Decline and Fall of the Ahom Kingdom

Ahom Kingdom : Decline and Fall of the Ahom Kingdom

Hello, aspirants are you preparing for APSC? If yes, then you must be aware of the most important Assam history topic Ahom Kingdom : Decline and Fall of the Ahom Kingdom for the upcoming APSC Prelims or Mains exam preparation. Therefore every aspirants need to know the detail information of Decline and Fall of the Ahom Kingdom for APSC Prelims and Mains exams.

Assam History : Decline and Fall of the Ahom Kingdom


In this regard "World_Polity" decides to provide you the detail information of most important Assam history topic Decline and Fall of the Ahom Kingdom for UPSC & APSC Prelims & Mains exam. Infact the Ahom Kingdom of Assam History will be a key topic in the history section for the upcoming exams.

Decline and Fall of the Ahom Kingdom

The great Ahom Kingdom began to decline from the time of Gaurinath Singha (1780-95). In 1782, the Moamarias insurrection rose again with renewed vigour and increased violence. They advanced to Garhgaon and created panic among the people. The advance was halted and the rebels were treated with severity and many were executed. Such a step aggravated the situation.

After a brief pause, the disturbances caused by the Moamarias swept down across the north bank. After defeating the royalists, the Moamarias advanced towards the capital. Assistance was sought from Manipur, Kachari, Jaintia and the chiefs of Rani, Beltola, Luki. Before the help arrived, the rebels occupied Rangpur.

Gaurinath Singha with the members of his family sailed downstream, and reached Nagaon and then Gauhati. At Rangpur, the Moamarias set up Bharath Singha as king; but the Hatisungi Morans set up Sarbananda as the king of the territory to the east of Dihing and both minted coins in their names. Krishnanarayan of Darrang had also organized a large force and occupied North Gauhati.

Purnananda Buragohain shifted the centre of administration of Dichoi, later known as Jorhat, which became the new Ahom capital. Under the circumstances, Gaurinath Singha appealed for help of men and materials to the East India Company's authorities through Raush, a salt merchant and Mr. Douglas, Commissioner of Koch Bihar.

In response to this, Lord Cornwallis, the Governor General dispatched Captain Thomas Welsh with sepoys who arrived at Goalpara in early November, 1792; and from there, on receiving urgent message from the king moved upstream of the Brahmaputra. The meeting between the king and Captain Welsh took place at Nagarberra on the Brahmaputra.

Advancing further, Captain Welsh suppressed the rebellious elements at Gauhati and on the north bank. He also pacified Krishnanarayan, the rebellious prince at Darrang and expelled many of the Burkendazes who assisted him.

Sometime later he advanced to Jorhat and then to Rangpur where he defeated the Moamarias, and restored the authority of Gaurinath Singha at Rangpur in 1794.

In the midst of this success, Capt. Welsh was recalled by Sir John Shore, the new Governor General and he left Assam. During his stay in the kingdom, he concluded a commercial treaty in 1793 by which commerce between Assam and Bengal was sought to be put on ‘reciprocal basis'.

Kamaleswar Singha's reign (1795-1810) witnessed localized revolts at several places in Kamrup which was successfully suppressed, at Sadiya by the Khamtis, Pani Noras, Miris and others, fresh Moamaria insurrection in league with the Daflas. 

In spite of these, he connected the new capital Jorhat by constructing several new roads like the Na-ali, the Rajabahar Ali, the Mohabandha Ali, the Kamarbandha Ali, etc. and also built a copperhouse at Kamakhya.

The reign of Chandra Kanta Singha (1810-18) saw the Burmese invasion. Friction between Purnananda Buragohain and Badan Chandra Barphukan and a conspiracy by Satram to overthrow the former led the latter to go to the Burmese capital Amarapura where he pleaded for assistance against the Buragohain. 

Bodoupaya, who had already had his eyes on Assam, seized the opportunity to send an army of about sixteen thousand men with Badan Chandra to Assam.

The Burmese army after defeating the Assamese army at several engagements arrived at Jorhat. Chandra Kanta Singha was retained as king, and Badan Chandra assumed power as minister. The Burmese then retired to their country with a large booty. 

But soon the assassination of Badan Chandra and installation of Purandar Singha by ousting Chandra Kanta Singha, once again brought the Burmese under the command of Ata Mingi to Assam in 1819.

On their advance, Purandar and his prime minister Rudinath fled to Gauhati, and Chandra Kanta Singha was once again restored to the throne despite his mutilation of person caused in the meanwhile. 

After the departure of the Burmese, Chandra Kanta Singha sought to raise a fort at Jaipur against further Burmese invasion.

However, a Burmese force sent by their Monarch with presents of ornaments and dress to Chandra Kanta Singha seeing such preparations killed Patalong under whose supervision the fort was raised. 

Thinking this hostile move on the part of the Burmese army, Chandra Kanta fled to Gauhati and did not come back in spite of Burmese assurance. This was in 1821. The Burmese then set up an Ahom prince, Jogeswar Singha. Chandra Kanta Singha crossed the border and entered Bengal where he tried to collect arms and men to fight the Burmese.

At the battle of Mahgarh, Chandra Kanta's army was badly defeated, and he once again entered the British territory.

The period from 1821 to 1824 is called period of Burmese rule. During this period, the Burmese devastated the country and committed atrocities by plundering and killing. 

The Burmese also threatened the Goalpara frontier of Bengal by demanding the surrender of Assamese refugees including Chandra Kanta Singha, and their supporters who often gave trouble across the border.

In that time, the border conflict in the East India Company's Chittagong frontier with the Burmese empire took serious turn. Anticipating a threatened invasion of Bengal, the prized possession of the Company in India, Lord Amherst, the Governor General decided to declare war on Myanmar (Burma). War was declared on the 5 March 1824.

This is the First Anglo Burmese War which lasted for nearly two years. Immediately after the declaration of war, the British army entered Goalpara frontier of Assam and after defeating the small Burmese garrisons in Lower Assam, it advanced to Upper Assam.

By taking advantage of a dissension among the Burmese commanders, the British occupied Rangpur in 1825 and drove the Burmese and their allies, the Singphos out of Assam. A section of the Burmese army surrendered to the British remained in Assam.

Immediately on the occupation of Assam by the British, martial law was declared; David Scott was appointed as civil officer in charge of civil matters, and Col. Richards was made in charge of the army and the British started their administration.

By Article II of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which was con led between the British and the Burmese at Yandabo on 24 February 1826, the Burmese monarch renounced all claims and promised to refrain from interference with the principality of Assam and its dependencies. 

As Assam was already occupied by the British during the Anglo-Burmese War, it was kept under British occupation and introduced British administration.

The Report of Capt. Welsh which he submitted to his government in response to certain queries gives certain important information in regard to the system of Ahom government, trade and commerce, products, etc. 

Although Gaurinath Singha is depicted by some as cruel and vindictive, he had certain pieces of good work like the abolition of human sacrifice at the Kechaikhati temple at Sadiya.

Must Read : Ahom - Mughal Conflicts

Must Read : Anglo - Burmese War & North East India

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