established the Ahom kingdom
(1228-1826) in parts of present-day Assam
and ruled it for nearly 600 years. Historical documents do not call the kingdom "Ahom". They call it "Asam" (or Assam), and the subjects of this kingdom "Assamese" or "Axomiya". After the advent of the British, the meanings of these categories changed. "Ahom" as a term appears in the Buranjis
to denote the collection of civil and military officers under the Ahom king, all of which were non-hereditary offices.
History of Ahom kingdom
See: Ahom kingdom
In early 13th century, Sukaphaa
, a Shan
) prince began his journey with about 9000 followers, mostly men. He crossed the Patkai
hills, fought and defeated the Nagas
and reached the Brahmaputra
valley in 1228. He moved from place to place, searching for a seat. He decided not to attack the Moran
s and Borahi
s but befriend them instead. His followers, much depleted from the original 9000, married into the Borahi
and the Moran
ethnic groups. The Borahis, a Tibeto-Burman
ethnic group, were subsumed into the Ahom fold, though the Moran maintained their independent ethnicity. Sukaphaa finally established his capital at Charaideo
near present-day Sibsagar
in 1253 and began the task of state formation.
The Ahom kingdom then consolidated its powers for the next 300 years or so. The first major expansion was at the cost of the Chutiya kingdom
, which was annexed in 1522 under Suhungmung
. The expansion was not just a success of Ahom military prowess, but also a result of changes in the Ahom social and political outlook. For example, Suhungmung was the first Ahom king to adopt a Hindu name: Swarga Narayan. The Chutiya region was placed under the Sadiyakhowa Gohain
a new position that was created. In 1536 the Kacharis
were uprooted from their capital at Dimapur
. Thus by the middle of the 16th century, the Ahoms were in control over eastern Assam. In 17th century, after the Battle of Itakhuli
in 1682 that marked the end of the Ahom-Mughal conflicts
, much of the control of Koch Hajo
fell into the hands of the Ahoms.
End of Ahom rule
Their power declined in later half of the 18th century. The capital city was taken for a short period during the Moamoria rebellion
. In the first part of the 19th century, the Burmese
army invaded their kingdom who set up a puppet Ahom king. The Burmese were defeated by the British
in the First Anglo-Burmese War
resulting in the Treaty of Yandaboo
in 1826, which paved the way for the British to convert the Ahom kingdom into a principality and which marked the end of the Ahom rule.
The Ahom people
The Tai Ahoms who came into Assam
followed their traditional religion and spoke the Tai
language. They were a very small group numerically and after the first generation, the group was a mixture of the Tai and the local population. Over time the Ahom state adopted the Assamese language
and kings and other high officials converted to Hinduism
. Except for some special offices (the king and the raj mantris
), other positions are open to members of all tribes and religion. They kept good records, and are known for their chronicles, called Buranji
One of its greatest achievements was the stemming of Mughal expansionism. In the celebrated battle of Saraighat, the Ahom general Lachit Borphukan defeated the Mughal forces on the outskirts of present day Guwahati in 1671.
- "Fragment Histories:Struggling to be Tai-Ahom". Duke University Press.2004
- Gogoi, N. K. (2006). Continuity and change among the Ahom. New Delhi: Concept Pub. Co. ISBN 8180692817
- Phukon, G. (1998). State of Tai culture among the Ahoms. [Assam, India?]: G. Phukon.