Agnigarh aka the Fortress of Fire is located is a hillock on the banks of the mighty River Brahmaputra at the city of Tezpur in the State of Assam. As per Hindu mythology, it is the site of the fortress which was built by ‘Banasura‘ to keep his daughter Usha in isolation. The name itself is derived from the words ‘Agni’ (meaning fire) and ‘Garh’ (meaning fortress or wall) in Sanskrit.
Legend has it that this fortress was surrounded by fire at all times so that nobody could go in or out of the perimeter without permission. Usha fell in love with Aniruddha in her dreams, not knowing who he was. Her companion Chitralekha identified him by painting his portrait from Usha’s description. Chitralekha was not only an artist but one vested with mystical powers. Anirudddha was Krishna’s grandson and Usha, the daughter of an Asura king, therefore was no way any side would consent to their love. She flew one night and brought Aniruddha to Usha’s place while he was still sleeping, using her powers. When Aniruddha opened his eyes and saw Usha, he fell in love immediately. However, Banasura was furious on knowing this, and tied him with snakes and imprisoned him. Lord Krishna, however had agreed for their marriage and had wanted for Banasura to consent for the same. Banasura was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, and as a boon had asked him and his entire family to guard the gates of his city, Tezpur. He therefore was not at all scared by Lord Krishna’s wrath. A war ensued between the Hari (Lord Krishna and his followers) and the Hars (Lord Shiva and his followers), rivers of blood flowed and the city was named Tezpur (City of Blood).
Both sides were nearly wiped out and a final battle followed between Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna, Lord Brahma requested both of them to stop the war by putting him between them. A discussion followed in which Lord Krishna made Lord Shiva see that Banasura was acting wrongly in imprisoning his grandson, and had even disrespected Lord Shiva himself in asking him and his family to be his gate keepers. Lord Shiva agreed, and Banasura was brought. Fearing his life he immediately agreed to the marriage.
The stone sculptures on the Agnigarh hill portray this entire picturesque story of love and great war.
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to visit the ‘Agnigarh’ ~ the ‘Fortress of Fire’ amidst the ‘City of Blood’, Tezpur, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
How would you feel if we tell you – “Bid Goodbye to the city hustle bustle and come lets seek a life by the Banks of one of the greatest Rivers in the World – the Mighty Brahmaputra. Lets spend our days fishing on the fresh waters of the Brahmaputra, practice the lost art of Pottery and Mask making, indulge in Organic Farming, weave out Exquisite Handicrafts of Bamboo and Cane and spend our evenings savoring freshly brewed fine local wine and Barbecued delicacies of meat and fish.” To some this piece of advice may seem to be one of the craziest in the World whereas to some it may seem like an endless pleasure to seek the utmost solace in their life. To tell the truth, this is the actual life of the people who inhabit one of the most pristine and breathtaking location in the World – the World’s Largest Inhabited River Island of Majuli surrounded by the magical waters of the River Brahmaputra.
The island of Majuli, has a very rich heritage and has been the abode of Assamese Vaishnavite culture with tremendous option for spiritual and eco-tourism. This island has been the cultural capital and cradle of Assamese civilization for the past five hundred years. The ‘Satras’ of Majuli preserve antiques like weapons, utensils, jewellery and other items of cultural significance. The handloom work of the tribal people of Majuli mostly the Mishings are renowned internationally. Although handloom is a major occupation of the people of Majuli it is mostly a non-commercial occupation. Weaving is exquisite and intricate with the use of a variety of colours and textures of cotton and silk, especially the Muga Silk. Fishing, dairying, pottery, boat making and mask making are the other important economic activities of this island.
