Purandar Singha

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38 Purandar Singha 1818–1819
39 Sudingphaa 1819–1821
40 Jogeswar Singha 1821–1822
41 Purandar Singha 1833–1838

Purandar Singha (1818–19, 1833–1838) was the last king of Ahom kingdom in Assam. He was installed as king twice. First time, he was installed by Ruchinath Burhagohain in 1818 CE, after the latter deposed Chandrakanta Singha from the throne. His first reign ended in 1819 CE, during the second Burmese invasion of Assam, when his forces were defeated and the Burmese reinstalled Chandrakanta Singha on the throne. He along with Ruchinath Burhagohain continued their efforts to expel Burmese invaders, by seeking help from British and through armed struggle. After First Anglo-Burmese War, the British East India Company occupied Assam from Bumese invaders. Finding it difficult to administer an unfamiliar region and sensing discontent among the local inhabitants to foreign rule, the British authorities decided to restore Upper Assam to one prince of Ahom Dynasty. Purander Singha was found suitable for this post and therefore, in April 1833 CE, except Sadiya and Matak region, the entire Upper Assam was formally made over to him, on the condition of yearly tribute of 50,000 rupees. Later, in 1838 CE, finding him incompetent and defaulter in payments of revenue, the British formally annexed his kingdom, putting an end to 600 years reign of Ahom Dynasty.

Ancestry and Family History[edit]

Purandar Singha was the son of Brajanath Gohain, son of Bijoy Barmura Gohain, grandson of Ratneswar Saru-gohain, and great grandson of Swargadeo Rajeswar Singha. Ratneswar Saru-gohain had joined the ranks of rebels against his uncle Swargadeo Lakshmi Singha during the first phase of Moamoria rebellion. But after the Moamoria rebels achieved success, they treacherously murdered him, by administering poison on his food. Later Lakshmi Singha regained his throne, by defeating the Moamoria rebels. Bijoy Barmura Gohain, son of Ratneswar Saru-gohain also got involved in conspiracy against the regime of Swargadeo Lakshmi Singha. He was caught and was punished by inflicting mutilation on his ears. He again conspired against the king, only to be caught and suffered mutilation. His young son Brajanath Gohain also suffered mutilation on his ears by royal orders.[1] During the reign of next monarch Gaurinath Singha, Bijoy Barmura plotted against the king, in association with Hangsa Narayan, the tributary ruler of Darrang. The plot was discovered and Hangsa Narayan was seized and put to death. Bijoy Barmura with his family escaped to Kachari kingdom. In 1803 CE, during the reign of Kamaleswar Singha, Bijoy Barmura joined some fugitive Moamoria rebels in Kachari kingdom and planned an uprising against Ahom kingdom.[2] They were aided by Kachari king Krishna Chandra, and a large numbers of Kacharis joined their rank. The Kachari-Moamoria coalition rose against Ahom authority in present day, Nagaon and Morigaon districts, which resulted in a full scale war with Ahoms. The Kachari-Moamoria coalition was defeated and many rebel leaders were either killed or captured. Kamaleswar Singha demanded Kachari king Krishna Chandra to hand over Bijoy Bormura Gohain to Ahom authorities, but Bijoy Bormura Gohain escaped with his son Brajanath Gohain to British ruled Bengal. Bijoy Barmura stayed his rest of his life in Silmari in Bengal. In 1809 CE, Brajanath Gohain went to Calcutta, interviewed with the Governor-General and tried to procure military aid to fulfill his ambition to become king, in exchange of acknowledging British supremacy, but in vain.[3]

Birth and Early life[edit]

Purandar Singha was born in 1807 CE, at Silmari, located in British ruled Bengal. His grandfather Bijoy Barmura Gohain and his father Brajanath Gohain was living in Silmari as exiled princes, after their attempts to become king of Ahom kingdom failed. The family faced economic hardships during their exile, and life in Silmari was very hard for them. Purandar Singha also spent his early life amidst economic hardships.[4]

Events leading to his accession[edit]

Internal Turmoil and First Burmese invasion[edit]

