Friday, February 23, 2024

The Ahom Style of Architecture: A Unique Blend of Hindu and Assamese Culture

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The Ahom Style of Architecture is a unique form of traditional architecture that emerged during the rule of the Ahom dynasty in the Assam region of Northeast India. The Ahom dynasty, which lasted from the 13th to the 19th century, was known for its contributions to art, culture, and architecture, and the Ahom Style of Architecture is considered one of their most significant legacies. This article will explore the key characteristics of the Ahom Style of Architecture and its historical and cultural significance.

However, the beautiful masterpieces of Ahom architecture do not find a mention in our regular readings. Like Shivasagar, RangGhar of Rangpur, Talatal Ghar, Joysagar Lake are the few names which are important monuments.

(p.c. – samaya.in – Khidarpur Port)

History of Ahom Architecture

The Ahom dynasty ruled over the Brahmaputra Valley in Northeast India for over 600 years, from the 13th to the 19th century. During this time, the Ahom kings made significant contributions to the region’s art, culture, and architecture.

The Ahom Style of Architecture emerged as a unique blend of Hindu and Ahom culture, incorporating elements of both styles into a distinct form.

The Kamakhya Corridor: Recalling the ‘Mother’

Assam Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, shared a video on his Twitter handle that showcases the newly renovated Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati. The video features a glimpse of the temple’s corridors and its future look after the ongoing renovation work.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also praised the initiative and called it a landmark effort in preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage.

The Kamakhya Temple, one of the oldest and most revered shrines in India, is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya and attracts lakhs of devotees every year. The temple’s renovation work is being carried out under the guidance of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and is expected to be completed by June 2023.

(p.c.- aastik.com)

The kamkhya temple was re-built during the reign of General Chila Rai. This style is called the ‘Nilachal Style’ of temple architecture.

Characteristics of Ahom Architecture

The Ahom Style of Architecture is known for its distinctive features, which set it apart from other forms of traditional architecture in India. Some of the key characteristics of Ahom Architecture are discussed below.

(p.c. – sound.codes- Rang Ghar)

Use of Bricks

The Ahom Style of Architecture is characterized by the use of bricks in construction. Initially, Rang Ghar was built using the bamboo and woods, but later in 18th century it got renovated using bricks.This allowed them to create more intricate designs and patterns, which are still visible in many of the surviving structures today.

Decorative Elements

Another key characteristic of Ahom Architecture is the use of decorative elements, such as intricate carvings of dashavatra. The use of terracotta and metallic art forms also developed. However, these decorative elements were used to adorn the palaces, temples, and other structures built by the Ahom kings, and they are still visible in many of the surviving structures today. The use of decorative elements was influenced by both Hindu and Assamese culture, and many of the carvings and sculptures depict scenes from Hindu Dharma.

(p.c. – sound.codes)

Roofing Style

The Ahom Style of Architecture is also characterized by its unique roofing style. The roofs of the structures built in this style are typically sloping and have multiple tiers, giving them a distinctive appearance. Like Shiv Dol, which incorporates the temples of Mahadev, Vishnu and Devi Durga.

Use of Wood

Although the Ahom kings primarily used bricks in construction, they also incorporated wood into their structures. The use of wood was primarily for the decorative elements, such as doors, windows, and pillars. The wood was typically carved with intricate designs and patterns, adding to the overall aesthetic appeal of the structures.

(p.c. – sound.codes – Sibasagar Lake)

Cultural Significance of Ahom Architecture

The Ahom Style of Architecture is not only significant for its aesthetic appeal but also for its cultural significance. The Ahom kings were known for their patronage of the arts, and their contributions to art and culture are still celebrated in Assamese society today. The Ahom Style of Architecture is an important part of this cultural heritage, and it serves as a reminder of the rich history and cultural diversity of Northeast India.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Kamakhya Temple renovation project is part of the Assam government’s efforts to promote the state’s cultural heritage and boost tourism. And, the initiative has received widespread appreciation from people across the country and is expected to further enhance the temple’s significance as a cultural and spiritual centre.

The Ahom Style of Architecture is a unique blend of Hindu and Assamese culture, and it is characterized by its use of Hindu Itihas and devotion to the land of Bharat. Though we are still unaware of the beautiful land of Assam, exploring its historic-cultural side will give deeper insight to the Unity of Dharma in this Land of Maa Kamakhya. Joy Maa Kamakhya!

 

 


 

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