Mask making is one of the most famous traditional crafts still practiced in Majuli. It is mainly practiced by the ‘Satras’. The ‘Samaguri Satra’ has worldwide acclaim in making exquisite masks. It has been practiced by the ‘Bhakats’ here for centuries. Masks are an integral part of Sattriya culture. Traditionally, masks were used for religious dance and drama. They were conceptualized as a tool by Shrimanta Shankaradeva to make and depict the characters of ‘Srimad Bhagwat’ to the devotees. Masks helped to provide a physical form to the puranic characters. They also helped people to associate with the character and expressions of the mythical heroes. Shri Hem Chandra Goswami at the Samaguri Satra of Majuli has been practicing this art since the last 20 years and he continues to train artisans of the island to learn the art of mask making thus keeping alive this tradition.
Masks are used for religious performances and traditional dramas. Mainly materials like bamboo and cane, cloth, clay and rock color etc are used for making masks. In some case wood may also be used. Traditionally three types of masks are prepared viz.
Mukha: these are face masks.
Lotokai mukha: this type of mask is used to move lips, eyes hands etc.
Bor mukha: this is nearly life size or even larger in special cases.
Traditionally, first the frame of mask is prepared using bamboo and string etc, then using color and cloth the final finishing is done by the master craftsmen. Bhakats plant trees as per their requirement and maintenance of these trees are also their responsibility.
There are two types of masks based on frame material used:
Made of bamboo
Made of paper
Bamboo is spliced into small pieces and long thin sticks are crafted into a skeleton of bamboo shaped as per requirement of the character. Over that, a layer of cow dung or clayey soil is applied for minute details such as nose, eyes, ears and others. A piece of cloth is stuck over that with gum and dried in sun. Hengul, Haital, Neel, and Balichanda (mica) is applied for accentuation.The paper mache masks are made with clay cast. The clay is shaped with a knife, seeds of Bihmana or Kendu is crushed for making the gum which is applied over the pieces of paper. They are then soaked and cast on the clay cast. Hengul, haiatal, Neel, Dhalmati etc are powdered on a brass plate with stone and they are applied for color. The brush used is made of cat’s hair stuck on a pointed bamboo. The colors and dyes are stored in small bamboo nodes.
The paper masks are used only for making headgear. For other parts bamboo, mud, and cloth are used. The masks that are made for the characters of Brahma, Hansa, Ganesha, Gaduda, Jatayu, ten headed Ravana, Kumbhkarna, Taraka, Maricha, Subahu, Putana, Chakravat, Kaliya Naag, Bakasura, Aghasura, Dhenukasura, Batsasura, Hanuman, Jambuban, , Baraha, Nar Simha etc. Masks for Krishna, Rama, Lakhshmana are not made. For the day of the performance they are regarded as the God’s incarnation. Apart from these the craftsmen also prepare Dadhishal, rathas (chariots) for war, swords, Gada, Bow and arrow, axes, trishula, Vajra, Chakra, Head gear, Nupur, full sized cow, horses etc are also made as per the need of the story being recited.
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to revisit the Lost art of traditional Mask Making ~ the Island of Majuli, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
The period of 1939 to 1945 was one of the darkest moments in the history of mankind. It was during this period the world witnessed the Second World War – a state of ‘total war’ where the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. This war brought down the major super powers of the period into ashes. Japan was rocked with the mighty nuclear explosion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and it was after the Second World War that the world realized the might of the Americans!
The World War II might have brought down the will of the Germans and Japanese to be the might of the World but it to be mentioned that all wars lead to destruction of devastating proportion. The World War II too led to the same fate and millions of people were killed around the world that included the soldiers of the Army who laid down their lives to bring peace to the World. The bodies of these brave soldiers were laid to rest across various cemeteries through the World and one of such is the Guwahati War Cemetery that was built and is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Located in the heart of the largest city of Assam ~ Guwahati, this cemetery has about 500 burials mostly of British soldiers who laid their lives during World War II.
To give a brief history of the Guwahati War Cemetery, it was started during the World War II, for burials from several military hospitals in the region. Soldiers and workers who couldn’t make it after fighting the enemy and building the epic Stilwell road were laid to rest here. Later, other graves were brought in by the Army Graves service from military cemeteries in Sylhet and Amari Bari and civil cemeteries in Nagaon, Mohachara and Guwahati for permanent maintenance. Some graves were later also brought from isolated sites in present-day Mizoram, Coochbehar, Darjeeling, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Lumding, Dinjan, Dhubri etc.