In 1815 CE, Purnananda Burhagohain, the Prime Minister of Ahom kingdom, sent a deputation to arrest Badan Chandra Borphukan, the Ahom viceroy at Guwahati, who was charged for atrocities committed on the people of Lower Assam, but, being warned in time by his daughter, Pijou Gabharu, who had married one of the Premier’s sons, he escaped to Bengal.[5][6][7] He proceeded to Calcutta, and alleging that Purnananda Burhagohain was subverting the Ahom Government and ruining the country, endeavored to persuade the Governor-General Lord Hastings to dispatch an expedition against Purnananda Burhagohain. Lord Hasting, however, refused to interfere in any way.[8] Meanwhile Badan Chandra had stuck up a friendship with the Calcutta Agent of the Burmese government and he went with this man to the Court of Amarapura, where he was accorded an interview with the Burmese king, Bodawpaya. He repeated his misrepresentations regarding the conduct of Purnananda Burhagohain, alleging that he had usurped the King's authority, and that owing to his misgovernment, the lives of all, both high and low, were in danger. At last he obtained a promise of help.[9][10][11][12] Towards the end of the year 1816 an army of about eight thousand men under the command of General Maha Minhla Minkhaung was dispatch from Burma with Badan Chandra Borphukan. It was joined en route by the chiefs of Mungkong, Hukong and Manipur, and, by the time Namrup was reached, its number had swollen to about sixteen thousand.[13] Purnananda Burhagohain sent an army to oppose the invaders. A battle was fought at Ghiladhari in which the Assamese army was routed. At this juncture Purnananda Burhagohain died or some say, committed suicide by swallowing diamonds,[14][15] leaving the entire Ahom government leaderless.[16] His eldest son, Ruchinath was appointed as Burhagohain. The Ahom war council decided to continue the war; and a fresh army was hastily equipped and sent to resist the Burmese. Like the former one, it was utterly defeated, near Kathalbari east of Dihing. The Burmese continued their advance pillaging and burning the villages along their line of march. Ruchinath Burhagohain endeavored in vain to induce the reigning Ahom monarch Chandrakanta Singha to retreat to Guwahati, and then, perceiving that the latter intended to sacrifice him, in order to conciliate Badan Chandra and his Burmese allies, fled westwards to Guwahati.[17] The Burmese occupied the capital Jorhat and Badan Chandra triumphantly entered the capital, interviewed Chandrakanta Singha and offered to run the affairs of the state as his capacity as Mantri-Phukan or Prime Minister. The young king, Chandrakanta had no alternative but to acquiesce in Badan Chandra's proposal.[18][19] Badan Chandra now became all powerful and he used his Burmese allies to plunder and slay all the relations and adherents of Purnananda Burhagohain.[20] Meanwhile friendly overtures were made to Chandrakanta from the Burmese camp. An Ahom princess Hemo Aideo (also known as Bhamo Aideo) was offered to Burmese Monarch Bodawpaya for the royal harem along with fifty elephants. Hemo Aideo was accompanied by large retinue consisting of ladies and attendants. The Burmese were paid a large indemnity for the trouble and expense of the expedition, and in April 1817, the Burmese returned to their own country[21][22][23]

Invitation from Ruchinath Burhagohain to Brajanath Gohain and Chandrakanta deposed[edit]

Few months later, political scenario in Ahom kingdom changed drastically. Badan Chandra Borphukan was assassinated by his political rivals, aided by Queen-mother Numali Rajmao. The Queen-mother Numali Rajmao and other nobles called Ruchinath Burhagohain to return to the capital Jorhat. But Chandrakanta's peace with the Burmese, his support for Badan Chandra and his refusal to go down to Guwahati at the approach of the Burmese army, had raised the suspicion of Ruchinath Burhagohain as being mainly responsible for the attempts made against his father Purnananda Burhagohain followed by the visit of the Burmese troops.[24][25] Ruchinath took up the case of Brajanath Gohain, great-grandson of Ahom king Swargadeo Rajeswar Singha, who was leading an exiled life at Silmari in Bengal and invited him to become a candidate for the throne.[26][27][28] Brajanath Gohain agreed and he came to Guwahati where he was joined by Ruchinath Burhagohain and his supporters. After gathering a force of Hindustani mercenaries and local levies, Ruchinath and his party proceeded up to Jorhat. Chandrakanta fled to Rangpur, leaving Luku Dekaphukan in charge of the capital.[29] Luku Dekaphukan offered some resistance to Ruchinath Burhagohain's forces but the resistance was easily repulsed and Luku Dekaphukan was killed.[30] The victors succeeded in bringing over the royal troops to their interest. They then triumphantly entered Jorhat on February 17, 1818.[31][32]

