The Splendour of Sivasagar’s “Borpukhuri’

By Sushmita Dey

Sivasagar, January 09: During the Ahom reign, many sea-like great water bodies were dug by the emperors, which include the Sivasagar Tank or the ‘Borpukhuri’, Joysagar Pukhuri, Gaurisagar Pukhuri, Rudrasagar Pukhuri (Pukhuri means pond or tank in Assamese). These tanks are the major spots which pull tourists from across the globe.

A beautiful evening by Borpukhuri (Photo: Mrinmoy Buragohain)

Borpukhuri was built in the heart of Sivasagar town (then Rangpur) by Queen Ambika, wife of Shiva Singha, in the year 1734 and named it after her husband. The particular group called ‘Paik’ were hired by the Ahom kings for the digging work. Various species of plants were also planted for the beautification of the tank.

(Photo: Mrinmoy Buragohain)

These tanks were dug in the memory of the mighty Ahom kings but later on, they were used by the royal families as well as the common people for religious and various other purposes. Now, the Borpukhuri is considered as the best pathway for morning and evening stride. The sight of stirring water, dazzling water droplets on the lotus petals along with the amazing feeling of a sweet breeze caressing one’s hair can awaken the mind, body and soul making any low day bright again.

The construction of these tanks took good knowledge of Science along with technical skills. These tanks are clear evidence of the technical knowledge and skill of the Ahom dynasty which maintained its sovereignty for nearly 600 years.

Shiva Dol (Photo: Subham Singh)

Devi Dol (Photo: Subham Singh)

Apart from its historical significance, the speciality of Borpukhuri lies in the fact that it gives a sense of secularism. It is known by most of the people that the tank is surrounded by the three auspicious Dols – the Shiva Dol, the Devi Dol and the Vishnu Dol; but very few are aware of the fact that a Baptist Missionary Church, the Sadar Juma Maszid and a Buddhist Shrine stands right on the banks of Borpukhuri.

(Photo: Subham Singh)

One can also can spot the Tai Ahom Museum upholding the glory of the Tai Ahoms, the Anandaram Barooah Children’s Park. Besides, he vault of great Martyr Lachit-Piyoli rests here.

A view of Borpukhuri from the Tai Ahom Museum

Borpukhuri also provides warm shelter to thousands of migratory birds during the winters. One shall be flabbergasted to see the contrast between the tranquillity of the Borpukhuri and playfulness of the migratory birds; any nature lover or a Thalassophile’s mind will be boggled while experiencing such a sight. A bird watching tower is also set up to watch the wintering birds visiting the tank.

Many government architectures including the Forest, Archaeology and Administrative offices, the office and bungalow of the Deputy Commissioner, the Yuva Dol Auditorium, the Circuit House, the District Jail and Court, a lawn tennis court, an indoor stadium, office of the Inspector of Schools are  located by the Borpukhuri. Not only this, quite a many esteemed educational institutions like the Sibsagar Commerce College, Sibsagar Girls’ College, Fuleshwari Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Godhula Brown Memorial English High School also lie on the bank of this well known tank.

Maha Shivaratri is the biggest gala of the town and the district in general. Every year, during February March, a huge mela (fair) is organised with great pomp and joy. Pilgrims and followers from different parts, across the world, come and become a part of this great festival.

Rang Ghar, one of the most popular tourist attractions of Sivasagar

Sivasagar, in general, is famous for its historical monuments. The town has every possibility to be officially announced as a Tourism Town. In this connection, a lot can be done to enhance the beauty of this ancient royal tank. Blossoming trees should be planted more to add to the beauty of Borpukhuri along with setting up benches for relaxation of joggers and pedestrians. Entry of smoke exhausting vehicles should be strictly prohibited during the early morning and evening hours for the convenience of walkers and joggers.

It is worth mentioning that the Borpukhuri paar is a perfect hang out spot for all age groups. A large number of people come and stride along the beautiful walkway with a view of the breathtaking sunset at dusk. Even after the sunset, the reflection of street lights on the water makes it look like string of shining diamonds.

Now that you have got the gist of Borpukhuri or the Sivasagar Pukhuri, do not forget to visit this wonderful place while covering the riches of Sivasagar.

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