Ahom Dynasty: History, Kings, Administration of the Ahom Kingdom

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : September 26th, 2022

The Ahom Dynasty, a late medieval kingdom, was founded in 1228 in Assam's Brahmaputra Valley. It was known for its multi-ethnic mix and for successfully holding its autonomy for 600 years, fighting the Mughal Empire at one point to maintain its freedom. The First King of the Ahom Kingdom was Chaolung Sukaphaa, who crossed the Patkai mountainous region to reach the Brahmaputra valley and lay the foundations of the Ahom Dynasty.

The Ahom Kingdom was in the news due to a controversy in Assam regarding Chaolung Sukapha, who was tagged as a Chinese invader. The Ahom Dynasty is part of the Medieval History in the UPSC Syllabus and an extremely important topic for the UPSC Exam. The article on the Ahom Dynasty thoroughly covers all its major aspects, such as the history, list of kings, economy and administration, etc.

Table of Content

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:

Ahom King

Reign (in AD)

Sukaphaa

1228–1268

Suteuphaa

1268–1281

Subinphaa

1281–1293

Sukhaangphaa

1293–1332

Sukhrangpha

1332–1364

Interregnum

1364–1369

Sutuphaa

1369–1376

Interregnum

1376–1380

Tyao Khamti

1380–1389

Interregnum

1389–1397

Sudangphaa

1397–1407

Sujangphaa

1407–1422

Suphakphaa

1422–1439

Susenphaa

1439–1488

Suhenphaa

1488–1493

Supimphaa

1493–1497

Suhungmung

1497–1539

Suklenmung

1539–1552

Sukhaamphaa

1552–1603

Susenghphaa

1603–1641

Suramphaa

1641–1644

Sutingphaa

1644–1648

Sutamla

1648–1663

Supangmung

1663–1670

Sunyatphaa

1670–1672

Suklamphaa

1672–1674

Suhung

1674–1675

Gobar Roja

1675–1675

Sujinphaa

1675–1677

Sudoiphaa

1677–1679

Sulikphaa

1679–1681

Supatphaa

1681–1696

Sukhrungphaa

1696–1714

Sutanphaa

1714–1744

Sunenphaa

1744–1751

Suremphaa

1751–1769

Sunyeophaa

1769–1780

Suhitpangphaa

1780–1795

Suklingphaa

1795–1811

Sudingphaa

1811–1818

Purandar Singha

1818–1819

Chandrakanta Singha

1819–1821

Jogeswar Singha

1821–1822

Purandar Singha

1833–1838

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.

Download Ahom Dynasty PDF

Ahom Kingdom UPSC Questions

Question: Who was the first king of the Ahom Kingdom?

  1. Purandar Singha
  2. Suhungmung
  3. Chaolung Sukapha
  4. Suteupha

Answer: Option C

Question: Who among the following Ahom king was known as ‘Bamuni Konwar’?

  1. Sudangpha
  2. Sudinpha
  3. Sutupha
  4. Suhungmung

Answer: Option A

Important Notes for UPSC
Aravalli RangeArbitration Council of India
Aditya L1 MissionAdjournment Motion
Consumer Price IndexDams in India
Difference Between NSE and BSEDifference between Western Coastal Plains and Eastern Coastal Plains

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Ahom Dynasty FAQs

  • Chaolung Sukaphaa, a monarch from the 13th century, is credited with founding the Ahom Kingdom.

  • Jorhat was the final capital of the Ahom Kingdom.

  • The Ahom Dynasty eventually fell under the power of the British Empire after the Treaty of Yandabo in 1826.

  • The Ahom Empire was founded in 1228 when Sukaphaa, the first Ahom king, arrived from Mong Mao and crossed the Patkai River into the Brahmaputra Valley.

  • The 2nd Ahom King was Suteuphaa, who ruled the Ahom Empire from 1268–1281.

  • The topic of the Ahom Dynasty is important from the UPSC Exam perspective. The Ahom Kingdom was later a medieval kingdom in northeast India, basically the Assam region. To download Ahom Kingdom UPSC Notes, click here.

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