famous and frequently visited Satra in Dibrugarh. Garpara Satra is located in Rohmoria Mouza. Narimaider was the first head priest of the Satra.
Though the Satra is highly regarded among the locals and the tourists, there is a proposal to shift the Satra from its present location. Due to soil erosion, the present location is considered unfit and dangerous. Work towards this is being done.
Apart from the Garpara Satra, there are several satras or socio-religious institutions that dot the city of Dibrugarh. The common satras that tourists invariably should visit include the Dinjoy Satra, Dehing Satra and the Moderkhat Satra.
Satras were established during the Ahom rule to serve the society not only as religious institutions but also as socio-cultural ones where the culture and traditions of the Ahom society is upheld and taught to the future generations.
Koli Aai Thaan is highly revered among the Assamese people and though there is no physical temple or idol at the premises of the thaan, it is one of the most-visited places in Dibrugarh. The Koli Aai Thaan is counted among the oldest ‘thaans’ of the Ahom kingdom.
Koli Aai Thaan is dedicated to Koi Aai, the daughter of the head priest of Dibaru Satra. As the Dibaru Satra did not have any male heir to carry forward the legacy, Koli Aai kept the spirit of the Satra alive by her devotion and dedication.
It is a prevailing belief that Koli Aai possessed divine powers and, it is due to this that one fine day she disappeared from the site. Nevertheless, every year throngs of people visit the Thaan to pay their respect to ‘Aai’. The Koli Aai Thaan also has a profound impact of the religious history of Assam.
Situated on the banks of the river Burhidihing, Namphake village is a famous tourist attraction in Assam. Located near Dibrugarh, it is famous for its scenic beauty and the old Buddhist monastery. The village is a centre of tea gardens and commerce. Some of the known tourist spots of this village are the Ashoka Pillar, Nong Mungchiringta, Pagoda, etc.
The village has the oldest oil pool in the state. The Princess of Thailand had visited the village. The tribal population residing in the region is known as Tai Phake. The Tai Phake people speak in the Phake language and they are traditional in their thoughts. Poi-Nen Chi festival is celebrated in the region in the month of March. Namphake Village though small is beautiful and brings one close to nature.