Though the capital of the Ahom kingdom moved many times, Charaideo remained the symbolic center. It contains sacred burial grounds of Ahom kings and queens and is also the place of ancestral Gods of the Ahoms. 42 tombs (Maidams) of Ahom kings and queens at Charaideo hillocks are comparable to the Pyramids of Egypt and are objects of wonder revealing the excellent architecture and skill of the sculptors and masons of Assam of the medieval days.
Charaideo Tai-Ahom word, means "a prominent city on the hill top" (Che =a city, rai = prominent, doi =hill) Early name of Cheraidoi was "Bihaga:dripa:ha:r" of Borahi rulers. Austric king Sungsaumara was the first ruler of this region. Virochan, Chandrahash, Vikramadityapha, Bicharpatipha, Pokhra were Borahi rulers of this region. The Borahi rulers founded two capitals close to Charaideo @ Chera:idoi @ Bihagadripahar called "Sona:pur" and "Ba:npur". The Ta:i-A:hom first king Chaolung Siukapha A.D. 1228-1256 ruled this area and founded his capital at this place also curved out the country of Mung-dun-chun-kham, a country full of garden of gold (Assam) stationing at this place whose descedants ruled this country up to A.D. 1838 till termination of their government by the British Government. Chera:doi was a part of old Pagarjotic, Uparipattan, Pragjytisha, Kamrupa, Saumarpitha, Dimalang etc. Charaideo @ "Chera:idoi" is known as "Jerusalem of the East" for its location of Moidams i.e., Vaults of the Ta:i-A:hom kings, the Queens and the nobles.
Architecturally it comprises a massive underground vault with one or more chambers having domical superstructure and covered by a heap of earthen mound and externally it appears a hemispherical mound. At the top of the mound a small open pavilion chow-chali is provided. An octagonal dwarf wall encloses whole maidam . The Ahoms preferred to place the departed family members at Charaideo where the first king Sukapha was laid to rest. The historical chronicles inform that wives, attendants, pet animals and huge quantity of valuables were buried with the departed kings.
Lack of any preservation scheme from the government is another reason for the slow extinction of the remains of the temples as earth cutting of the Maidams and hillocks by ignorant illegal settlers are causing irreparable damages to the Maidams. Even the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), in its bid to "explore and unearth the mystery of Maidams", has badly damaged a big Maidam and the action can be termed nothing less than gross criminal negligence.
The actual number of Maidam has exceeded 150 but only 30 Maidams are protected by the Archeological Survey of India and Assam State Archeology Department, and the remaining Maidams are unprotected. Most of these unprotected Maidams are encroached by people and so going to be damaged. The biggest unprotected Maidam is the Bali Maidam near Nimonagarh. This Maidam is called Bali Maidam, because while British plundered it, they got obstruction from excess sands (Bali) in the surrounding of the Maidam.
The site has had some archeological works but also has suffered from robbers. There have been calls for the site to be UNESCO World Heritage listed. Charaideo is still revered and continoues to be a place of worship for the Ahoms. Charaideo was also belived to be the abode of God "LANKURI" identified with lord "SHIVA".
How to reach :
Charaideo is near about 30 km far from Sivasagar town towards Sonari. Buses are available from Sivasagar town and one can hire taxis from Sivasagar. Sivasagar is well connected by road, railways and air with rest of the country.