Decline and fall of the Ahom Kingdom the Moamariya Rebellion and the Burmese Invasions

The Moamoria Rebellion started during the reign of Swargadeo Lakshmi Singha and ended during the reign of Swargadeo Kamaleswar Singha. It continued up to 36 years, from 1769 to 1805.It was a conflict between Ahom Kings and the Moran people of upper Assam, who were disciple of the Moamara Sattra. Rise of vaishnavism, Ahom Paik System and internal clash among Ahom royals were the key reasons of the rebellion. In 1769, the rebels occupied Ahom capital. Though Ahoms recaptured the capital, the rebellion continued till 1806.
Srimanta Sankardeva established the Mahapuruxiya Dharma in the 16th century, a proselytizing religion that opened itself to all including the Muslims and tribesmen. The religion provided opportunities for social and economic improvements to common tribesmen, and the sattras provided a safe haven from mandatory labor under the Paik system.

The Ahom rulers saw a threat and Sankardeva himself had to escape to the Koch kingdom during the reign of Suklenmung to avoid persecution. A later king, Prataap Singha, demolished the Kalabari and Kuruabahi sattras and his successors followed a similar policy of oppression.

The Dundiya rebellion was a late 18th-century uprising against the Ahom kingdom in the Borphukan’s domain. The rebellion was headed by Haradutta Bujarbarua who, with mercenary troops, managed to occupy most of northern Kamrup before being beaten back.

The Ahom kingdom emerged from these rebellions much weakened. About one half of the population of the kingdom perished and the economy was totally destroyed. Gaurinath Singha’s successors Kamaleswar Singha and Chandrakanta Singhawere reduced to nominal rulers due to their own incompetencies. The real power was in the hands of the Prime Minister, Purnananda Buragohain. This fuelled tensions among other chiefs and one such chief, Badan Chandra Barphukan, Viceroy of Lower Assam was particularly opposed to the Buragohain.

The Barphukan plotted the murder of Purnananda Buragohain, but the latter came to know about it. The Buragohain sent Maheswar Parbatiya Phukan to arrest Badan Chandra Barphukan. Coincidentally, Barphukan’s daughter was Purnananda Buragohain’s daughter in law, who warned her father about the developments. The Barphukan fearing execution rushed to Calcutta to seek help from the Bristish, but was unable to do so. Thereafter he was able to escape to Burma and sought the help of the Burmese King. The Burmese agreed and attacked Assam with a strong army in 1817.

There were three Burmese invasions of Assam between 1817 and 1826, during which time the Kingdom of Assam (Ahom) came under the control of Burma from 1821 to 1825. Locally, this period, called the manor din by the Assamese and Chahi-Taret Khuntakpa (seven years of devastation) in Manipuri, is remembered with horror.The period ended with the defeat of the Burmese in the First Anglo-Burmese War and the subsequent annexation of the kingdom to British territory.

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