Chaolung Sukapha the Founder of Ahom Kingdom

Chaolung Sukaphaa : The First Ahom King

Chaolung Sukapha the Founder of Ahom Kingdom

The historical name “Sukapha” brings a sense of pride and honour in every Assamese individual’s heart. Chaolung Sukaphaa was the first Ahom king in medieval Assam who was the sole founder of the great Ahom kingdom. The great Ahom Kingdom is famous for defeating the Mughal empire 17 times. The great Ahom Kingdom is well known for maintaining its sovereignty for 600 years and successfully resisting the Mughal expansion in the North Eastern region of India. 

The Legacy of Chaolung Sukapha founder of Ahom Kingdom :

The History of Ahom Dynasty 

Chaolung Sukapha, the 13th century ruler was a Tai Prince originally from Mong Mao, the place which is now in Yunnan province in Peoples Republic of China. After spending long 19 years as crown prince, Sukaphaa decided to leave Mong Mao. According to the 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.

Chaolung Sukapha was accompanied by three of his Queens, two sons and a daughter, chiefs from five other dependent Mongs and members of the priestly class and soldiers which was a total contingent of 9,000. On their way some other commoners are recorded as having joined this core group. Sukapha traveled a long distance and finally entered Assam in 1228 A.D.

His journey from Yunnan to Assam passed through so many other places like Myitkyina, Mogaung and the upper Irrawaddy river valley and Patkai hills among many others. On his way Sukapha stopped at various places. After that crossed the Khamjang River to reach the Nangyang Lake. Here Sukapha fought with the Nagas and defeated them. After defeating the Nagas he reached to the Brahmaputra valley in the early 13th century.

The kingdom which Sukapha established in Assam existed for nearly six hundred years and in this process he tried to 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 Ahom kingdom, Sukapha reached Namrup and constructed a bridge on the Sessa River, and went along to the Burhi Dihing River in order to establish a colony for wet rice cultivation. After spending some time in this place, when he couldn’t find a suitable land, he returned downstream to Tipam. But in the year 1236, Sukapha left Tipam for Abhaypur and in the year 1240, the area was struck by flood, which made him move again down to the Brahmaputra to Habung, which is present-day called as Dhakuakhana.

In 1244, Sukapha again moved down the Brahmaputra to the Dikhowmukh, Sivsagar, because Habung was also struck by flood, then up the Dikhow river up to Ligirigaon. Finally, after some years in the year 1253, the capital of Ahom Kingdom was established at Charaideo, which lies close to the present-day Sivsagar 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.

The great Ahom Kingdom became weaker with the rise of the Moamoria rebellion and subsequently fell to repeated Burmese invasions of Assam.

Since 1996 December 2 has been celebrated in Assam as the Sukapha 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. Chaolung Sukapha the architect of greater Assam is also known as the first Assamese. The whole period of Ahom rule is seen as a glorious chapter in the history of Assam. 

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