(Last Updated on : 26/09/2013)
Garhgaon is a historical place situated near the present day Sibsagar
town in Assam
. Established in the year 1540 by Suklenmung, an Ahom king, it served as the capital of Ahom kingdom
for long. Garhgaon houses an ancient palace made of stones and wood. Pramatta Singha, son of Rudra Singha, in 1747 built a brick wall around it with a masonry gate leading to the palace. The original palace was however destroyed and the present one was rebuilt by Rajeswar Singha in 1752. The present palace has seven storeys.
This historic city has four stone gates which are set in the mud. From each of the gate, strong and high embankments of great lengths have been constructed up to the palace for the passage of men. Continuous bamboo
plantations encircle the city. In ancient times, the city spanned over a circular area with an assembly of villages. An embankment surrounds the house of the king with bamboo trees planted in close proximity that serve as a wall. A moat encircles the embankment which is deeper than the height of a man at places and is filled with water. The description of this ancient city can be found in the writings of Shihabuddin, a writer who accompanied Mir Jumla in his expedition in 1662.
Garhgaon palace has a massive audience hall known as "Solang". It has huge pillars which a finely smoothened. Intricate and spectacular wood carvings
that adorn the hall are the testaments of brilliant artistry of ancient era. Wooden lattices of various designs are found on the sides of the palace. The lattices have exquisite embellishments and mirrors of finely polished brass are fixed on them. These mirrors further augment the beauty of the palace by creating a dazzling view when the sunlight falls on them.
The construction of the palace took one year with 12,000 working men. At the end of this mansion, four pillars stand facing each other with nine rings fixed on each of them. When the king stayed in this palace, a throne was kept amidst the pillars and above it nine canopies were fixed. The canopies comprised of different stuffs and were fastened to the rings of the pillars. Drums
were beaten when the king used to sit in this throne.
Another elegant mansion stands outside the palace premises which served as the residence of the king. Strong and impressive houses were also built near the palace for the nobles. There is a beautiful garden on the ground of the mansion which was laid out by the king's son-in-law, Bar Phukan. In the middle there is a magnificent tank which further enhances the beauty of the garden.