‘Ing Sad’: An iconic symbol of beauty and culture

‘Ing Sad’: An iconic symbol of beauty and culture

SHILLONG: 'Ka Ing Sad', the name itself speaks of royalty, tradition and an age-old model of housing structure. Everyone knows that the 'Ing Sad' is a place of stay of the King in the olden days and the interesting thing about this thatched palace is that not even a single iron is linked to the construction of this house.

The history of the 'Ing Sad' is known to everybody but what people don't know is that when we say 'Ing Sad', it doesn't always mean the one belonging to the Syiem of Hima Khyrim which is located in Nongkrem.

The Hima Khyrim has indeed made a mark for itself for centuries now and the beauty of the culture and tradition found in this Hima is remarkable. The Ing Sad at Smit owe its popularity to the annual festival—'Ka Shad Nongkrem', a traditional dance held at the courtyard of the Ing Sad.

But what is more interesting to note is that the Ing Sad at Smit is not one of a kind as there are also other Ing Sad located in the State, though they are not as magnificent and well-maintained as the one at Smit.

It is believed that in the olden days, every Kingdom and Raid in the State has their own Ing Sad but sadly till date, only a few are left. It was also learnt that similar structures of the Ing Sad was also constructed by different clans.

Other than the Ing Sad at Smit, there is also another one which is located not very far from Smit. This particular 'Ing Sad' is located at Nongkrem village, which also falls under Hima Khyrim. It belongs to the Lyngdoh Clan.

Unfortunately, this structure, which was built a century ago prior to the major earthquake which shook the then undivided Assam in 1897, is in shambles and is slowly losing its beauty due to lack of maintenance. The straws which usually covers the roof of the house are falling off and the strong wooden pillars have become weak and it seems like it won't be long before this house comes crashing down.

Another thatched palace is located in Marngar, Ri Bhoi district and it belongs to the Syiem of Raid Marngar. Till date, rituals and other customary practice of the people of the Raid are still being conducted inside the Ing Sad. The present Syiem of Raid Marngar, Richard Syiem stated that this Ing Sad has been in the family for centuries and that the present royal family intends to maintain the age-old structure stating that the same signifies not just beauty but also cultures of the people.

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