GUWAHATI, April 1 � The State Directorate of Archaeology has expressed serious resentment over the State Fisheries Department�s bid to turn the historic Jaysagar tank into a fishery and its banks into a site for locating its training centres.
It needs mention here that the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010 of the State has made the Director of Archaeology, Assam the competent authority for all the protected monuments in the State.
In a communication to the Fisheries Department, the Directorate of Archaeology has stated that the historic character of the Ahom-era Jaysagar tank should be restored to it by the Department revoking its decisions for using the tank as a fishery as well as setting up fisheries training centres on the banks of the centuries-old tank.
The Department may assess its needs and go for digging tanks with raised banks like the historical tanks in suitable low, lying areas in line with the traditional architectural plan of historical tanks and shift its establishments from these sites, said the Directorate.
It needs mention here that Jaysagar is one of those special type of tanks dug out by the Ahom rulers with raised banks. These tanks are further supported by ditch called khowai or parikha on four sides.
On banks of the tank the temples of Vishnu, Shiva and Devi are erected in east-west alignment. These temples are the representation of the second phase of the architectural development under the Ahom Swargadeo (king) Rudra Singha.
On the western bank of the tank, the brick-built Devi temple was erected. The best example of the Ahom architecture of the second phase is found in the form of the Keshavanarayana or the Vishnu temple.
The Jaysagar tank is the largest Ahom-era tank. Because of its large size, it is called sagar. It is significant that the upper limit of the water level of these tanks remain up to the brink of these water bodies throughout the year. The Ahom hydrologists applied an indigenous method, called nagabondha, had set up a mechanism to keep intact the flow of water in these water bodies all over the year.
It is also important to note that the Ghanashyam House, an important terracotta architecture of the Ahom era, is located on the western bank of the Jaysagar tank.
The Fisheries Department has converted this tank into a fishery and even sublet some of its Assam-type buildings, which were used as training centres, to the CRPF for setting up a camp, alleged sources in the Archaeology Directorate.