Sukhrungphaa

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Ahom dynasty
Ahom insignia plain.svg
1 Sukaphaa 1228–1268
2 Suteuphaa 1268–1281
3 Subinphaa 1281–1293
4 Sukhaangphaa 1293–1332
5 Sukhrangpha 1332–1364
Interregnum 1364–1369
6 Sutuphaa 1369–1376
Interregnum 1376–1380
7 Tyao Khamti 1380–1389
Interregnum 1389–1397
8 Sudangphaa 1397–1407
9 Sujangphaa 1407–1422
10 Suphakphaa 1422–1439
11 Susenphaa 1439–1488
12 Suhenphaa 1488–1493
13 Supimphaa 1493–1497
14 Suhungmung 1497–1539
15 Suklenmung 1539–1552
16 Sukhaamphaa 1552–1603
17 Susenghphaa 1603–1641
18 Suramphaa 1641–1644
19 Sutingphaa 1644–1648
20 Sutamla 1648–1663
21 Supangmung 1663–1670
22 Sunyatphaa 1670–1672
23 Suklamphaa 1672–1674
24 Suhung 1674–1675
25 Gobar Roja 1675–1675
26 Sujinphaa 1675–1677
27 Sudoiphaa 1677–1679
28 Sulikphaa 1679–1681
29 Supaatphaa 1681–1696
30 Sukhrungphaa 1696–1714
31 Sutanphaa 1714–1744
32 Sunenphaa 1744–1751
33 Suremphaa 1751–1769
34 Sunyeophaa 1769–1780
35 Suhitpangphaa 1780–1795
36 Suklingphaa 1795–1811
37 Sudingphaa 1811–1818
38 Purandar Singha 1818–1819
39 Sudingphaa 1819–1821
40 Jogeswar Singha 1821–1822
41 Purandar Singha 1833–1838

Sukhrungphaa (reign 1696–1714), or Swargadeo Rudra Singha (Assamese: স্বৰ্গদেউ ৰূদ্ৰ সিংহ), was a Tungkhungia king of the Ahom kingdom under whom the kingdom reached its zenith of power and glory. Rudra Singha, known as Lai before he became the king, was the son of the previous Ahom king Gadadhar Singha. An illiterate (probably dyslexic), he is best known for building a coalition of rulers in the region and raising a vast composite army against the Mughal Empire. He died on the eve of his march west from Guwahati.

His father had to escape persecution by the previous Ahom king and his mother, Joymoti Konwari, was killed in royal custody. He established his capital at Rangpur.

Silver rupee of Sukhrungphaa. The legends read: obverse: sri srimat swarga deva rudra simhasya sake 1622 and reverse: sri sri hara gauri padambuja madhu karasya. The date of 1622 is in the Saka era (= 1700 CE) and the legend reveals that the king was a devotee of Siva.

Reign[edit]

Political works[edit]

Though he was an illiterate himself, he had an expansive and progressive political vision, just as Akbar had. Rudra Singha subjugated the Dimasa (1706) and the Jaintia kingdoms. His father had removed the last vestiges of the Mughal rule in Assam, and he planned to extend his kingdom up to the Karatoya river, the traditional western boundary of the erstwhile Kamarupa kingdom. He began forming an alliance with different kingdoms and positioned himself at Guwahati for the expedition with a large army and fleet, along with the troops from the Dimasa-Kacharis (14,000), the Jaintiyas (10,000) and the Daflas (600), when he died. The later kings did not follow up on his plans.

Rudra Singha reversed the persecution of the Vaishnava xatras during Gadadhar Singha's reign and reinstated the xatra preceptors, including Chaturbhujdeva the satradhikari of Mayamara xatra, in their former seats.[1] But he forbade the sudra satradhikars from initiating Brahmins and Brahmins from vising sudra monasteries, under the influence of the gosain of Auniati xatra who was the royal perceptor.[2]

Administrative works[edit]

He encouraged exchanges with other kingdoms and sent ambassadors to other royal houses in various parts of India. He created khels or official positions specifically for diplomacy, like Khaund, Kotoki, Bairagi, Doloi, Kakoti. He sent men to Delhi to learn music and Brahman boys to Gurukuls for Vedic and Sanskrit studies. He brought architects from outside for constructing the palace and other buildings in the new capital city, Rangpur. He introduced Mughal style dresses in the Ahom court. He encouraged the culture of local folk music and dance and appointed officers called Gayan Baruas. It is said that he was the first Ahom king to have the Bihu celebrated in the courtyard of the palace and gave royal patronage to Bihu.

As he grew older, he felt more and more drawn towards Saktism and decided to become a sakta. However, he died before his initiation could be completed. He instructed his sons to invite the Bengali priest Krishna Ram Bhattacharyya and accept him as their religious guide.

Joysagar Lake in Sibsagar

Civil works[edit]

  • In honour of the memory of his mother Joymoti Konwari, he dug the Joysagar Tank, India's largest man-made tank covering an area of 318 acres (1.29 km2), including its four banks. * In 1703, he built the Ranganath (Shiva) Temple near the Borduar, or main gateway, on the way from the Joysagar Tank to the Talatal Ghar - for the offering of prayers to Shiva.
  • Before the Ranganath Dol, a pyramid-shaped temple was constructed in 1703–04, to perpetuate the memory of his mother Joymoti Konwari: this marked the "Maidam" of Joymoti. * * Numerous other architectural monuments and structures are credited to him, including the Namdang stone bridge of Gaurisagar, and the Kharikatia Ali (ali meaning road in Assamese) - leading from Kharikatia to Titabor. The Namdang bridge, a stone bridge 60m long, 6.5m wide, and 1.7m thick was built over the Namdang River in 1703. It is one of the best examples of the engineering workmanship and skill of the Ahom era. This bridge, on National Highway no.37, has been proudly providing service for the last 300 years.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Baruah 1993, p55
  2. ^ Baruah 1993, pp55-56.

References[edit]

  • Baruah, S L (1993), Last Days of Ahom Monarchy: A History from 1769 to 1826, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt Ltd, New Delhi.