1228 The Ahom people (Ahom is a dialectal version of Assam).
found a state, frequently under Burmese suzerainty.
Mar 1817 - Apr 1817 Occupied by Burma.
Mar 1819 - Jun 1825 Occupied by Burma.
1824 - 1826 Occupied by Britain.
24 Feb 1826 Burma formally cedes Assam to Briain
(incorporated in Bengal).
1832 - Oct 1838 A briefly revived Ahom state in Upper Assam.
Assam was known as Pragjyotisha in the Mahabharata; and Kamarupa in the 1st millennium which ruled Assam for almost 800 years. The academic consensus is that the current name is associated with the Ahom rulers who reigned for nearly six hundred years, as evidenced from Satyendra Nath Sarma’s quote from Banikanta Kakati:
“While the Shan invaders called themselves Tai, they came to be referred to as Āsām, Āsam and sometimes as Acam by the indigenous people of the country. The modern Assamese word Āhom by which the Tai people are known is derived from Āsām or Āsam. The epithet applied to the Shan conquerors was subsequently transferred to the country over which they ruled and thus the name Kāmarūpa was replaced by Āsām, which ultimately took the Sanskritized form Asama, meaning ‘unequalled, peerless or uneven’.”
While a different school of thought emphasis that it derived from Sanskrit word “Asama” meaning unequal as referring to its geology which is equal mix of river valleys and hills. The British province after 1838 and the Indian state after 1947 came to be known as Assam.
According to the Kalika Purana (c.17th–18th AD), written in Assam, the earliest ruler of Assam was Mahiranga Danav followed by Hatak, Sambar, Ratna and Ghatak; Naraka removed this line of rulers and established his own Naraka dynasty. It mentions that the last of the Naraka-bhauma rulers, Narak, was slain by Krishna. Naraka’s son Bhagadatta, mentioned in the Mahabharata, fought for the Kauravas in thebattle of Kurukshetra with an army of kiratas, chinas and dwellers of the eastern coast. Later rulers of Kamarupa frequently drew their lineage from the Naraka rulers. However, there are lots of evidences to say that Mahayana Buddhism was prominent in ancient Assam. After Hi-uen Shang’s visit Mahayana Buddhism came to Assam. Relics of Tezpur, Malini Than, Kamakhya and Madan Kam Dev Temple are the evidences of Mahayana Buddhism.
Ancient and medieval:
Ancient Assam, known as Kamarupa, was ruled by powerful dynasties: the Varmanas (c. 350–650 AD), the Salstambhas (Xalostombho, c. 655–900 AD) and the Kamarupa-Palas (c. 900–1100 AD). In the reign of the Varman king, Bhaskaravarman (c. 600–650 AD), the Chinese traveler Xuan Zang visited the region and recorded his travels. Later, after weakening and disintegration (after the Kamarupa-Palas), the Kamarupa tradition was somewhat extended till c. 1255 AD by the Lunar I (c. 1120–1185 AD) and Lunar II (c. 1155–1255 AD) dynasties.
Two later dynasties, the Ahoms and the Koch left larger impacts. The Ahoms, a Tai group, ruled Assam for nearly 600 years (1228–1826 AD) and the Koch, a Tibeto-Burmese, established sovereignty in c. 1510 AD. The Koch kingdom in western Assam and present North Bengal was at its zenith in the early reign of Naranarayana (c. 1540–1587 AD). It split into two in c. 1581 AD, the western part as a Moghul vassal and the eastern as an Ahom satellite state. Since c. 13th AD, the nerve centre of Ahom polity was upper Assam; the kingdom was gradually extended till Karatoya River in the c. 17th–18th AD. It was at its zenith during the reign of Sukhrungpha or Sworgodeu Rudra Simha (c. 1696–1714 AD). Among other dynasties, the Sutiya Kingdom ruled north-eastern Assam and parts of present Arunachal Pradesh and the Kacharis ruled from Dikhow River to central and southern Assam. With expansion of Ahom kingdom, by c. 1520 AD the Sutiyas areas were annexed and since c. 1536 AD Kacharis remained only in Cachar and North Cachar more as an Ahom ally then a competing force. Despite numerous invasions, mostly by the Muslim rulers, no western power ruled Assam until the arrival of the British. Though the Mughals made seventeen attempts to invade they were not successful. The most successful invader Mir Jumla, a governor of Aurangzeb, briefly occupied Garhgaon (c. 1662–63 AD), the then capital, but found it difficult to control people making guerrilla attacks on his forces, forcing them to leave. The decisive victory of the Assamese led by the great general Lachit Borphukan on the Mughals, then under command of Raja Ram Singha at Saraighat (1671) had almost ended Mughal ambitions in this region. Mughals were finally expelled in c. 1682 AD from lower Assam.
