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Srutimala Duara’s story, ‘A Visit to Kaziranga and Sivasagar,’ teaches readers about Assam’s rich history, culture, and natural heritage. The Kaziranga National Park and the historical town of Sivasagar are both visited through the eyes of two young children, Lohit and Trisha. Lohit and Trisha are on vacation, and their parents, as they do every year, are taking them to a new location. On their way to Sivasagar, they are very excited to visit Kaziranga National Park. Their father tells them a little about Sivasagar’s history.
In the afternoon, they arrive in Kaziranga and enjoy the area’s greenery. The children are excited to go on an elephant safari and see the animals. Their mother informs them that the park is home to a diverse range of animals in addition to the famous one-horned rhinoceros. She also tells them about the park’s history and how it got its name, from its beginnings as the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest in 1905 by the efforts of Lady Mary Curzon to its designation as Kaziranga National Park in 1974.
Their father tells them that the park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. As a result of their newfound knowledge, the children’s curiosity was further kindled. They go on an elephant ride the next morning to see rhinos and learn about their habits as herbivores and strong swimmers. They also see spotted deer, other animals, and a diverse range of flora.
Despite not seeing any tigers, they are informed that Kaziranga National Park has the highest tiger density of any protected area in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. They leave for Sivasagar in the afternoon of the same day. They cross the Silor Saaku, a 60-meter-long single-stone bridge. When Lohit inquires about the name Sivasagar despite the fact that there is no ‘sagar’ or sea there, Trisha informs him that the Ahom kings referred to the ponds dug by them as sagars. During their stay in Sivasagar, they see Sivasagar Tank, Shiva Doland other temples near Sivasagar, Tai Museum, Joysagar Tank, the five temples around Joysagar, Ranghar, Talatal Ghar, Rudrasagar Tank, the various shrines around Rudrasagar, Garhgaon Palace and finally the Maidams.
They learn about the history of these locations as well as the kings who built them. The children, filled with pride in their heritage, are already looking forward to their next vacation.
Textual questions and answers
Answer these questions in one or two short sentences :
1. Why did the children wake up early in the morning?
Answer: Lohit and Trisha were up early the next morning because they were excited and looking forward to their trip to Kaziranga and Sivasagar. They were going on vacation with their parents.
2. Why is Assam unique?
Answer: Assam is unique in that it has tea gardens, ancient temples, national parks, historical monuments, and a variety of other enchantments all in one state.
3. What is a national park?
Answer: A national park is a park that is used to conserve flora and fauna of a particular area.
4. When was Kaziranga designated as a National Park?
Answer: In 1974, Kaziranga was designated as a National Park.
5. What is the full form of UNESCO?
Answer: The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization is known as UNESCO.
6. Why was Kaziranga Game Sanctuary renamed the Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary?
Answer: The word ‘game’ also refers to animals that are hunted for food, which was inappropriate because the sanctuary’s goal was to conserve animals rather than hunt them. As a result, it was renamed Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary in 1950 by forest conservationist P. D. Stracey.
7. What do the rhinoceros eat?
Answer: The rhinoceros is a herbivorous animal that feeds primarily on grasses. They also consume leaves, fruits, water plants, and shrub branches.
8. “On their way to Sivasagar, they crossed a stone bridge.” What is the name of this bridge?
Answer: The name of the stone bridge was Silor Saaku, the Namdang Stone Bridge.
9. Name the three temples built on the bank of the Sivasagar Tank.
Answer: Shiva Dol, Vishnu Dol and Devi Dol are the three temples built on the bank of the Sivasagar Tank.
10. Who built the Ranghar?
Answer: King Pramatta Singha built the Ranghar.
Answer these questions in a short paragraph :
1. Write briefly the history of Kaziranga as a protected area.
Answer: In 1904, Mary Curzon, the wife of Lord Curzon, the then-Viceroy of India, visited Kaziranga, knowing that the area was known for rhinos. She did not, however, see a single rhino. This prompted her to petition Lord Curzon to take action to protect the rhinos in the area. The Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was established in 1905. In 1916, as its boundaries grew, it was renamed the Kaziranga Game Sanctuary. Visitors were now permitted to enter the park, though hunting was prohibited. P.D.Stracey, a forest conservationist, renamed the park Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary in 1950 to emphasise the park’s purpose as a site for wildlife conservation. Finally, it was designated as a National Park in 1974.
2. Write a short note on Talatal Ghar.
Answer: The ruins of Talatal Ghar can be found in Sivasagar. It was, however, once a magnificent structure. There were four storeys above ground and three below. There were two secret tunnels as well. The first was a massive 16-kilometre tunnel leading to the Gargaon Palace, and the second was a 3-kilometre tunnel leading to the Dikhow River. The tunnels, however, are now closed.
3. Write a note on Charaideo Maidam.
Answer: The Charaideo Maidams can be found 22 kilometres from Sivasagar in Charaideo. Siu Ka-Pha, the founder of the Ahom dynasty, established Charaideo as his first capital. Many royal graveyards still exist. Maidams were burial grounds for the Ahom dynasty’s kings as well as the nobility of the time. These Maidams even have tomb vaults similar to Egypt’s pyramids.
Additional/extra questions and answers/solutions
1. What do you understand about Kaziranga being a World Heritage Site?
Answer: Kaziranga is a World Heritage Site, which means it has been designated by UNESCO as a site that should be preserved for the interest of the international community.
12. Identify the temples that surround the Joysagar tank.
Answer: Around the Joysagar tank, there are five temples. Vishnu temple, Devi temple, Shiva temple, Ghanashyam temple, and Joy Dol are among them.
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