Lachit Borphukan: The Hero of Assam

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Lachit Borphukan

Lachit Borphukan was a legendary military commander in the Ahom kingdom of Assam, known for his outstanding leadership and strategic brilliance. He hailed from the powerful Borphukan family. From a young age, Lachit showed great promise in military tactics and leadership skills. He is primarily known for his bravery and valour during the Ahom-Mughal War held in Assam. His name is synonymous with courage and leadership in the history of Assam. Let’s know more about this unsung hero in our history.

Early Life of Lachit Borphukan

Lachit Borphukan was born on 24th November 1622 in the Charaideo region of Assam. He belonged to a royal family and grew up in the backdrop of the Mughal-Ahom conflict. 

  • Lachit’s father’s name was Momai Tamuli, who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Ahom Army. Tamuli was also the 1st Borbarua (Phu-ke-Lung) of Upper-Assam under the reign of Prataap Singha. He is also attributed to be a founder of Paik practises.
  • Lachit Bophukan’s mother’s name was Kunti Moran. He received his education from his mother and from a domestic tutor appointed by his father.
  • He completed his education in Military strategies and Humanities and was well-versed in subjects like Ahom scriptures, Economics and Hindu culture and its religious components.
Credit – Organiser

Career of Lachit Borphukan

From an early age, he was appointed to the commander’s post of “Hanstidhara Tamuli” by the then minister of the state. 

  • Lachit Borphukan began his political career as a personal assistant as Salashar Barua to the commander of the state of Ahom. 
  • He was later appointed as Ghura Baruah, where he impressed everyone with his talent and bravery in handling horses. 
  • He was then appointed as the chief officer of Shimaluguria games as Shimaluguria Phukan and subsequently as Dulakasharia Baruah. His role as Dulakasharia Baruah was to control the king’s pali-paharia while he was taken to Dula. 
  • When the Swargadeo Chakradhwaj Singha became aware of his skills, he was appointed as the Commander-in-Chief and Borphukan of the state of Ahom. 

Also Read – Birsa Munda: Life and his Ulgulan Movement

Military Career and Achievements

The bravery of Lachit Borphukan was seen in his military expeditions against the Mughal Empire. As a commander-in-chief, despite his illness, he inspires the army to fight valiantly against the enemies with himself present on the battleground. Some of his military achievements are – 

  • Battle of Saraighat: One of Lachit Borphukan’s most notable achievements was his leadership in the Battle of Saraighat in 1671. This battle is considered a turning point in Indian history as it marked the defeat of the mighty Mughal army by the Ahom forces under Lachit’s command. The whole of Northeast did not ever fall under the Mughals after this Battle. 
  • Strategies and Tactics: Lachit Borphukan was known for his strategic brilliance and innovative military tactics. He utilized the natural terrain of Assam to his advantage and outmanoeuvred the Mughal forces at every turn. He fought in the giant Brahmaputra river and stopped the force at the doors itself.
  • Siege of Guwahati: Another significant feat of Lachit Borphukan was the successful defence of Guwahati against the Mughal forces. Despite being outnumbered, Lachit’s determination and tactical acumen led to the defeat of the Mughals.

Also Read – Complete Mughal Empire List: An Overview

Battle of Saraighat

  • Lachit Borphukan is best known for his leadership in the Battle of Saraighat, a crucial confrontation between the Ahom kingdom and the Mughal forces led by Ram Singh on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
  • Despite being outnumbered and facing a formidable enemy, Lachit Borphukan and his troops displayed unmatched valour and determination.
  • Under his command, the Ahom army achieved a resounding victory, repelling the Mughal forces and safeguarding the sovereignty of Assam forever until the Britishers took it under their control.
Credits- Reddit

Honours and Recognition

  • Lachit Divas: Every year on November 24th, Assam celebrates Lachit Divas to honour the monumental contributions of Lachit Borphukan. It is a day dedicated to commemorating the son of Assam for his heroism at the Battle of Saraighat.
  • Military Awards: The National Defence Academy awards the best cadet with the Lachit Borphukan Gold Medal Award every year since 1999.

Lachit Borphukan died at the age of 50 due to illness and natural causes in the year 1671. He is widely revered by the people of Assam, who hold him in high regard for his selfless service to the kingdom. In conclusion, Lachit Borphukan’s legacy as a warrior and leader remains etched to inspire generations of Assamese people, symbolizing courage, integrity and patriotism. He is remembered and celebrated through various cultural expressions, including folk songs, poems and statues.

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This was all about Lachit Borphukan. If you want to know more about topics like this, then visit our general knowledge page! Alternatively, you can also read our blog on general knowledge for competitive exams!

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