Today, the Guwahati cemetery has 521 graves, which includes:
316 known and 18 unknown graves of soldiers from the United Kingdom
136 known and seven unknown Indian soldiers
4 from Canada
4 from South Africa
1 from New Zealand
2 graves of soldiers whose nationality is unknown
24 graves of Chinese Army soldiers
Among the 9 world war cemeteries in India, Guwahati is the only cemetery which has graves of Japanese soldiers (11 of them). The graves were rested peacefully in the cemetery until the Japanese government decided to dig up the graves (on 19th January 2012) and fly them back to Japan so as to give them a formal burial in their native country.
The 11 soldiers of Japanese forces who died in World War II were Lance Corporal Miyata Kotsuo (died on September 13, 1944) and 10 soldiers — Komatsutomoshige (September 8, 1944), Morata Doshu ( September 10, 1944), Yamado Kesakti (September 5, 1944), Okamoto (January 8, 1945), Kito Zawo (September 2, 1944), Ikdmiraisao ( September 2, 1944), Shotasaburo (August 31, 1944), Ishiwara Hiroja (no date mentioned), Urata Yotaka (August 8, 1944) and Hachivetsuyoshi (November 25, 1944).
And truly mentioned in one of the quotes of the cemetery –
‘These graves bear silent testimony to those soldiers, unlisted workers and laborers who ventured into Virgin jungle amid blistering heat and laid down their lives in the line of duty during the Second World War. Whilst part of all forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. THEIR NAME LIVETH FOREVER MORE’
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to Witness History and Relive the Memoirs of the World War II – the Guwahati War Cemetery, Guwahati, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
The preaching initiated by the Great reformer of Assam, Srimanta Sankardeva, are practiced widely across the State in two unique institutions – the Satras and the Namghars, both of which are deeply associated with the social, cultural as well as religious life of the Assamese society. The Satra institution is one of the most distinguishing feature of Assamese Neo-Vaisnavism Cult. The Satra, literally meaning ‘holy areas’, is a network of decentralized monasteries each headed by a Guru (teacher) designated as the Satradhikar. The Namghars which are found across the State of Assam are an ‘extended wing’ or a ‘miniature replica’ of the Satra institution.
The Satras and the Namghars both, are basically a place of religious worship. It is at these places of worship in Assam where people gather to sing praised of the Lord and seek spiritual solace. The most important area inside the premises of these institutions is the Kirtanghar. The Kirtanghar is the nerve center of the entire place generally located in the center of the premises of the Satra that is surrounded with houses for the devotees within the compound its four sides. It is a long and open hall, where the devotees sit together to sing the glory of God. There is no idol in the altar, but only a book, generally the ‘Bhagavata Gita’, symbolizing God. In addition to prayers and cultural functions, religious discourses are also held in the Kirtanghar.
The first stage of evolution of the Satras in Assam began with Srimanta Sankardeva. However, it was during the time of the equally able disciples of Sankardeva i.e. Madhavdeva and Damordeva that the Satra institution attained the glorious phase of its growth. The architectural structure of the Satra also received the final shape during this period. It thus came to possess the prayer hall (Namghar) and the Manikut with the wooden throne (Singhasana) attached to the former and containing a sacred scripture. By the middle of the 17th century, the Satra institution, firmly established itself and the royal authority had to accord recognition to Srimanta Sankardeva’s faith. Subsequently, the Ahom kings and nobles accepted Neo-Vaisnavism. The Satras played a great role in the social life of the people. One component of the Satra institution, the Kirtanghar, became an integral part of every Assamese village in Assam over time. It became popular by another name too, the Namghar. Over time it came to be an integral part of every Hindu village of Assam. As a result every Assamese village came under the religious influence of one Satra or the other and its influence even penetrated gradually into the neighbouring tribal areas. The Satras gave Assam a rich religious literature, besides reviving and popularizing the art of classical music and dance.