Accession[edit]

Brajanath at once caused coins to be struck in his own name, but it was now remembered that he was ineligible for the throne, as he had suffered mutilation of one of his ears.[33][34] (The Ahom considered their king from divine origin and the person of the monarch, was sacred, and any noticeable sear or blemish, even a scratch received in play, a pit of small pox, or a wound received in action, operated as a bar to succession).[35] Therefore, Brajanath's son Purandar, then only ten years old, was brought from Silmari, who arrived in time and was acclaimed as sovereign of the Ahom kingdom of Assam, in February 1818 CE. A few days later Biswanath Marangikhowa Gohain, brother of Ruchinath Burhagohain effected the slicing off of Chandrakanta's right ear in order to disqualify him from again sitting on the throne.[36][37][38][39]

First reign(1818-1819 CE)[edit]

Brajanath exerts real authority[edit]

Since Purandar Singha was very young, the real authority lies with Brajanath Gohain and Ruchinath Burhagohain. They immediately made clean sweep of all the nobles and officers, including the Borgohain, Borpatrogohain and Borbarua, who were suspected of still bearing loyalty for Chandrakanta Singha. Being the father of the monarch, Brajanath Gohain exercised the virtual powers of a sovereign. He appointed himself as Charing Raja and Juvaraj or heir apparent. He also issued coins and grants lands to Brahmins in his own name, though it was the privilege of the king who could issue coins in his own name and also perform land grants to Brahmins.[40]

Second Burmese invasion and reinstallation of Chandrakanta Singha[edit]

Meanwhile, the friends of Badan Chandra Borphukan went to the court of Burmese monarch Bodawpaya and appealed for help. Bodawpaya, owing to his marriage to Hemo Aideo, had an alliance with Chandrakanta Singha, immediately dispatched a fresh army of 30,000 men under a general named Alungmingi, also known as Kiamingi Borgohain.[41][42] The Assamese army resisted the Burmese in Phulpanichiga near the Janji River on February 17, 1819.[43] Some sources stated that the battle took place in Machkhowa in Sibsagar district.[44][45] Initially, the Assamese resisted Burmese with some spirit, but at a critical point in the engagement, their commander lost his nerve. They were defeated and beat a hasty retreat to Jorhat.[46] Purandar Singha, his father Brajanath Gohain and Ruchinath Burhagohain fled to Guwahati taking with them all the valuables from the royal treasury, worth 3.5 million rupees.[47] The triumphant Burmese now search for Chandrakanta Singha, led him from his retreat and properly installed him on the throne.[48][49]

Purandar Singha and Ruchinath Burhagohain regrouped their troops in Guwahati. The Burmese commander Momai Barua marched towards Guwahati at the head of a large Burmese force.[50] An Assamese force, under the leadership of Bhisma Gogoi Borphukan was dispatched by Purandar Singha to resist the invaders. Both sides fought a battle in Khagarijan (present day Nagaon) on 11 June 1819, in which the Assamese army was defeated. The Burmese occupied Guwahati and Purandar Singha and Ruchinath Burhagohain escaped to Bengal.[51][52]

Appeal to British[edit]

Purander Singha and Ruchinath Burhagohain appealed to British Governor-General Lord Hastings, to help recover their kingdom. The Governor-General replied that the British Government was not accustomed to interfere in the internal affairs of foreign states. Meanwhile Chandrakanta Singha and his Burmese allies also requested the British authorities for the extradition of the fugitives, but to these requests also a deaf ear was turned.[53]

