Background of Ahom Dynasty
The people of the Ahom Dynasty belong to the Tai Mao section of the Tai race and were led by Prince Chao-lung-Sui-ka-pha. However, he left Mauling in 1215 AD. In 1228, Ahom crossed the Patkai region and set up their first territorial unit at Khamjang valley(Nagaland). Finally, Sui-ka-pha established his capital at Charaideo in 1253 AD.
Important Facts of Ahom Kingdom:
- Rivers Brahmaputra & Dikhow were the main sources of water & Ahom Dynasty was bounded by Patkai Hills & Naga Hills, Sui-ka-pha appointed two officers Bargohain and Burha Gohain.
- After the rule of 40 years, Sui-ka Pha died in 1268 AD.
- Another king Sudangpha sat on the throne, he was known as Bamunikonwor because of his birth in the Brahmin family.
- The first official entry of Hinduism to the Ahom court was through Vishnu pooja.
- But Ahom’s deity was Chom cheng.
- Singri Ghar Utha was the Coronation Ceremony.
- Suhungmung (1497 AD):
- Suhungmung was known as Swarganarayan and also known as “Dihingia Roja” as he shifted his capital to Bakata, on the bank of the river Dihing.
- Suhungmung occupied the Chutiya kingdom and placed a frontier officer Xadiya Khowa Gohain.
- He adopted the ‘Saka’ era.
- Further, Chutiya territory was placed under “Phra-Sen-Mong” who was designated as ‘Sadiyakhowa’ Gohain’.
- In 1527 AD, Barujir and Bit Manik attacked the Ahom Kingdom (1″ Muslim invasion of Ahom Kingdom)
- In 1536, Kacharis revolted against Ahom. Their king Detchung was caught and beheaded.
- The administration was placed under a new officer called “Marangikhuwa Gohain“.
- A new Minister’s post was introduced – “Barpatra Gohain” in 1504.
- Suklengmung was the first Ahom king to strike a coin.
- Because he shifted his capital to Goregaon, he was called “Gorhgayan Raja”.
- In addition, the deity of Chom-Cheng (Chomdao) is placed in a separate temple.
- Sukhampha was also called “Khura Raja“.
- Ahoms sustained a defeat in the hands of Koches in the Battle of Dikhou and Handia in 1562.
- Pratap Sigha-Susengpha(1603-1641 AD):
- Pratap Sigha was called Buddhi Swarganarayan and Burha-raja.
- During his reign Battle of Hajo took place in 1618 AD.
- To celebrate his victory over Kachari, Jasa Narayan assumed the title Pratap Narayan and renamed his capital city Maibong Kirtipur.
- Mughal Invasion was started during the time of Pratap Singha.
- Ahom did not take any action against Kachari and came to a friendly conclusion with Kachoris.
Mughal & Ahom Dynasty Conflict(1615-1682)
The Mughals had captured all of India but were not able to capture Assam. The Ahom Kingdom was never defeated by the Mughals. Further, they defeated the Mughals 17 times.
Reasons for Conflict:
- The primary reason behind the Mughal attack on Ahom was the aggressive imperialism of the Mughals.
- Moreover, the Mughals also wanted political supremacy in Assam but Ahom never accepted this condition.
First Attack by Mughals:
- The Battle of Samdhara in 1619 was the first organized Mughal attack on the Ahom Dynasty.
- Ratan Singh was an unauthorized Mughal trader and he was expelled from Assam, which gave the Mughals an excuse.
- The Mughal army under Abu Bakar and the King of Bhusna attacked Assam and Ahom got defeated in this surprise attack.
- One month later, in a surprise attack on Ahom, the Mughal Army suffered heavy losses in the Battle of Samdhara and was compelled to retreat.
Second major Attack on Ahoms:
- After 20 years of silence from the first defeat, once again, the Mughal army attacked Kamrup(Assam) in 1636.
- In this, the Ahoms were initially defeated and the Ahom Kingdom was merged with the Mughal Empire but by 1638 the tide was turned again.
- Ahom again defeated the Mughals in a battle. Both suffered heavy financial and human losses and agreed to a peace treaty.
- Treaty of Asurar(1639):
- The Treaty of Asurar Ali (1639), happened between Mughal commander Allah Yar Khan and Ahom general Momai Tamuli.
- Under the Treaty of Asurar, the Mughals accepted the independence of the Ahom Kingdom.
- The trade between the two happened without any hindrance, but both did not strictly follow this treaty.
Third Major Attack on Ahom Dynasty:
- In 1648, the Mughal commander of Guwahati sent a congratulatory message to newly appointed king Jay Dhwaj.
