|Rangghar gets model architectural monument tag|
SIVASAGAR, Jan 3 - One of the most important antique structures in the State, the Rangghar, is all set to get a major facelift in the coming months as it has been included in the list of 27 model architectural monuments of the country to attract global tourists. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is planning to spend nearly Rs one crore in upgrading the tourists amenities and other infrastructures like parking area development, modern toilet block, cafeteria, illumination, gates, tourists information booth, boundary wall etc., to international standard and as par designs approved by the National Monumental Authority, India.
BC Das, Assistant Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Sivasagar informs that the ASI has already sanctioned an amount of Rs 40 lakh for development of the parking area while around Rs 17 lakh for comprehensive conservation and development works. E-tendring for these works are in the process, he said. Das added that the repairing works like sealing the minor cracks and crevices on the walls of the monument is temporarily suspended till further grants from the National Cultural Fund. The plan to upgrade the monument will boost tourism potential of the district and attract more and more tourists from outside the State besides opening prospects of economic benefit to the local people as well.
The Rangghar, the symbol of Assamese pride and rich heritage, was first built by Swargadeo Rudra Singha (1694-1714) in Rupohi pathar as part of his grand design in building the Ahom capital city in 1699. Then built with wood and bamboo, the Royal family used this as a sports pavilion to watch the traditional sports events like buffalo fight, elephant fight, wrestling, kite fighting, cock fight and many other events. Later, it was rebuilt by Shiva Singha, his successor. But finally Swargadeo Pramatta Singha (1744-1751) had the present double storey 6.6 metre tall Rangghar (22 ft x 11 ft) built with brick slabs with a special kind of rice (bora), eggs and other indigenous materials as mortar. There are pictures of flowers, wild animals, dragons, kites and kestrels engraved on the walls. The roof is shaped like an inverted boat and there are arched entrances on all sides on both floors. The flight of steps on the eastern side leads to the upper floor. During sporting season around Magh Bihu, the Rupohi pathar wore a festive look with big assembly of sports persons and others that exhibited their skills before the Royal family and the courtiers.