SIVASAGAR, Dec 10 - Three kilometres away from the heart of Sivasagar town, the historic �amphitheatre� Rang Ghar caught attention of foreign and domestic tourists this season in a bigger way after the masons had given finishing touches to several ornamental designs and plastering works at the walls of the monument recently.
Officials of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), who have been monitoring the ongoing renovation works since September this year, said that they were yet to start plastering works on the floors and roof of the double-storey royal pavilion though the first phase of renovation works had been completed in the ornamental designs and walls both in and outside of the monument.
�We will start the repairing works on the damaged portion of the roof and the floors soon. No doubt, the renovated designs have caught the serious attention of domestic and foreign tourists more this season,� said an ASI official.
In order to keep the ancient architecture alive for the visitors and to give a longer life to the architecture of Ahom period the designs and their walls were renewed with the lime-surkhi mortar, latex-polymer and few other scientifically selected materials which are prescribed to be used only for keeping the ancient monuments alive without causing problems to the sustainability of the original construction.
The official said that expenditures for renovation works were provided by the ONGC under the National Cultural Fund (NCF).
Data collected from the ASI officials revealed that more than 218 foreign tourists visited the monument in the month of November this year. �We could collect more than Rs 21,800 only from the foreign visitors of England, France and many other European countries in November this year. Their number is rising this time here in comparison to the number of foreign tourists visiting this monument in November, 2014,� said Suresh Laskar, a ticketing-official in Ranghar.
Asked about the fee, Laskar and his two colleagues Umakanta Dowara and Munu Kurmi said that they collect Rs 100 from each of the foreign tourists and Rs 5 from every domestic tourist of the country. �During December, we are going to receive more tourists,� said Umakanta.
The �royal pavilion� Rang Ghar, which attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourists every year to Sivasagar district, was constructed during the reign of Pramatta Singha in 1746 at a little distance from his royal fortified palace Talatal Ghar which is also known as the �Rongpur Kareng� or Rongpur Palace in the royal history of the State.
To promote tourism in the historic capital of Ahom Era, Sivasagar district administration is organising a three-day mega festival named as Rongpur Unnayan Utsav at the premises of Talatal Ghar since December 18 this year.
Deputy Commissioner Birendra Mittal said that series of programmes were included in the agenda of the festival to showcase the royal heritage and culture of Sivasagar and many other parts of the State and Northeast as a whole during the mega festival.