- But Ahom King Jay Dhwaj attacked the Mughals by taking advantage of the poor health of the Mughal king and the war of succession in the Mughals.
- The Ahoms ousted the Mughals from Guwahati and ruined the area of Dhaka. Further, many Mughal soldiers were captured and taken to Assam.
- After winning the war of succession, Aurangzeb asked Mir Jumla to attack and re-established the Lost Prestige of the Mughals in Eastern India.
- Mir Jumla attacked Assam at the beginning of 1662 and very easily occupied Guwahati and Manas.
- Moreover, Mir Jumla easily achieved success in this war because of the dissatisfaction in the Assam Army.
- By the time, Mughal Army reached Kaliabor, the Assam Army realized its weakness and put forth a deadly resistance to Mir Jumla.
- Further, after the victory in Simlugarh and Samdhara, Mir Jumla attacked Garhganv, the capital of Ahom.
- But, Due to heavy rains and floods, the communication between the Mughal Army base and Mir Jumla was totally disrupted.
- Taking advantage of this, Ahoms attacked the Mughals and recaptured eastern Assam.
- After the rainy season, the Mughal army attacked Ahom and the King was forced to sign the Treaty of Gilharighat in 1663 during this time Jai Dhwaj died. Under this treaty, Ahom was supposed to pay compensation.
What happened after the Death of Jay Dhwaj?
Jay Dhwaj’s successor, “Chakra Dhwaj” refused to pay the compensation decided under the Treaty. In 1665, the Mughal governor wrote a letter to pay compensation, then Chakra Dhwaj ordered the Ahom army to attack the Mughals in Guwahati. The Mughal army could not handle this sudden attack and once again Assam came under the Ahoms.
Annoyed by this defeat, Aurangzeb launched a massive attack on the Ahoms under the leadership of Ram Singh. Which is also known as the Battle of Saraighat.
Also Read: Deccan Policy of Aurangzeb
Battle of Saraighat- 1671
- The Battle of Saraighat was led by Ram Singh of Amber. The Mughal army was so large that we can judge from the fact that it consisted of 4000 Mansabdaris of Raja Ram Singh, 18000 horse riders, 3000-foot soldiers, 2000 archer soldiers, 21000 Rajput cavalries, 40 warships and many more. The number of Mughals’ army in this war was 75000-80000.
- Instead of full-scale war, the chief commander of Ahom Lachit Borphukan had made a strategy of guerrilla warfare. Further, he decided to defend the area of Guwahati.
- The Mughal navy faced attack from Itakhuli hills, Kamakhya hills, and Ashvkrant hills. The Mughal army did not fight for long.
- The top three admirals of the Mughal Navy along with 4000 Navy were killed and the rest were compelled to flee into the Manas river. Thus, it was a resounding victory for the Ahoms. But even after this, the Mughals did not calm down
What Happened after the Battle of Saraighat?
Laluksola Barphukan became the commander of Guwahati in 1679, during the rule of Ahom king Sudoiphaa. Further, Bengal’s Mughal Governor, Mohammed Azam Shah has offered a 4 lakh rupee bride along with the Assam throne to Laluk Borphukan for Saraighat.
Laluksola in greed invited Azam Shah to capture Saraighat. In this way once again the Guwahati had easily come into the possession of the Mughals.
But after this, there was a final battle between the Mughals and the Ahoms, after losing, the Mughals never dared to look towards Assam. Let’s talk about the Battle of Itakhuli.
Battle of Itakhuli- 1682
- In 1681, Gadadhar Singh became the ruler of the Ahom Dynasty. He had started preparing to expel the Mughals from Guwahati in March 1682. Under the leadership of Dihingiya Alun, a plan was made to attack Guwahati from 3 sides.
- This time, the Mughals did not show tough resistance, because of the Maratha war, the illness of Mansur Khan, and disputes with the East India Company in Bengal. On 15 August 1682, the war ended with the surrender of the Mughal general Jayant Singh.
- Afterward, the Mughals never looked toward the Ahom Kingdom. Further, Ahom Kingdom Lasted till 1826 and finally the British defeated it and merged with the British Empire.
Also Read: Battle of Haldighati
Even today the Battle of Saraighat is proudly remembered throughout the North East. Moreover, this battle is described in the folk songs of Assam. Further, In Assam every year on November 24, Lachit Divas is celebrated to remember the bravery of Lachit Borphukan. Since 1999, every year “National Defence Academy” gives the Lachit Borphukan gold medal to the best passing out Cadet.
So, this is all about the Ahom Dynasty and their conflict with the Mughals. If you like this article, please share it with your friends.