Charaideo (Tai: Che Tam-Doi Meaning: Che=town, Tam=Foot-Hill, Doi=Hill/Mountain) was the first capital of the Ahom kingdom established by the first Ahom king Chao Lung Siu-Ka-Pha in 1228. It is about 30 km from Sibsagar town off the Sibsagar-Simaluguri road.
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. The 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.
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.
- (Phukan 1992, p. 53)
- Dutta, Pullock and Das, Ripunjoy (2003-03-01). "Bounty hunters beat ASI to tombs". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- Das, Ripunjoy (2006-01-19). "Saving Ahom kingdom - Local youths push for Unesco tag to protect Charaideo". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- "Slide Show of site". Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- Phukan, J. N. (1992). "The Tai-Ahom Power in Assam". In Barpujari, H. K.. The Comprehensive History of Assam. 2. Guwahati: Assam Publication Board. pp. 49–60