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Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Ahom Chronicles

Upper-Assam, apart from being considered: literate, aristocrat, fierce, royal, brave, polite etc., The beauty of Upper -Assam lies in the magnificence of the (our) ancient Ahom remains & monuments, Please find some of the priceless monuments in pictures on my way to Dibrugarh and around Upper-Assam.
The Colosseum Rang Ghar, 3 kms away from the Sibsagar town, is a unique double-storied amphitheater resembles the Roman Colosseum from where the Ahom Kings watched Elephant races, Bull fights & other sports. Built by an Ahom King- Pramatta Singha (AD 1774-1750).

The huge Talatal Ghar is close to Rang Ghar & is the largest of all the monuments built by the Ahom Kings on the bank of the 'River Dikhow'. There's a belief that there used to be a secret underground tunnel from 'Kareng Ghar' to 'Talatal Ghar'

The majestic Kareng Ghar, 15 kms away from Sibsagar town, is the remains of the royal palace of the Ahom Kings. This monument is four-storied. There's a belief that there used to be a secret underground tunnel from 'Kareng Ghar' to 'Talatal Ghar' in Rangpur which is many kms away across the 'Dikhow river'.

The beautiful Charaideo, located around 30 kms away from Sibsagar town off the Sibsagar-Simaluguri road, was the first capital of the Ahoms founded by Sukhapa. It contains sacred burial grounds of Ahom kings and queens and is also the place of ancestral Gods of the Ahoms. The tombs (Maidams) of Ahom kings and queens at Charaideo hillocks are comparable to the Pyramids of Egypt and are objects of wonder revealing the excellent architecture and skill of the sculptors and masons of Assam of the medieval days.

On the way to Sibsagar..... A very famous carving of the Ahom Chief, Borphukan (commander-in-chief) leading his troops at a war against the Bongals (foreigners)

The inscription on the headstone underneath the depiction of the Borphukan-troops-war-lead statue

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The Ahom Kingdom & their "Tai" language (A brief review)

The Ahom in originality is an offshoot of the Tai-Yai or the Shan tribe from Thailand who came to settle in the upper Bramhaputra valley of Assam in 1228 and ruled the whole B.V of Assam till 1826.

In the early 13th century, Sukaphaa, a Shan tribe prince began his journey with about 9,000 men and women, they crossed the Patkai Hills & reached the Bramhaputra valley where they started their establishment “The Ahom Kingdom” from 1228 -1826 & ruled for almost 600 years, successfully, resisting Mughal extensions in NE India, but fell under the defeat of the Burmese Invaders around 1826-27 and a few years later around 1838, the British annexed ‘the Ahom kingdom’ from the Burmese invaders holding their rule until 1947. ( Burma , herself was invaded by burmeses invaders such as Kublai Khan and the Chinese)

Tai-Yai or shan people, they started their migration from Thailand to Kamrup (now known as Assam or Axom). They moved through the river valleys of myanmar , crossed patkai hills, entering the upper bramhaputra valley. On the way, they met stiff resistances from various tribes such as; the Naga, Pyu, Singhpo etc. but made through their way. In the Bramhaputra valley they came into contact with tribes like Moran, Kachari, Deori, chutia etc
(* The Kacharis’ had already established their kingdom in Dimapur by 11th century)

The ‘shan’ people spoke ‘tai’ language but the “Tai” people with the first generation of small population gone and exposure to various tribes & Hindu Aryan culture with many other blended communal societies, like the Muslims, Tibetans, Burmese etc) were not able to persevere and preserve their ‘tai’ language and religion. Over time, the Ahom state (Kingdom) adopted Assamese language, best to say the Ahoms adapted themselves with the social and political suits of Assam, kings and other high officials were converted to Hindu dharma. As a result of all this the ‘tai’ language is now extinct which is really very sad to learn being from an atom ancestry. However, some traditional & cultural practices such as matrimony, religious observance, food-fads etc., are still observed and followed with highest zeal and fervor. Linguistically ‘tai’ language has gotten extinct but the tradition and culture is still kept alive. Assam was named after “Ahom” prior to this, it was called Kamrup.

(N.B: In the recent years the Tai-Ahom people are trying to retain and revitalize their old Tai language)

3 comments:

  1. Bongals (Foreigners) here means the mughals__

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are absolutely right, Ashim :))

    ReplyDelete
  3. now these bangladeshis doing the same we need one more strong ahom leader like borphukan

    ReplyDelete