Triangular contest between Chandrakanta, Purandar and the Burmese[edit]

Purandar Singha and Ruchinth Burhagohain started recruiting soldiers and mercenaries from Goalpara, Bengal and Bhutan, and rallied his troops in Duars, an area located in the borders of Bhutan and Assam. With the aid of a British, Mr. Robert Bruce (he is credited for the discovery of tea in Assam), Purandar Singha's army was supplied with guns and firearms. Meanwhile, Chandrakanta Singha tried to free himself from Burmese influence, which resulted in Third Burmese Invasion on Assam, in March, 1821 CE. Being defeated near Jorhat, Chandrakanta Singha retreated to Guwahati, and started gathering troops to fight against Burmese. The Burmese general installed Jogeswar Singha as the king of Ahom kingdom, after getting approval from Burmese monarch Bagyidaw. Meanwhile Purandar Singha learnt about the breakup of friendship between Chandrakanta Singha and the Burmese and he decided to take advantage of the situation. Considering Chandrakanta Singha’s position as weak, he sent his men under the leadership of Mr. Robert Bruce, to attack Chandrakanta Singha's forces, located in Guwahati, in May, 1821 CE. Purandar Singha's forces were defeated by Chandrakanta Singha and their commander Mr. Robert Bruce was taken prisoner. Robert Bruce was later released on his agreeing to enter under the service of Chandrakanta Singha and to supply his soldiers’ firearms and ammunitions.[54] Purandar Singha retreated towards the border of Bhutan to rally his forces after his defeat in the hands of Chandrakanta Singha.Meanwhile, the Burmese marched against Chandrakanta Singha’s position in Guwahati. Alarmed by the huge size of the Burmese army, Chandrakanta Singha retreated to British ruled Bengal.

Attempt to oust the Bumese invaders[edit]

Towards the end of the 1821 A.D, Chandrakanta collected a force of about two thousand men, consisting of Sikhs and Hindustanis from British ruled Bengal.[55][56] He rallied his men in the Goalpara district, and Mr. Robert Bruce obtained for him three hundred muskets and nine maunds of ammunition from Calcutta.[57] The Burmese troops and their followers were so numerous that it was found impossible to provide them with supplies in any one place. They were, therefore, distributed about the country in a number of small detachments. Chandrakanta Singha, seeing his opportunity, returned to the attack and, after inflicting several defeats on the Burmese and recaptured Guwahati in January 1822 CE.[58][59][60] Meanwhile, Purandar Singha and Ruchinath Burhagohain rallied their troops in Bhutan and also recruited new soldiers from Bhutan and Bijni. Encouraged by the defeats of Burmese at the hands of Chandrakanta Singha, Purandar Singha and Ruchinath Burhagohain also started to harassed Burmese troops especially, on the north bank of Brahmaputra. The Burmese commander Mingimaha Tilowa Baju sent a long letter to the British Governor-General at Calcutta, protesting against the facilities which had been accorded to the Ahom princes and demanded their extradition, but the British authority gave no reply.[61][62][63]

Arrival of Mingi Maha Bandula and Defeat of Chandrakanta Singha[edit]