The establishment of the village Namghar came about with the idea of popularizing the Neo-Vaisnavite faith to the masses. The Namghar came to serve as a forum of not only religious but also socio-cultural activities of the community. The village Namghar has for the last four hundred years has been serving as the village public hall: it is at once a village prayer hall, a cultural center and a ‘village court’, thereby providing a common forum for the villagers to assemble in an atmosphere of goodwill and cooperation. The Namghar becomes the venue for congregational chanting of prayers, singing of Borgeets or classical devotional songs composed by Srimanta Sankardeva and his disciple Madhavdeva and enactment of Bhoanas – a cultural art event on various occasions. No discrimination is made in terms of class or caste in distributing roles in the Bhaonas held at the Namghar.
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to witness the Grandeur of the Neo-Vaishnavite Institutional Centers and the Prayer Halls of the Assamese Community – the ‘Satras’ and ‘Namghars’, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
The State of Assam in India has been bestowed with a vast reserve of Fossil Fuels. Assam has huge hydrocarbon potential, large quantities of low ash coal resources, limestone and dolomite deposits as well as a few other unexplored minerals in addition to a wide forest covers and abundant rivers. Coal mining is an important source of livelihood for the people in the state and the largest coal producing company in the world Coal India Ltd. has its operations in the state of Assam under its subsidiary North Eastern Coal Fields Ltd. (NECF).
Situated very close to the office of the General Manger of Coal India Ltd. at Margherita in Assam is India’s only Coal Museum. The brain child of the Ex. Chief General Manager of NECF Mr. A. K. Bora a coal mining professional and a war history enthusiast (he has never missed to watch any movie/documentary on the World Wars I & II), this museum of International standard was inaugurated on 29th October, 2012 and is opening for public viewing.
The Prime attraction of this museum are the century old Steam Locomotives. The State of Assam was once a British colony famous for coal mining at Makum Coalfields (now called Margherita). These steam locomotives were deployed at these mining sites for transportation of coal. The Engines deployed here were built during the late 1800s and early 1900’s by renowned locomotive manufacturer from Stafford, England W. G. Bagnall. The likes of the locomotives included JOHN (1924), SHELLY (1930), HASSANG (1897), DAVID and 796. Though these magnificent British marvels were built more than a 100 years ago, some of them are still operational at the Tipong Colliery while the others have been put up on public display at India’s only Coal Museum at Margherita in Assam.
The 796 Steam Locomotive standing with its Grace at Tipong Colliery
Our Tourist Standing for a perfect picture with the DAVID steam locomotive at Tipong Colliery
The SHELLY Steam Locomotive at Coal Museum in India
The JOHN steam locomotive at Coal Museum at Margherita
The HASSANG Steam Locomotive at Coal Museum in India
The Portrait of the DAVID Steam locomotive gifted by a Japanese Tourist at the Coal Museum at Margherita
Another important attraction of the museum is the practice of coal mining depicted in the form of real time models, a demo structure of an underground coal mine, necessities to be carried to the underground mines by the workmen like underground coal mining boots, cap lamps, shovels and other tools of mining, vintage underground telephones, etc. The museum depicts the history of coal mining at Namdang in Assam. It also contains actual models of transformers, haulages and Circuit breakers manufactured by Crompton Parkinson and Manchester & Scheffield, England.
Industry Runs on Many Wheels and Coal is the Prime Mover Depiction
Centenery Industrial Boring Machine
Dehing Underground Display Coal Mine
Coal Mining Practice Equipments
Cap Lamps used in Underground Coal Mining
Coal Mine Tunnel at the Dehing Coal Mine
Equipments for Coal Mining at Coal Museum
Haulages used in Underground Coal Minings on display
Other important attractions here at the Coal Museum are the Memoirs of World War II (rare pictures of construction of Stilwell Road, Pangsau Pass and Ledo airstrip, empty shells of bombs used in WW II), the history of the Assam Railways & Trading Co. Ltd (AR &T Co. Ltd.), a rare collection of stamps from over the world, vintage Cyclostyle machines, etc.
