The Ahom kingdom was a Shan–Burmese–Assamese kingdom that ruled the Brahmaputra Valley and modern–day Assam, India, from 1228 to 1826. The kingdom was established by the Shan prince Sukaphaa, a descendant of the first Shan ruler of Assam, Nyuwa Namti. It was the last major kingdom in mainland Southeast Asia before the arrival of the British.
The Ahom kingdom was known for its strong military and was able to maintain its independence for nearly 600 years, despite the efforts of rival powers such as the Mughals and the Burmese. During its peak in the 16th century, the kingdom had control over most of the Brahmaputra Valley and held sway over several neighboring states, including Cachar, Jaintia, Khasi, and Manipur.
The kingdom was eventually annexed by the British in 1826 and became part of British India. The legacy of the Ahom kingdom is still visible in modern–day Assam, with many of its monuments, including the Rajdhani Fort and the Talatal Ghar, still standing. The Ahom people, who are descended from the kingdom’s rulers, still form an important part of the state’s population.
Important Kings of Ahom Kingdom
The most important kings of the Ahom kingdom were Sukaphaa, who founded the kingdom in 1228, and Swargadeo Rudra Singha, who reigned from 1696–1714 and is credited with establishing the kingdom‘s golden age. Other notable rulers include Pratap Singha (1744–1751), Gaurinath Singha (1751–1769), and Rajeswar Singha (1769–1780).
Who was Lachit Barphukan?
Lachit Barphukan was a 17th–century Ahom general who is remembered as the greatest military leader in Assamese history. He is best known for leading the Ahom army to victory against the Mughal empire at the Battle of Saraighat in 1671. He is also remembered for his strict discipline and patriotism. He was born in 1622 and died in 1672.
Battle of Saraighat
The Battle of Saraighat was a battle fought between the Mughal Empire and the Ahom kingdom in 1671. The Ahom army, led by the legendary general Lachit Barphukan, was able to defeat the Mughal forces and secure the independence of the Ahom kingdom. The battle is regarded as an important event in Assamese history and is commemorated annually on the day of the battle.
Economy of Ahom Kingdom
The kingdom was a major trading hub and was known for its advanced technology, including the use of gunpowder weapons and canals for irrigation. Its economic system was based on a feudal model that was heavily reliant on taxation and corvée labor.
Important cities of Ahom Kingdom
The important cities of the Ahom kingdom included their capital, Garhgaon, as well as Charaideo, Chariduar, Jorhat, Sibsagar, and Tezpur. These cities were important settlements and centers of trade, government activity, and culture in the Ahom kingdom.
- Garhgaon was the first capital of the Ahom kingdom, established in 1228 by Sukaphaa. The city was located in the modern–day Sivasagar district and was an important center of trade and administration.
- Charaideo was the second capital of the Ahom kingdom and was established in 1540 by Suhungmung. The city was located in the modern–day Sivasagar district and was an important religious center.
- Jorhat was one of the most important cities in the Ahom kingdom and was located in the modern–day Jorhat district. The city was an important center of trade, education, and culture.
- Sibsagar was the third capital of the Ahom kingdom and was established in 1705 by Rudra Singha. The city was located in the modern–day Sibsagar district and was an important center of government and culture.
- Tezpur was an important city in the Ahom kingdom and was located in the modern–day Sonitpur district. The city was an important center of trade and commerce.
Climax of Ahom Kingdom
The Ahom kingdom reached its peak during the reign of Swargadeo Rudra Singha (1696–1714). During his reign, the kingdom experienced peace, prosperity, and political stability. He was an able administrator and expanded the kingdom to its greatest extent, conquering several neighbouring states. He also reformed the administrative and taxation systems, and established several schools and hospitals. The kingdom reached its zenith of power and prestige during his reign and was considered one of the most powerful kingdoms in mainland Southeast Asia.
Why did Ahom Kingdom fall?
The Ahom kingdom fell in 1826 after a series of invasions and wars with neighboring powers. The kingdom was weakened by internal dissension and infighting between various factions, as well as by the increasing power of the British, who were determined to expand their influence in the region. The kingdom was finally annexed by the British in 1826 after a series of wars and invasions by the Mughal Empire and the Burmese.