Meanwhile news of Burmese reverses in Assam reached Burma. The Burmese monarch Bagyidaw sent his finest general Mingi Maha Bandula to reclaim Assam with reinforcements of 20,000 soldiers. Undaunted by enemy strength, Chandrakanta Singha marched upwards into Upper Assam with approximately 2000 men consisting of Sikhs and Hindustani mercenaries and some local Assamese people recruited around Guwahati. After pushing the enemy forces back, he pitched his camp in Mahgarh (presently known as Kokilamukh; located in Jorhat district near the capital Jorhat).[64][65] On 19 April 1822 A.D. the 20,000 Burmese led by Mingi Maha Bandula and the 2000 mixed Assamese-Hindustani forces led by Chandrakanta Singha fought the decisive battle at Mahgarh.[66] Chandrakanta Singha is said to have displayed unusual vigour and courage by himself present in the thick of battle; personally leading his soldiers; and engaged in hand-to-hand combat with enemy soldiers.[67][68][69] For some time his troops held their own, but in the end their ammunition gave out and they were defeated with a loss of 1500 men.[70] The Burmese won the battle due to their numerical superiority but sustained losses more than that of Chandrakanta’s forces. Chandrakanta Singha and his remaining forces managed to escape back to Guwahati as the Burmese, like Chandrakanta Singha’s forces run out of ammunitions and a lot of them were injured or dead after the battle.[71][72] Mingi Maha Bandula sent Burmese Commander Mingi Maha Tilowa Baju in pursuit of Chandrakanta Singha. Unable to resist the Burmese with his small force, Chandrakanta Singha fall back to Hadirachowki (Assam chowki), where he made preparation to resist the Burmese with his mixed levies consisting of Sikh, Hindustanis and Assamese soldiers. On 21 June 1822, Chandrakanta Singha made his final stand against Mingi Maha Tilowa Baju and his Burmese forces in the battle of Hadirachowki.[73] In the battle Chandrakanta Singha was finally defeated and his army totally eliminated. Chandrakanta Singha narrowly escaped to British ruled Goalpara district.

Meanwhile after receiving the news of Chandrakanta’s defeat and threatened by growing Burmese power, Purandar Singha and Ruchinath Burhagohain also withdraw their forces from Assam.[74] The victorious Burmese assumed themselves as the undisputed Masters of Brahmaputra valley.

Anglo-Burmese War and British occupation of Assam[edit]

In 1824 CE, the First Anglo-Burmese War broke out. The Burmese was utterly defeated and were expelled from Assam, Cachar and Manipur. Finally the Burmese monarch sued for peace and the treaty of Yandabo was signed by both parties on 26 February 1826. According to the terms and conditions of the treaty, the Burmese monarch renounced all claims over Assam and British became the masters of the Brahmaputra valley.[75][76][77]

Restoration of Ahom rule in Upper Assam under Purandar Singha[edit]

After British occupation of Assam, many members of Ahom Dynasty, including former Ahom king Chandrakanta Singha appealed to the British Government to restore Ahom rule. Initially, the British choose to ignore these appeals, but as days passed, the British authorities sense the growing discontent to foreign rule among the people. Meanwhile certain members of former Ahom royal family and nobles conspired to overthrow the British rule from Assam. Though, the conspiracy was detected in time and the conspirators were duly punished, the British authorities were concern over the growing dissatisfaction among the people towards British rule. Therefore in an attempt to pacify the people, in 1832 A.D., the British Government considers restoring Upper Assam to the former Ahom royal family as a tributary prince.[78] The two most suitable candidates for the throne were Chandrakanta Singha and Purandar Singha. After some interviews with the candidates and discussions among the British Officers, Purandar Singha was selected for the throne. In his report to British Government, Mr. T. C. Robertson, then Commissioner and Political Agent of Assam, wrote as follows regarding Purandar Singha’s qualifications :-

I have had several interviews with Purandar Singh at Gauhati, and see no reason, from his outward appearance and manners, to doubt of his fitness for the dignity, for which all unite in preferring him to his only rival Chandrakant. Purandar Singh is a young man, apparently about 25 years of age. His countenance is pleasing, and his manners extremely good. His natural abilities seem respectable and his disposition mild and pacific…Major White and Lieutenants Mathie and Rutherford are all decidedly of opinion that Purandar Singh is the best person fitted to be at the head of the State which it has been decided to create.” Political Proceedings of the Government of Bengal, dated 4 February 1833, No. 8, p-123-4 [79]

Some historians are of the opinion that the selection of Purandar Singha over Chandrakanta Singha as a tributary ruler of Upper Assam was part of British political game. Since Chandrakanta Singha inherited the kingdom from his elder brother, the Ahom king Swargadeo Kamaleswar Singha, therefore the legal basis of Chandrakanta Singha was more firm than Purandar Singha. Purandar Singha lived most of his life in exile with his father; therefore if the British install Purandar Singha to the throne, he would be more grateful and will submit to British rule more readily than his rival candidate Chandrakanta Singha.