American Army Trucks plying on the Stilwell Road
American Troops wave out Luck to the Soldiers travelling to China on the Stilwell Road
Collection of Rare Stamps at the Coal Musuem
General Vinegar Joe Stilwell at the Battle Field
Legacy Type Writers
Querry Operations by the Assam Railways and Trading Company
Stilwell at kitchen
The Stilwell Road that played a major role in the March of the Allied Forces victory over the Japanese
This museum is must to see place for people in the coal mining industry and history enthusiasts. Post you visit to the museum you can savor a sumptuous meal of traditional cuisine at the Singpho Villa Restaurant at Singpho Ecotourism Lodge at Margherita and experience open cast coal mining at Tirap Colliery.
The Singpho Ecotourism Lodge at Margherita serves exotic delicacies of local Singpho Tribal Cuisine and gives you a chance to witness Singpho Tribal Culture and Traditions
Opencast Coal Mining at Tirap Colliery in Assam
The Open Cast Mining Equipments at Tirap Colliery
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to witness the first hand experience of the”British Marvels” Steam Locomotives and India’s only Coal Museum – Tipong Colliery & Margherita, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
What would you picture when you see an army of 300 architects working on one single project? Yes! True! An amazing wonder of a Construction that will surely be a breathtaking spectacle to your eyes! This wonder of a project is located in the tinsel town of Tengapani at the State of Arunachal Pradesh in India. Better known to the locals, a population of the Legendary Tai-Khamti Tribal people of North East India, as the ‘Kongmu-kham’ that we would prefer to call as the ‘Golden Pagoda Temple’.
The Golden Pagoda is located at Tengapani (also known as Chongkham), a town of an irresistible combination of breathtaking natural beauty,inspiring pagodas,temples and a robust cuisine.The vast expanse of Chongkham-Namsai area have a lush green forest, rich and colorful flora and fauna,exotic orchids and is criss-crossed by dozens of rivers and rivulets and tributaries of Lohit river. Chongkham is bounded in the north by the commanding snow ranges of the last fringes of ‘Himalayan Hump’ and the descending misty mountains of Patkai range to its east while its South and West opens and stretches upto the Brahmaputra valley in Assam. The Patkai range has numerous passes through which the Ahoms poured into Assam from Burma and established Ahom rule in Assam which lasted upto 600 years.The Ahoms were followed by Tai Khamtis centuries later who again established their dominance in Sadiya and Tengapani area. Sprawling tea plantations, picture book landscapes, winding lanes, trekking and holiday facilities make Chongkham a unique experience. Chongkham is essentially a tea town.
Kongmu-kham or the Golden Pagoda is a temple complex spread over 20 hectares of land built in a Burmese architectural design with a beautiful garden around it. The temple complex has a shrine hall which has a huge Buddha statue in meditating pose inside it. The shrine hall has four entrances on east,north,west and south directions. Main entrance to the hall faces north. The Buddha image inside faces north. The main entrance to the Golden Pagoda complex faces east, the direction that Buddha achieved Enlightenment. The Buddha statue was donated by Ven Prakhu Pabhavana, Chief monk of Wat Aranjikavas temple of Thailand.Each of the four entrances of the shrine hall is guarded by a pair of mythical lions. On four corners of the outer base of the main shrine are a bell, Vasundri or the witness to the offerings made in the temple, a monk and four deities. A pond near the entrance gate and a Ashoka pillar on the eastern side of the main shrine are some of the main features of the Golden Pagoda complex. The Golden Pagoda complex houses a spacious shrine hall, a meditation hall, a multipurpose hall, a guest house, a library, a monastery to accommodate around 100 Bhikkhus and living quarter for the monks.
