Lachit Barphukan was a legendary military commander and a heroic figure in the history of Assam, a northeastern state in India. He played a crucial role in defending the Ahom kingdom against the Mughal forces during the seventeenth century. Lachit Borphukan’s extraordinary leadership, strategic brilliance, and unwavering commitment to his land and people make him a revered figure and an inspiration for generations.
Lachit Barphukan was born in 1622 CE in the Ahom dynasty, which ruled over the Brahmaputra Valley region of Assam. He belonged to the Borbarua family, known for producing distinguished generals and administrators in the Ahom kingdom. From an early age, Lachit showed exceptional courage, intelligence, and a deep sense of patriotism.
Lachit Borphukan’s most significant contribution came during the Battle of Saraighat in 1671, a critical conflict between the Ahom kingdom and the Mughal Empire. The Mughals, under the command of Raja Ramsingh, had embarked on a campaign to annex Assam. They sought to gain control over the rich resources and strategic location of the region. Lachit Borphukan was appointed as the commander-in-chief of the Ahom army, entrusted with the responsibility of defending his homeland.
Despite facing numerous challenges, including a smaller army and limited resources compared to the Mughals, Lachit Borphukan led his troops with unparalleled courage and strategic acumen. He devised brilliant tactics, organized his forces, and instilled a sense of patriotism and determination among his soldiers. Lachit’s leadership and unwavering spirit united the people of Assam in a common cause to protect their land from foreign invaders.
The Battle of Saraighat was fought on the Brahmaputra River, which served as a natural barrier for the Ahom forces. Lachit Borphukan’s ingenious tactics involved effectively utilizing the river’s current to his advantage. He devised a flotilla of boats, known as “phukanis,” equipped with cannons and skilled archers. Lachit personally led his troops from the front, inspiring them to fight with bravery and dedication.
The battle lasted for several days, with fierce clashes between the Ahom and Mughal forces. Lachit Borphukan’s strategic brilliance, coupled with the determination of his soldiers, led to a resounding victory for the Ahom kingdom. The Mughals were defeated, and Assam successfully repelled the Mughal invasion. Lachit’s leadership and military prowess made him a symbol of resistance and a true hero in the annals of Assam’s history.
Lachit Borphukan’s contribution to Assam goes beyond his military achievements. He was known for his strong sense of justice, integrity, and dedication to the welfare of his people. He implemented various reforms to improve the administration and governance of the kingdom. Lachit’s legacy as a just and able ruler continues to inspire leaders and citizens alike.
Lachit Borphukan’s valiant efforts to defend Assam against the Mughal forces have made him a revered figure in Assamese culture. He is celebrated as a symbol of bravery, patriotism, and unwavering dedication to the motherland. Lachit’s name resonates with pride and honor in Assam, serving as a reminder of the indomitable spirit of its people.
In recognition of his remarkable contributions, the Indian government posthumously honored Lachit Barphukan with the title of “Lachit Divas” on November 24th, which is observed as a day to celebrate his valor and commemorate his achievements.
Lachit Borphukan’s legacy continues to inspire generations, reminding us of the power of courage, leadership, and a deep love for one’s homeland. His story stands as a testament to the strength and resilience of the people of Assam and serves as an inspiration for all who strive to protect and preserve their cultural identity and heritage.