Ahom palace intrigue and political turmoil due to the Moamoria rebellion aided the Burmese to invade Assam and install Chandra Kanta Singhas a puppet king in 1817. In 1821, Singh switched his allegiance to the British, leading the Burmese to invade again. The Burmese defeated the Assamese army in 1822, and made Assam a Burmese province under a military governor-general. With the Burmese having reached the East India Company’s borders, the First Anglo-Burmese War ensued in 1824. The war ended under the Treaty of Yandabo in 1826, with the Company taking control of Lower Assam and installing Purander Singh as king of Upper Assam in 1833. The arrangement lasted till 1838 and thereafter the British gradually annexed the entire region. Initially Assam was made a part of the Bengal Presidency, then in 1906 it was a part of Eastern Bengal and Assam province, and in 1912 it was reconstituted into a Chief Commissioners’ province. In 1913, a Legislative Council and in 1937 the Assam Legislative Assembly were formed in Shillong, the erstwhile capital of the region. The British tea planters imported labour from central India adding to the demographic canvas. After few initial unsuccessful attempts to free Assam during the 1850s, the Assamese since early 20th century joined and actively supported the Indian National Congress against the British.
At the turn of the 20th century, British India consisted of eight provinces that were administered either by a Governor or a Lieutenant-Governor. The Assam Province was one amongst those major eight provinces of British India. The following table lists their areas and populations (but does not include those of the dependent Native States):
During the partition of Bengal (1905–1911), a new province, Assam and East Bengal, was created as a Lieutenant-Governorship. In 1911, East Bengal was reunited with Bengal, and the new provinces in the east became: Assam, Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
TIMELINE OF RULERS:
1679 - 1681 Lora Rojaa Sulikphaa Ratnadhwaj (d. 1681)
1681 - Feb 1696 Gadapani Supaatphaa Gadadhar Singh (d. 1796)
1696 - 1714 Sukhrungphaa Rudra Singh (d. 1714)
1714 - 1744 Sutanphaa Siva Singh (Xiba Xingha) (d. 1744)
1744 - 1751 Sunenphaa Pramatta Singh (d. 1751)
1751 - 1769 Suramphaa Rajesvar Singh (d. 1769)
1769 - 1780 Sunyeopha Lakshmi Singh
1780 - 1792 Suhitpangpha Gaurinathasimha
Juvaraja (1st time)
1792 - 1793 Baratha Singh Mahamari (1st time)
1793 - 1796 Sarvananda Singh
1796 Baratha Singh Mahamari (2nd time)
1796 - 1808 Suhitpangpha Gaurinathasimha
Juvaraja (2nd time)
1808 - 1811 Suklingpha Kamaleshvarasimha (d. 1811)
1811 - 1818 Sudinpha Chandrakantasimha (d. 182.)
Narendra (1st time)
1818 - 9 Mar 1819 Purendrasimha Narendra (1st time)
Mar 1819 - Apr 1821 Sudinpha Chandrakantasimha (s.a.)
Narendra (2nd time)
Apr 1821 - 1822 Yogeshvarasimha (1st time)
1822 - 21 Jun 1822 Sudinpha Chandrakantasimha (s.a.)
Narendra (3rd time)
21 Jun 1822 - 1825 Mingyi Maha Thilawa -Burmese official
1822 - 24 Feb 1826 Yogeshvarasimha (2nd time)
1832 - Oct 1838 Purendrasimha Narendra (2nd time)
1824 George McMorine (b. 1763 - d. 1824)
1824 - 1826 Arthur Richards
1832 - 1838 Adam White (b. 1790 - d. 1839)
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