A head start from the National Park of Dibru-Saikhowa at Tinsukia and an hour long drive across majestic tea gardens crossing the town of Doom Dooma will lead you to this grandeur of a place, a memoir that will surely fit this quote into it perfectly:
“It is better to travel well than to arrive” ~ Gautam Buddha
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to witness your one stop destination for Spiritual Tourism – the Golden Pagoda Temple, Tengapani, the State of Arunachal Pradesh, Incredible India!
On your visit to Assam (or rather anywhere in the World) there will always be one question on your mind – ‘What are the unique things about this place’? And you will always seek to know the answer from a local, a person who has lived here across a major part of his life. You may get many different set of answers from these small sample size of people you will choose to select. Some of the answers will be the One Horned Rhino of Assam – an endangered animal species native to Assam, the Majuli River Island – the World’s Largest inhabited River Island, the Satras of Majuli – that preach Neo Vaishnavism as propagated by Srimanta Sankardeva and his disciples, the River Brahmaputra – the only male river that flows across Assam, the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge – India’s longest Bridge, the Oil town of Digboi – the World’s oldest operational Oil well, etc. But one common answer across all these sets of answer will be the Ahom Kingdom of Sivasagar. The Kings of Assam who were so feared during their time that even the Mighty Mughals couldn’t defeat them at the time when they were ruling the whole of India! The Ahoms although known for their ferocity were also one of the most generous of all. Their grandeur in Architecture can be witnessed at the town of Sivasagar in Assam where the like of the ‘Talatal Ghar’, the ‘Kareng Ghar’ and the ‘Rang Ghar’ can be seen.
But as history has always narrated, no kingdom becomes great without mighty leaders. From Alexander in Greece to Akbar the Great in India, these able leaders created and expanded their empire into a Global one. Not was much different here too with the Ahom Dynasty. Created by one and the legacy carried on by the other made this dynasty one of the most feared and powerful in the country! Although there were many great leaders who played a major role in building the success of this Empire, two (2) are always noteworthy to be mentioned. These two whose praises are sung even today and who will be remembered across the memoirs of the State of Assam always – Chaolung Sukhapa and Lachit Borphukan!
The name “Sukafa” brings a sense of pride in every Assamese individual’s heart. Chaolung Sukhapa was the first Ahom king in medieval Assam, & was the founder of the Ahom kingdom (which is famous for defeating the Mughal empire 17 times). As I recall, he was a Tai prince originally from Mong Mao, (now in Yunnan province in Peoples Republic of China). After spending 19 years as crown prince, Sukaphaa decided to leave Mong Mao. According to tradition, his grandmother advised him thus – “no two tigers live in the same jungle, no two kings sit on the same throne.” Accordingly Sukaphaa is said to have left Chieng-Sen the capital of Mong Mao in the year 1215 AD.
He was accompanied by three queens, two sons and a daughter; chiefs from five other dependent Mongs, members of the priestly class and soldiers—a total contingent of 9,000. Some commoners are recorded as having joined this core group on the way. He traveled a long distance & entered Assam in 1228 A.D. His journey from Yunnan to Assam passed through many places like Myitkyina, Mogaung and the upper Irrawaddy river valley and Patkai hills among many others. On his way he stopped at various places and crossed the Khamjang River to reach the Nangyang Lake where he fought and defeated the Nagas and reached the Brahmaputra valley in the early 13th century. The kingdom he established there existed for nearly six hundred years and in the process unified the various tribal and non-tribal peoples of the region that left a deep impact on the region. In the quest of expanding his kingdom, he reached Namrup and constructed a bridge on the Sessa River, and went along the Burhi Dihing River in order to establish a colony for wet rice cultivation. After a substantial amount of time, when he couldn’t find a suitable land, he returned downstream to Tipam. In 1236, he left Tipam for Abhaypur and in the year 1240, the area was struck by flood, which made him move again down the Brahmaputra to Habung, which is present-day Dhakuakhana. In1244,he moved down the Brahmaputra to the Dikhowmukh, because Habung was also struck by flood, and then up the Dikhow river up to Ligirigaon. Finally, in the year 1253, the capital of Ahom Kingdom was established at Charaideo, which lies close to the present-day Sibasagar and eventually initiated the mission of building a state.In honour to his position, the term ‘Chaolung’ is generally associated with his name-Chao meaning lord & Lung meaning great.
