The Sivadol is the tallest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva that stands on the banks of the Sivasagar Lake. The temple was built in 1734 by Bar Raja Ambika, queen of Ahom king, Swargadeo Siba Singha. Standing at a height of 195 feet (59 metres) from the ground, it is believed to be the tallest Shiva temple in the whole of India. The temple is capped by an 8-feet-high golden dome that displays magnificent craftsmanship of the Ahom rule.
This place attracts a huge number of tourists every year during the Shivaratri. A huge mela is organised in the temple ground. Alongside the Shivadol is the Devidol and Vishnu Dol that also serve as great attractions to tourists visiting this place. Near these temple complex you can also witness ancient cannons made from iron that have been preserved as relics from the time of the Ahom rule.
Sivasagar Lake or Borpukhuri is the biggest attraction of this town and the town itself derives its name from this lake which literally means the ocean of Lord Shiva. Spread over an area of 257 acres, the lake is at a higher elevation than the rest of the town.
It has three temples also known as dol in Assamese on its banks, of which the most prominent one is the Sivadol, the other temples are the Vishnu Dol and Devidol. These temples were built by Kuwori Ambika, wife of the Assamese ruler, Swargadeo Siba Singha, in 1734.
The lake is surrounded by deep earthen moats on all sides and is one of the biggest tourist attractions not only in Sivasagar but the entire Assam. Hundreds of tourists visit this lake daily from all parts of the country and the state. It also attracts many devotees to its temples on its banks.
Located on the outskirts of the town of Sivasagar, about 4 kilometres away, is the Talatal Ghar, the palace of the Ahom rulers. It is considered to be one of the grandest architectural marvels built during the Ahom dynasty. It is the largest of all the Ahom monuments. This palace was constructed by the Ahom king, Swargadeo Rudra Singha, when he shifted his capital from Garhgaon to Rangpur (present day Sivasagar).
The construction was started in the year 1698 and was completed by 1702-03 when the capital was shifted. The seven-storeyed structure has three storeys below the ground which served as the storage facility for the king and his subjects.
After Swargadeo Rudra Singha the future rulers also added to the palace. It is one of the most popular destinations in Assam and throws light into the grand past of the Ahom rulers. The canons, staircase and the terrace of the palace are very popular with tourists.
If you want to know about Assam’s past and walk through the pages of Ahom dynasty, there cannot be a better place than the Tai Ahom Museum. Located in the heart of the town on the west bank of Sivasagar Tank, this museum showcases the history, culture and the daily lives of the people during the rule of the Ahom dynasty.
The museum was founded in the year 1972 and opened to visitors. It has one of the largest collections of art, artefacts and jewellery of the Ahom dynasty who ruled over this land between the 13th and the 18th centuries.
Among the major attractions of the museum include ancient manuscripts, dresses and wooden, metal, cane, swords, goblets, platters and bamboo items. Your trip to Sivasagar would be incomplete without a visit to this museum. The Tai Ahom Museum is maintained by the government of Assam, which has done a commendable job in putting up these items together.
Gaurisagar Tank is located at a distance of about 12 km from the centre of the Sivasagar town. This temple was built about 200 years ago and has three temples dedicated to Goddess Durga and her various forms built on the banks of the lake. The tank along with the temples was constructed by Rani Phuleswari Devi, the queen of Assam, who was a follower of the Sakta branch of Hinduism and even endeavoured to make Shaktism the state religion of Assam. This led to the Moamoria rebellion as the Moamoria people were forced to offer their prayers to Goddess Durga
Spread over an area of 150 acres the vast tank and the three temples serve as a major tourist attraction. Devotees from all over Assam and other parts of the country come to this place to offer their prayers. The tank and its adjacent areas also serve as a great picnic spot for tourists.
Charaideo happens to be the foremost capital of the Ahom kingdom, established by the first Ahom king, Chao Lung Siu-Ka-Pha, in 1228. The site is located about 30 kilometres from Sivasagar town.
The capital of the Ahom dynasty kept on moving several times but this place remained a symbolic centre for the Ahom dynasty. There are several burial grounds of Ahom royal family and it is also the place of ancestral gods of the Ahoms. The burials are shaped as hillocks that resemble the Pyramids of Egypt.
There are close to 150 burial sites or maidams in Charaideo.
Charaideo is a famous tourist destination for people visiting Assam and the burial grounds reflect the excellent architecture and skill of the sculptors and masons of those days. Around 30 maidams are under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India and Assam State Archaeology Department. This is a must-visit place for any tourist coming to Sivasagar.
Pani Dihing Bird Sanctuary is located 22 kilometres from Sivasagar town between the Disang and the Demow river. It is a rich wetland ecosystem that is spread across 33 sq km.
The Pani Dihing Bird Sanctuary is especially known for the migratory birds that come here every year. The bird sanctuary was declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in the year 1996. There are several rare birds that are found in the Pani Dihing Bird Sanctuary, such as the variegated species of aquatic birds, adjutant storks, variety of ducks and fishing eagles.
Amongst the other birds found in the wildlife sanctuary, tourists can spot the bar-headed goose, spo-billed duck, gadwall, mallard, shoveller, common pochard, openbill stork, etc.
The best time to visit the bird sanctuary is between the months of November and April. Since it is just 22 kilometres from the Sivasagar town tourists can reach the bird sanctuary on road.
Kareng Ghar happens to be the palace of the Ahom kings that is situated 15 kilometres from Sivasagar at a place called Garhgaon. During the heydays of the Ahoms, Garhgoan was the principal seat of the Ahoms. In the year 1752, King Rajeswar Singha built the present multistoreyed palace.
The Kareng Ghar is seven storeyed. There are three storeys which are underground and they are called the Talatal Ghar. The levels above the ground are together known as the Kareng Ghar. The complete structure is popularly known as the Talatal Palace. Kareng Ghar is, thus, a part of the Talatal Ghar and not to be confused.
The top floors have three storeys with the top floor having a dome-like roof with a chamber. Originally there were four watchtowers of which only two remain now. It takes about 30 minutes on road to reach this palatial structure.
Joysagar Tank is a man-made tank built by Ahom king, Swargadeo Rudra Singha, in the year 1697. The tank situated at Rangpur was constructed within 45 days and the king had it constructed in the memory of his mother, Joymoti. The Joysagar Tank is the largest man-made tank in the country and covers an area of 318 acres.
There are several temples around the tank because of which it is known as the Joysagar Tank and Temples. The temples are - Kesavarai Visnu Dol or Joydol, Devi Ghar, Baidyanath Shiva Dol, Sri Surya Mandir, Ghanashyam Dol or Nati-Gosai Dol and Ganesh Mandir. All these temples are located on the northern side of the tank.
The Vishnu Temple, Devi Ghar, Shiva Temple and the Ghanashyam Temple are regarded as the four important temples of Assam and are frequented by devotees from around the state. The Vishnu Dol is known for its architectural brilliance.