GUWAHATI, Nov 24 - About 500-year-old historic Numaligarh rampart, which was lying exposed to encroachment and vandalism for the past two centuries, is now handed over to the State Archaeology Directorate for protection and preservation.
However, according to sources in the Archaeology Directorate, the entire rampart could not be handed over to the Directorate by the civil administration of Golaghat District for the purpose, let alone the smaller ramparts built during the reign of Suhungmung or Swarganarayan by Kachari king Detchung as part of a fortification network.
Sources said that a vast portion of the rampart, located in the Bokakhat Revenue Circle of Golaghat District, is under the occupation of encroachers these days. The encroachers of the rampart include some tea estates too, besides a section of the individuals.
According to the Buranjis, the chronicles written by the chroniclers of the Ahom era, the Numaligarh rampart is a part of a series of ramparts that were built by Kachari king Detchung and later came under the control of Swargadeo Suhungmung, who used it to settle Numali Kunwari, the princess he was presented with by Kachari king Detchung, following the latter�s defeat at the hands of the former at the battle for Makrang located on the western bank of the Dhansiri (South).
Both eastern and western ends of the brick-reinforced earthen rampart Numaligarh were connected with the Karbi Anglong Hills between the Dhansiri (South) and the NH-39. It is about 10 to 12 metres in height and nine to ten metres in width.
Since it was connected with the Numali Kunwari, the rampart acquired the name Numaligarh (garh in Assamese stands for the English rampart). The northern rim of the rampart is also running parallel to the NH-37 at stretches, sources said.
The rampart has been handed over to the Archaeology Directorate by the Golaghat district administration on November 7 at the instance of State�s Minister of Cultural Affairs Bismita Gogoi. Commissioner and Secretary, Cultural Affairs Department Pritam Saikia was also present on the occasion. Archaeology Director Dr Deepirekha Kouli received the documents on behalf of the Directorate from the officials of the Golaghat district administration that day.
Bokakhat Revenue Circle officials have surveyed the existing rampart in the vicinity of the Numaligarh township and have demarcated the boundaries of the rampart, sources said.