Site houses monuments dating back to ‘British period’, say archaeology dept officials; spotted by youths from nearby Mackeypur Tea Estate while playing football
Tinsukia: A centuries-old tunnel, which reportedly houses monuments dating back to the Ahom era, was discovered along the roadside near Hatipati division of Mackeypur tea estate, around 8 km from Nazira sub-division of Assam’s Sivasagar district on Saturday.
Confirming the discovery, Sivasagar SP Amitava Sinha said, “On Friday evening, we received an information regarding a discovery of a tunnel by locals. A police team went and inspected the place and the informed administration and state archaeological officials."
Speaking with EastMojo, Konkon Saikia, conservation officer of Sivasagar zonal office of the department of archaeology, said, "I visited the spot on Saturday morning after being informed of the discovery last night."
"The local police have covered the place to avoid damages to the discovered site," Saikia said, adding, "An expert team has been sent and will reach Sivasagar on Sunday. On Monday, inspection and excavation work with start."
Nazira sub-divisional officer Rajiv Thapa said that the team from the department of archaeology visited the spot and informed them that an expert has been called to carry out inspection and excavation work on Monday. "It seems to be an ancient tunnel and in all likelihood dating back to British era. However, nothing concrete can be said until ASI comes out with a report."
Accordingly to sources, a few youths from the nearby tea garden were playing football when their ball went into a ditch. "When they tried to get the ball, the earth caved in leading to the discovery of the tunnel kicking excitement among the locals," the sources said.
"There is a general feeling that the tunnel dates back to the Ahom era and will be a new addition to the historical monuments in Sivasagar," the sources added.
Sivasagar, a medieval town surrounded by rainforests in Assam, served as the capital of the mighty Ahom kings for almost a century, and is famous for being witness to some of the major historical events of the state and being home to historical monuments dating back to the Ahom era. In fact, it was capital of the Ahom Kingdom from 1699 to 1788.
Some of the historical monuments dating back to the Ahom era include Rang Ghar, Kareng Ghar, Talatal Ghar, Namdang Stone Bridge, Rudrasagar tank and temple, and Sivasagar Pukhuri, among others.