Talatal Ghar, Sivasagar

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Talatal Ghar, the largest of all the monuments built during Ahom kingdom is located approximately 4 K.M from Sivasagar Town. It is situated south of Rang Ghar and approximately 500 meters away from Rang Ghar. Talatal Ghar, a multi-storied palace, was built by Ahom Swargadeo (King) Rajeswar Singha during 1751-1769 A.D.

The arched door openings of Talatal Ghar are resembled with those of the Mughal Architecture. The significant structural features of Talatal Ghar are its long open terrace with several annexes, an octagonal temple, cells resembling Assamese type huts and in the ground floor there several enclosed chambers and some portion of which is kept as stylobate.

Recent Archeological excavations made by Archeological Survey of India enable to expose the remains of burnt wooden logs and post-holes and burnt brick structures of three structural phases including discovery of two pathways on the northern and southern sides respectively. The remains of wooden logs and post-holes suggest that a structure of impermanent material was existed at the site and may reasonably attribute with the palatial remains of Swargadeo Rudra Singha.

Talatal Ghar, from east to west had several rooms on a long corridor, and from north to south had several smaller wings. Talatal Ghar had three storeys underground and four storeys over ground. The ground floor served as stables, store rooms, servants’ quarters. Upper storey had the Royal Apartments which can not be seen now, other than some rooms which still exist near to an octagonal room on the northern wing, which was known as the ‘Puja Ghar’. There are stairs which leads to the terrace. An isolated room stands on the south which is believed to be used by the queen during her confinement. The Talatal Ghar had two secret underground tunnels. One connected to the Dikhow River which is about 3 Kilometer in length and the other lead to Garhgaon Palace(Kareng Ghar), which is of 16 Kilometer, for use as an escape route in case of any enemy attack.

Right now tourists are allowed to view only the over ground parts. The underground storeys have been sealed and many of the wooden structure of the palace have vanished with time. The palace was surrounded by a brick fortification and also by an earthen fort (Garh) with dikes filled with water. There is a gun-powder and ammunition store known as “Khar Ghar” near the palace.

Photographs are captured by Kanchan Gogoi.

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