Since 1996 December 2 has been celebrated in Assam as the Sukaphaa Divas, or Asom Divas (Assam Day), to commemorate the advent of the first king of the Ahom kingdom in Assam after his journey over the Patkai Hills. He is also known as the first Assamese.
When a story of a war hero is recited in Assam, the first name that pops in the mind of every Assamese is perhaps Lachit Borphukon, who is best known for the battle of Saraighat in 1671 that demolished a drawn-out attempt by Mughal forces to take back Kamrup among many others.
His father Momai Tamuli Borbarua had a humble background but evolved as the first Borbarua (Governor of upper Assam and Commander-in-Chief of the Ahom army) under Prataap Singha. Lachit Borphukan received training in humanities, scriptures and military skills.
Before being appointed as the Supreme Commander of the army, he held various posts of eminence such as Superintendent of the Royal Horses or Ghora Barua, Commander of the strategic Simulgarh Fort and Superintendent of the Royal Household Guards or Dolakasharia Barua assisting the Ahom king. The King Chakradhwaj Singha appointed Lachit as the commander in chief of the Ahom army. King Chakradhwaj Singha selected Lachit Borphukan to lead the army in the campaign against the Mughals who held Guwahati. The King presented Lachit with a gold-hafted sword (Hengdang) and the customary paraphernalia of distinction. Lachit raised the army and preparations were completed by summer of 1667. Lachit recovered Guwahati from the Mughals and successfully defended it against the Mughal forces during the Battle of Saraighat.
Battle of Saraighat(The Victory that was to be written in Golden words in Assamese history)
Lachit efficiently disposed his responsibilities and transformed it into strong and powerful army by the summer of 1667. In the Battle of Saraighat he headed the Ahom army which was victorious against the Mughal army. When the Mughal army attacked in Saraighat, while looking at the huge Mughal fleet under the leadership of Ram Singh I consisting of 30,000 infantry, 15,000 archers, 18,000 Turkish cavalry, 5,000 gunners and over 1000 cannons besides a large flotilla of boats the Assamese army lost their determination and will. Even though Lachit was very seriously ill he told his army to retreat if they wanted to and made it clear that he wouldn’t do so. He said “If you (the soldiers) want to flee, flee. The king has given me a task here and I will do it well. Let the Mughals take me away. You report to the king that his general fought well following his orders”. This gave a huge moral boost to the Assamese army. His soldiers rallied and a desperate battle ensured on the river Brahmaputra. Lachit Barphukan was victorious. The Mughals were forced to retreat from Guwahati. The Mughal Commander-in-Chief, acknowledging his defeat by the Ahom soldiers and their Commander-in-chief Lachit Barphukan, wrote, “Glory to the king! Glory to the counselors! Glory to the commanders! Glory to the country! One single individual leads all the forces! Even I, Ram Singh, being personally on the spot, have not been able to find any loophole and an opportunity!”.
He died immediately after the victory due to illness. 16 km from Jorhat at the Lachit Maidam, the last remains of Lachit Borphukon are preserved. It was built in 1672 by Swargadeo Udayaditya Singha at Hoolungapara. Every year 24th November is celebrated as Lachit Divas in the state of Assam to pay tribute to general Lachit Borphukan.
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to witness the Ahom Architectural Wonders at Sivasagar and pay tribute to the Mighty Warriors of the feared Ahom Dynasty and the Unsung Heroes of India – Chaolung Sukapha, Lachit Borphukan and the fierce ‘Battle of Saraighat’, Sivasagar, the State of Assam, Incredible India!