Ahom Dynasty History
Chaolung Sukaphaa, the first Ahom monarch, crossed the Patkai mountainous region to reach the Brahmaputra valley. His 3 queens, two sons, and a retinue of nobles, bureaucrats, and warriors accompanied him. On December 2, 1228, Sukaphaa arrived in modern-day Namrup and resided in the area along the Burhidihing River's south bank. This was when the foundations of the Ahom Dynasty were laid.
Chaolung Sukaphaa established his capital at the Charaideo and made friends with the indigenous Barahi and Marans tribes. The title Chaolung is attached to him because of his role in Assamese history. Sukaphaa died in 1268, having set the foundations for a powerful sovereign empire.
Ahom Dynasty Expansion
Sukaphaa and his followers acquired the wet rice farming technology and shared it with the region's residents. This technology increased the region's agricultural output. The Ahom style of life and government gradually absorbed other people in the region, such as the Barahi, resulting in a large increase in the population. The absorption process lasted until the 16th century, when the Ahom Empire grew large enough to welcome other ethnic groups.
In 1615, the Ahom Dynasty engaged in its first significant conflict with an imperial force, the Mughal Empire. The Mughals conquered the Ahom capital of Garhgaon in 1662 but were defeated in later battles. Finally, during the battle of Saraighat in 1671, the Ahoms led by Lachit Borphukan successfully repelled a strong Mughal assault, extending their borders westward to the Manas River. By 1682, the Mughal influence in the region would be completely eradicated.
First King of Ahom Dynasty: Chaolung Sukaphaa
Chaolung Sukaphaa was the first king of the mighty Ahom Kingdom, who founded the Ahom kingdom. Sukaphaa is widely referred to as the architect of “Bor Asom” or “Greater Assam”. According to the evidence provided in the book ‘A History of Assam’, by Sir Edward Gait, it is widely recognized that Chaolung Sukaphaa left a place called Maulungin AD 1215 with eight nobles and army men. In 1215 AD, Sukaphaa, with his men, settled in Charaideo in upper Assam. Charaideo was the first small principality that sowed the seeds of the further expansion of the Ahom Empire.
Ahom Kings List
The Ahom Dynasty ruled for nearly 600 years and were well known for showing great resistance to the mighty Mughals for their expansion into the northeast. During the nearly 600 years reign of the Ahom Dynasty, more than forty rulers ruled. Below is the list of the mighty rulers that ruled the Ahom Kingdom:
Reign (in AD)
Ahom Kingdom: Economy
The Paik system was crucial to the Ahom Dynasty's economy. In this arrangement, able-bodied adult males, known as paiks were required to serve the state and constitute the state's militia in exchange for land.
Suklenmung was the first to introduce coinage in the 16th century, while the Paik system was still in place. During Ahom's advance into the Mughal territory, the income systems it encountered were altered to fit its needs.
Ahom Dynasty: Administration Structure
The administrative structure of the Ahom Empire was as follows:
- Swargadeo- The empire was controlled by the Swargadeo, who had to be descended from the same family as the first king Sukaphaa. In most cases, succession was by primogeniture, but if the situation required it, another descendent of Sukaphaa might be chosen to the throne of the great Gohains.
- Royal Offices- Under Pratapa Singha's reign, two new royal offices, the Borbaru and Borphukan, were created. The Borabaru was the military and judicial leader of the Swargadeo, whereas the Borphukan was a military officer who served as a form of Viceroy to the Swargadeo's western lands. Lachit Borphukan was the most renowned of the latter.
- Patra Mantris- The Council of Ministers, also known as Patra Mantris, comprised five important roles. They gave the king advice on crucial state matters.
Decline of the Ahom Dynasty
The Tungkhungia kings, the final Ahom Dynasty rulers, would come to power near the end of the 17th century. Their reign was marked by advances in the arts and architecture and internal struggles that shook their foundations.
The Moamoria revolt, cast aside by British soldiers, characterized the latter portion of their reign. However, it did not succeed in ending the conflict. Internal turmoil, emigration, and attack by Burmese tribes all contributed to the kingdom's demise. The Ahom Dynasty eventually fell under the power of the British Empire after the Treaty of Yandabo in 1826.
Ahom Kingdom UPSC
Ahom Dynasty is one of the important topics of the UPSC Exam. The Ahom Kingdom was one of the mightiest late medieval kingdoms. The topic is extremely important from the UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains point of view.
To cover the topic well, one can refer to the Medieval History Notes for UPSC after completing the UPSC Books and NCERT Books for UPSC. One should also practice the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers to better understand the UPSC Exam Pattern.
Ahom Kingdom UPSC Questions
Question: Who was the first king of the Ahom Kingdom?
- Purandar Singha
- Chaolung Sukapha
Answer: Option C
Question: Who among the following Ahom king was known as ‘Bamuni Konwar’?
Answer: Option A
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