Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Rise and Fall of the Ahom Kingdom - in a nutshell.

The Ahoms are the descendants of the Tai people from the Mong Mao kingdom in the present day Yunnan province of China.

It all started when Siu - Ka - Phaa (Sukaphaa), an adventurous Mong Mao prince, along with his followers, decided to expand their territories. The prince and his followers crossed the treacherous Patkai hills and entered the brahmaputra valley in 1228. This marked the beginning of the Ahom rule, the architects of modern day Assam.
Moving from place to place, the marauding army of Prince Siu-Ka-Phaa, befriended the Morans and Borahis, ethnic groups of the brahmaputra valley, instead of attacking them. This paid dividends, as the depleted number of his followers married into these groups and helped in the expansion of his base. Though the Borahis, a Tibeto-Burman people subsumed into the Ahom fold, the Morans maintained their independent ethnicity. Siu-Ka-Phaa finally established his capital at Charaideo (present day Sonari) in 1253, and started the task of state formation.
  • The first casualty in the process of expansion of the Ahom kingdom was the Sutiyas. This kingdom was annexed in 1522. 
  • The next kingdom to fall to the Ahom expansion plan was that of the Dimasa Kacharis. They were uprooted from their capital of Dimapur (presently in the state Nagaland) in 1536. 
  • After the Battle of Itakhuli in 1682, which heralded the end of Ahom - Mughal conflicts, the Koch Hajo fell into the hands of the Ahoms.
By the end of the seventeenth century, the Ahoms were in control of the various tribal groups and regions along the brahmaputra valley. 

Thus by bringing all the various tribal groups and annexed regions under one ruler and one governing policy, the Ahoms ruled for 600 glorious years.
But all good things come to an end and this adage held true for the Ahom Kingdom as well! Rebellions and invasions marked the decline of their rule. The Burmese army invaded their kingdom and uprooted their capital towards the end of the nineteenth century and set up a puppet Ahom king. 
The Burmese were subsequently defeated by the British in the first Anglo-Burmese war and the Treaty of Yandaboo was signed in 1826.
This paved the way for the British to convert the Ahom kingdom into small principalities and thus bring an end to Ahom rule. The final nail in the coffin was when the British, annexed Assam and made it into a province and finally into a state, that the Ahom identity gradually became Assamese.

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