Second reign (1833-1838 CE)[edit]

In April 1833, Purandar Singha was appointed as a protected prince in charge of Upper Assam, excluding Sadiya and Matak regions, on a stipulated tribute of 50,000 rupees.[80][81] Jorhat was made the capital of the state. The entire civil administration was left in his hands and a detachment of Assam Light Infantry of British army, was left at Jorhat for the protection of Purandar Singha and the preservation of peace.[82]

Appointment of officials[edit]

At the onset of his second reign, Purandar Singha appointed officials according to age old Ahom system of governance, but since his kingdom’s territory was very much less than the territories of Ahom kingdom, before 1826 CE, he left many official post vacant. Also owing to the depleted conditions of the kingdom’s economy, the state treasury could not have bore the burden of giving salaries to these officials. He appointed Mahidhar, the son of Ruchinath Burhagohain, on the post of Burhagohain. He created three Mels or estates, which are called “Maju Mel”, “Mahi Mel” and “Saru Mel”. He allotted Maju Mel or estate to his nephew, Narnarayan Gohain, Mahi Mel or estate to his cousin Ishwar Gohain, and Suru Mel or estate to his uncle, Brajanath Gohain’s younger brother, Indunath Gohain.[83] Among his all officials, Maniram Dewan was the most powerful, with some real authority. Even though, Purandar Singha had appointed Burhagohain as his Prime Minister, it was actually Maniram Dewan, who look after all the administration of the state and monitor the collection of revenue.[84]

Defaults in the payments of Revenue and maladministration[edit]

After his accession as the tributary ruler of Upper Assam under British Government, Purandar Singha began well with his accounts of payments of revenue. But within three year, he began to make default in his payments. He begged for a considerable reduction in the amount of revenue, as he explained that the country was badly ravaged by the Burmese invaders, affecting all spheres of life of the people, which includes social and economical. Imposing taxation was also difficult because unlike other parts of India, common people in Assam did not use or very rarely use money for any business transaction or in daily business. Captain Jenkins, the new Commissioner and Political Agent, held an enquiry into Purandar Singh’s administration and found it a hot bed of corruption and misfeasance.[85] His subjects were oppressed and misgoverned and his rule is very distasteful to the bulk of the population. Purandar Singha was himself found guilty of gathering personal fortune rather than concentrating on good governance for his people.[86] In 1838, one British officer, McKoch gives descriptions about the conditions of Purandar Singha and his court officials :-

The present representative of this once powerful dynasty (Svargadeo or Lord of Heaven, as he pleased to call himself) now resides in Jorhat in noisy pomp and tawdry splendor; his resources limited to that of a zamindar; his numerous nobility reduced to beggary or to exist upon bribery and corruption; and his kingly court (for he still maintains his regnal dignity) more resembling the parade of a company of strolling players than anything imposing or sovereign.”[87]

Purandar Singha Deposed and End of Ahom Authority in Assam[edit]

Purandar Singha having thus proved a failure, his kingdom was placed under direct British control, in September 1838 CE. With the deposal of Purandar Singha and the annexation of Upper Assam to the territories of the British East India Company, all vestiges of Ahom authority in Assam came to an end after a reign of approximately 600 years.[88] His kingdom was divided into two districts, Sibsagar district and Lakhimpur district.[89][90]

Later life of Purandar Singha[edit]

After the annexation of his kingdom by British, Purandar Singha continued to live in Jorhat. In October 1838 CE, a pension of 1000 rupees per month was granted to him but he declined to accept it as he hoped for the eventual restitution of his state as a result of his petition to the Governor-General.[91] The petition of Purandar Singha was turn down by Governor-General, after consulting with the British officials serving in Assam. During that time, the British Government officials and many other adventurers dug the Royal Tombs or Maidams of Ahom kings in Charaideo, in search of treasures, as it was widely known that the material properties of the dead king, like swords, furniture, utensils, gold and silver jewellary, and other valuables were also entombed along with the dead king in the Maidam. Purandar Singha, at first protested the desecration of his ancestors’ tombs, but finding it hopeless to appeal, in a bid to preserve the treasure; he himself dug many Royal Tombs and recovered a large booty of treasures.[92] Fearing outburst and reactions from other princes of Ahom Dynasty, he spread the news that he had dug the ancestral tombs to recover their bones and other remains, to take them to Ganges, for spiritual and religious purpose.

