The Sivasagar Sivadol Temple was built by the by Bar Raja Ambika, the Queen of Ahom King Swargadeo Siba Singha in 1734 to restore their strength and power to rule Kamrup. It is one of the largest Shiva temples in the whole world, built almost 300 years ago at Shivasagar, the then capital of the Ahom Kings.
The Temple Complex of Shiv Dol comprise of 270 acres land. There are three main Hindu Temples-the Sivadol, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Vishnudol, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the Devidol, or Joidol, which is dedicated to Goddess Durga. The height of the temple peak is 104 feet and the base of the sanctum is about 195 feet. It is crowned with an 8-foot (2.4 m) high golden-dome.
Sivsagar, present day Sivasagar, was the capital of Ahom kingdom. The Ahoms had migrated from South China in 1228 and established their first capital at Charaideo 28 kilometres (17 mi) from present day Sivsagar in 1253. Initially they were Buddhists, though Hinduism came to prevail. It was the capital of the Ahom Kingdom till the British Raj was established in India. The tank was constructed between 1731 and 1738 and the temples were built in 1734 by Bar Raja Ambika, queen of Ahom king Swargadeo Siba Singha.
Inside the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum), the Shiva Linga (aniconic symbol of Shiva) is deified, which is in a reverse setting. The Shikhara or Vimana (temple tower), which rises above the sanctum sanctorum, has a four-tiered, 8 feet (2.4 m) mastaka and is crowned by a kalasha made of gold. The tower itself is built with parallel ridges and furrows. The lower part of the tower is flanked by four smaller identical towers, which are known as the angashikaras. The garbagriha, where the main deity is deified in the form of a reversed Shiva linga, is interconnected with an antarala, a small antechamber, which has a roof known as do-chala, which is akin to a typical hut built in Assam. The antarala is also connected to one of the mandapas (outdoor halls). The exterior walls of the temple are embellished with sculptures and floral designs set in Bas-relief.
Some of the unique sculptures set on the outer walls of the temple are of the goddess Durga, which are seen carved with 2 arms, 4 arms, 6 arms, 10 arms and 16 arms.
The sixteen armed Durga holding various weapons is a "pan-Himalayan" theme adopted in plastic arts of Ahom temple architecture. Durga is depicted decimating Mahishasura, the demon king with a buffalo head, by thrusting a spear. She is riding a lion, her mount, which supports her in the fight with the demon.
The Sivasagar tank, also known as the Borpukhuri tank, was built by constructing embankments and the water level thus created in the lake remains above the adjoining ground level. The lake has a total area of 257-acre (104 ha) with a water spread of 129-acre (52 ha). It is said that the lake water remains stable throughout the year without any fluctuations even during the monsoon months.
Every year, during the Mahashivaratri, a huge mela (fair) is organized in the Shiva temple and pilgrims visit from all parts of India to offer puja. During the Hindu month of Sawan (August September), Hare Krishna kirtan, chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, is conducted all through the night, a major attraction to the devotees.
From Jorhat Airport Sivasagar Sivadol temple is 68 KM, it is 16 KM from Simaluguri Junction and 1.1 KM from Sibsagar Town station. The ASTC Bus Station is at a walking distance of 750 m from the temple.
The NH-37 is well-connected with all the major places of Assam with the rest of the country. Pilgrims can reach the destination via roadways as well. Buses, rental cars are available to reach Shivsagar.
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