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The Info List - Rudra Singha



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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 .

CONTENTS

* 1 Reign

* 1.1 Political works * 1.2 Administrative works * 1.3 Civil works

* 2 See also * 3 Notes * 4 References

REIGN

POLITICAL WORKS

Though he was an illiterate himself, he had an expansive and progressive political vision, just as Akbar
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. 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.

ADMINISTRATIVE WORKS

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