Death[edit]

Purandar Singha lived the rest of his life in Jorhat along with his family. He died on October 1, 1846 CE,[93] few days before Durga Puja celebrations. The former Ahom nobles attended his funeral and paid their respect to the departed king. His remains were entombed in a Maidam, constructed in Jorhat. Presently, that place is known as Raja Maidam, located in Jorhat Town.[94]

শেষ আহোম ৰজা স্বৰ্গদেউ পুৰন্দৰ সিংহৰ মৈদাম যোৰহাটৰ ৰজামৈদামত, Maidam(burial mound) of the last Ahom King Purandar Singha at Rajamaidam, Jorhat District.

Family and descendants[edit]

Purandar Singha had numerous wives; prominent among them were Maharani Chandrakala, Chandrakanti Kunwari and Ambavati Kunwari. Maharani Chandrakala was the Parvatia Queen of Purandar Singha and she was a Manipuri princess. Purandar Singha was succeeded by his son Jubraj Kameswar Singha. In 1847 CE, Kameswar Singha was permitted by the British Government to use the title of Raja. Kameswar Singha died on June 10, 1852 CE, and his remains were entombed near his father’s tomb, in Raja Maidam, in Jorhat.[95] Kameswar Singha leave behind three widows, Rani Lakhipriya, Padmahari Kunwari and Madhavi Maju Kunwari, as well as a concubine named Rupavati Khatania. Kandarpeswar Singha, Kameswar’s son through Lakhipriya, was born in 1840. In 1848 CE, the title of Charing Raja was conferred on Kandarpeswar. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, Kandarpeswar Singha was suspected of disloyal manoeuvres. He was placed under arrest as well as his agent Maniram Dewan Barbhandar Barua who was then in Calcutta petitioning the Governor-General for the restoration of the Ahom kingdom to Kandarpeswar Singha. As a result of the trial, Kandarpeswar Singha was sent to Alipur and then to Burdwan to be detained there as a state prisoner. Maniram Dewan was executed on February 26, 1858 CE. Kandarpeswar was afterwards released and granted a pension of 500 rupees per month and he died in Guwahati. His two sons, Kumudeswar and Nareswar, through his wife Rani Kamalapriya had died during their father’s lifetime, and his daughter Troilokyeswari Aideo survived her father.[96][97]

Character and Legacy[edit]

