The 24th of November is celebrated as Lachit Divas (Lachit Day) in Assam to remember the heroic act of Lachit Borphukan and the Assamese army’s great victory over the Mughal troops in the Battle of Saraighat in 1671. The 24th of November is the birthday of Lachit Borphukan. The Lachit Divas celebration marks the heroism displayed by the commander and fills the people of Assam with pride.
Apart from the Lachit Divas, the commander in chief is celebrated in many forms of legacy. In 1999, the National Defence Academy or the NDA established the Lachit Borphukan Gold Medal awarded to the best passing out cadet of the year. Further, the commission of Tai Ahom Yuba Parishad (TAYPA) awards notable personalities in the state of Assam the Mahabir Lachit Award. Finally, to remember the Great War Hero, the Lachit Borphukan’s Maidam was constructed in Jorhat, Assam, and the last remains of Borphukan are laid here.
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The Biography of Lachit Borphukan
Lachit Borphukan was born on the 24th of November, 1622. Lachit was born in Charaideo District of Assam to a Tai Ahom family. He was the son of Momai Tamuli Borbarua. He was the first Borbarua of the upper-Assam as well as the commander in chief of the Ahom army under King Pratap Singh.
During his prime years, he was a commander and Borphukan (Phu-Kon-Lung) was the Ahom Kingdom. Unfortunately, a year after the Battle of Saraighat concluded, Lachit Borphukan succumbed to an unknown illness on the 25th of April, 1672, at 49 years of age.
The Battle of Saraighat
The Battle of Saraighat was fought between the Mughal Empire led by the Kachwaka King and Raja Ram Singh 1 and the Ahom Kingdom led by Lachit Borphukan in 1671. The naval battle was fought on the Brahmaputra River at Saraighat, located in present-day Guwahati, Assam.
The Battle of Saraighat was a significant turning point in history. It was the last attempt by the Mughal Empire to capture Guwahati and extend into Assam. However, the Mughals lost to the Ahom Kingdom. The Ahom army was led by Lachit Borphukan, an amazing war analyst and commander in chief. His clever use of terrain, smart diplomatic negotiations with surrounding areas, guerilla tactics, psychological warfare, military intelligence and finally, exploiting the weak Mughal navy resulted in the victory of the less equipped and shorthanded Ahom army.
The Mughal Army, led by Raja Ram Singh I, had a military power of 30000 infantry, 15000 archers, 18000 Turkish cavalries, 5000 gunners and over 1000 cannons alongside many boats. In comparison, the Ahom troops were minuscule.
The Mughal army failed to make any progress or advance against the Ahom army and tried to manipulate the Ahom king to dismiss Lachit as the commander to win. Plotting against Lachit Borphukan failed due to the intervention from the king’s Prime Minister Atan Buragohain. Lachit Borphukan defeated the Mughal army, and they were forced to retreat from Guwahati. From hereon, the day has been marked as the Lachit Divas date.
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