Shabeena Yasmin SAIKIA
Being the most notable city located in the easternmost corner of India, Guwahati is considered as one among the ancient cities of India. The city is has been referred to as the capital city of the frontier state Pragjyotisha which later came to be known as Kamrupa in the early period. Formerly known as Pragjyotishpura, the capital city has a unique mysterious and extremely interesting realm to explore. The Umachal rock inscription which is dated back to 5th century AD is the earliest known rock inscription so far discovered in the region. Another important Copper plate inscription of Ratnapala belonging to 10 century AD was also discovered. Guwahati is known as land of temples. Most of these are constructed or reconstructed during the early medieval period with unique architectural beauty. The Kamakhya temple has an ancient mythology; as well as historical background too. Among the other medieval temples Nabagraha, Vashistha, Sukleswara or Sukreswar, Aswakranta, Ugratara, etc are important. The architectural patterns of these structures bear the testimony of early medieval period structures, which is a perfect blending of indigenous style and Muslim architectural style of Bengal.
In several locations of the city, there are several nos of active excavation sites awaiting their exploitations. In Ambari more than forty icons of pre ahom period sculptured on stone block were discovered. From Narakasura, near Kahilipara village, apart from others, one bronze image of Indra was discovered which is a piece of beautiful artistic work and dated as 6th to 10th century AD. Another notable archaeological evidence is the megalith of Karbis found in large numbers in and around Guwahati. These are the memorial stones erected in memory of a deceased. This practice has been associated with this tribe like few other south East Asian and pacific tribes since time immemorial and continuing till today.
This paper attempts to focus on the archaeological resources of the city and evaluate their values from both archaeological and ethno-archaeological point of view and their present status of preservation. Attempt will also be made to assess their tourism value.
Keywords: Copper, medieval ,architectural, .indigenous, icons, sculptured, archaeological