Contemporary chroniclers are of the opinion that since Purandar Singha had passed his childhood through economic hardships during his father’s exile in Bengal, he was very much attracted to money and wealth.[98] This explains the accusations which he had faced during both of his reigns. During his first reign, Purandar Singha and his father Brajanath Gohain, after being defeated by Burmese, fled to Guwahati taking all the valuables from the Royal treasury worth 3.5 million rupees, due to which the next ruler Chandrakanta Singha faced economic hardships in gathering mercenaries and maintaining the army to fight Burmese.[99] During his second reign, as tributary prince under British, it was found that Purandar Singha was busy gathering personal wealth, instead of taking care of administration, which resulted in the growth of corruption among his officials. Some historians also stated his character as stubborn and firm from the fact that he refused to accept any pensions or grants from British Government. His son, Kameswar Singha also refused to accept pension from the British Government.[100][101] Some sources said that it was actually Maniram Dewan who advised both father and son, not to accept any pension, as it might weaken their petition to restore their kingdom. After the fall of Ahom kingdom by Burmese invasion and subsequently by British occupation, Purandar Singha got an golden opportunity to restore Ahom rule in Upper Assam, but he ruined the chance by failing to pay the annual tribute of 50,000 rupees, resulted in the annexation of his kingdom by British, putting an end of 600 years of rule by Ahom dynasty.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Swargadeo Rajeswar Singha first edition 1975 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 226
  2. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 152
  3. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Swargadeo Rajeswar Singha first edition 1975 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 226
  4. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 131
  5. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) 1968 page 198
  6. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 297
  7. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 107
  8. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 225
  9. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) 1968 page 198-199
  10. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 297
  11. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 108
  12. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 225
  13. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 225
  14. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 301
  15. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 2008 page 108
  16. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 225
  17. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 225-226
  18. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 199-200
  19. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 302
  20. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 200
  21. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 304
  22. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 109
  23. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 226
  24. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) 1968 page 200
  25. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 310
  26. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) 1968 page 200
  27. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1981 page 310
  28. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 226
  29. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 226
  30. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahos 1981 page 310
  31. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 201
  32. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 112
  33. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) 1968 page 201
  34. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 1926 page 226
  35. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 234
  36. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 201
  37. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 310
  38. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 113
  39. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 226
  40. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 201
  41. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 312
  42. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 113
  43. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 203
  44. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1981 page 313
  45. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 113
  46. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 227
  47. ^ Chaliha Sadananda Guwahati: Buranjir Khala-Bamat or A collection of select articles on the antiquity and history of Guwahati and the surrounding tracts 1991 page 44
  48. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) 1968 page 203
  49. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 227
  50. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) 1968 page 205
  51. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 313
  52. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 113
  53. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 227-228
  54. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 229
  55. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 319
  56. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 116
  57. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 229
  58. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 229
  59. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 319
  60. ^ Barua Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 116
  61. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 320
  62. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 116
  63. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 229-230
  64. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 320
  65. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 116
  66. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 206
  67. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 206
  68. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 320
  69. ^ Chaliha Sadananda Guwahati: Buranjir Khala-Bamat or A collection of select articles on the antiquity and history of Guwahati and the surrounding tracts 1991 page 50
  70. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 230
  71. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 321
  72. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 116
  73. ^ Chaliha Sadananda Guwahati: Buranjir Khala-Bamat or A collection of select articles on the antiquity and history of Guwahati and the surrounding tracts 1991 page 50
  74. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 321
  75. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 210
  76. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1981 page 329
  77. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 288
  78. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1981 page 338
  79. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 296-97
  80. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 211
  81. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1981 page 338
  82. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 297
  83. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 341
  84. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 353
  85. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 211
  86. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 308
  87. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 308
  88. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 211
  89. ^ Gait E.A. A History of Assam 2nd edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta page 308
  90. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 339
  91. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 212
  92. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 405
  93. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 212
  94. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 408
  95. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 408
  96. ^ Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati page 212
  97. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 341
  98. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 339
  99. ^ Chaliha Sadananda Guwahati: Buranjir Khala-Bamat or A collection of select articles on the antiquity and history of Guwahati and the surrounding tracts 1991 page 44
  100. ^ Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms 1st edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 340
  101. ^ Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam 4th edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati page 131

References[edit]

  • Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Swargadeo Rajeswar Singha first edition 1975 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati
  • Bhuyan Dr. S.K. Tunkhungia Buranji or A History of Assam (1681-1826) second edition 1968 Department of HISTORICAL AND ANTIQUARIAN STUDIES IN ASSAM Guwahati
  • Barbaruah Hiteswar Ahomar-Din or A History of Assam under the Ahoms first edition 1981 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati
  • Barua Gunaviram Assam Buranji or A History of Assam fourth edition 2008 Publication Board of Assam Guwahati
  • Gait E.A. A History of Assam second edition 1926 Thacker, Spink & Co Calcutta
  • Chaliha Sadananda Guwahati : Buranjir Khala-Bamat or A collection of select articles on the antiquity and history of Guwahati and the surrounding tracts first edition 1991 M/s Student Stores Guwahati