Sivasagar Sivadol is a group of structures comprising 3 Hindu Temples of Sivadol, Visnudol and Devidol. These are located on the banks of the Sivasagar (the ocean of Lord Shiva), in Assam.
Sibsagar (present day Sivasagar) was the capital of the Ahom Kingdom. The Ahoms had migrated from South China in 1228, and established their first capital at Charaideo (28 kilometres fro present day Sivasagar) in 1253. Initially, they were Buddhists, though Hinduism came to prevail. The Sivasagar 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 acres with a water-spread of 129 acres. It is said that the lake water remains stable throughout the year, without any fluctuation, even during the monsoon months. The depth of the water in the lake is 27 feet. Many notable structures have been built on the banks of the lake —— 3 Hindu Temples —— Sivadol, Visnudol and Devidol, a Buddhist shrine, a bird-watching tower to watch wintering birds visiting the area are located on its east bank. The Tai Museum, located on the west bank of the tank, is built with red bricks. A Church and 2 Mosques are also located on the bank of the tank. —– Of the 3 temples, the Sivadol or Shiva Temple, built in the Shikhara architecture has a central tower, which is said to be the “tallest tower” in India at the height of 104 feet. The base of the temple measures 195 feet and it is crowned with a 8-ft high golden dome.
Inside the Garbhagriha, the Shiva Linga is deified and it is in a reversed setting. The Shikhara or Vimana (temple tower) has a 4-tiered 8-ft 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 “angashikaras”. The exterior walls of the temple are embellished with sculptures and floral designs set in Bas-relief. Some of the sculptures on the outer walls of the temple are of the Goddess Durga, who is depicted decimating Mahishasura, the demon king with a buffalo head, by thrusting a spear. She is riding a lion, which supports her in the fight with the demon. This feature represents the harmonious blend of Brahminical Hindu culture with theShaktism cult which the royalty of the Ahom Dynasty had adopted in their religious practices throughout the kingdom.
The Visnudol is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the Devidol, also known as Joidol, is dedicated to Goddess Durga. While the Vishnu Temple’s tower has a honey-comb design with an ornamental criss-cross frame-work, the Durga Temple’s tower is designed, in its vertical elevation, with an undulating pattern.
Sivasagar city is easily accessible by road, rail and air services. Guwahati, the capital of Assam, is 370 kilometres away to its north-west and regular deluxe buses operate from here. The nearest airport is at Jorhat.