The Ahom Kingdom was founded by Sukapha who entered the Brahmaputra valley in 1228 by crossing the Patkai mountain range. Along with him came his three queens, two sons, and a retinue of nobles and officials and soldiers. He reached modern-day Namrup on 2 December 1228 and settled in the area on the south bank of the Burhidihing river, the Dikhau river in the south, and the Patkai mountains in the east. The founders of the Ahom kingdom had their own language and followed their own religion. Over the centuries, the Ahoms accepted the Hindu religion and the Assamese language, scholars say.
Sukapha belonged to a clan of people known as the ‘Shaan’.The Shaans have their own religion which was neither Hindu nor Buddhist. The further generations of Ahoms think themselves to be descendants of the Lord of Heaven. So, the kings were called ‘Swarga Deva’ or Lords from Heaven.
Administration of the Ahom Kingdom
The administrative makeup of the Ahom Kingdoms consisted of the following:
Swargadeo: The kingdom was ruled by a king called Swargadeo who had to be from the same lineage as that of the first king Sukaphaa. Succession was generally primogeniture in nature but another descendant of Sukaphaa could be elected to the throne great Gohains should the situation called for it.
Two royal offices were added under the reign of Pratapa Singha, the Borbaru and Borphukan. The Borabaru was a military and judicial head while the Borphukan was a military commander who acted as a Viceroy of sorts to the Swargadeo’s territories in the west. The most famous of the latter was Lachit Borphukan.
Five positions of importance constituted the Council of Ministers otherwise known as Patra Mantris. They advised the king on important matters of the state.
Every common subject was a paik, and four paiks formed a Got. At any time of the year, one of the paiks in the got rendered direct service to the king, as the others in his got tended to his fields.
One of the famous attractions of tourists is Rang Ghar. Rang Ghar means The House of entertainment. The shape of Rang Ghar is constructed in the reverse form of a boat having a crocodile-shaped ending. It is almost 3 kilometers away from the town of Sivasagar. It is also one of the important monuments edifice reflecting the architectural precision and grandeur of that time. Rang Ghar was used as a logo for the 33rd National Games held in Assam in the year 2007. The Rang Ghar is said to be one of the oldest surviving amphitheaters in Asia. The Rang Ghar was first constructed with bamboo and wood during the reign of Swargadeo Rudra Singha and later in the year 1744 to 1750 AD the building was rebuilt with a brick by Swargadeo Pramatta Singha. It is a very beautiful monument and very well maintained.
Rang Ghar was used by Ahom Kings as a platform for enjoying sports and games like wrestling, buffalo fight, elephant fight etc. This is a double-storied royal pavilion of Ahom kings It has unique architectural features. There is the design of an Ahom Royal longboat on the rooftop of Rang Ghar.
Descendents of Ahoms still live in Assam but they are no longer royalty only regular citizens of Assam and India. Their Ahom / Tai language has been replaced by the state-wide Assamese language.
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