Bhomoraguri Rock Inscription
ভোমোৰাগুৰি শিলালিপিৰ পাঠ
১ স্বস্তি শ্ৰী শ্ৰী সকলম
২ ঙ্গ লালয় স্বৰ্গনাৰায়
৩ ণ দেৱ আগে যৱনক নিপা
৪ ত কৰি পাচে পৰ্ব্বত কাটি গড়
৫ শ্ৰীভণ্ডাৰি গোসাই কৰি
৬ লেন্ত ৷ শক ১৫৩৮
The preceding text inscribed in Assamese script can be found on a Rock near the Koliabhomora Bridge on top of a hillock (Bhattacharya, 2016). The inscription along with the stone had to be relocated from its original site during the construction of Koliabhomora Bridge over the river Brahmaputra in the year 1985.
English rendering of the Assamese Text
Bhomoraguri Rock Inscription
Blessed be all! The Auspicious Sri Sri Swarganarayana Deva vanquished the Mughals, then cutting through the hills Bhandari Gosain erected the Fort. (1616AD)
The stone inscription dates back to 1616 A.D. and marks a very important event in the history of Assam. This inscription narrates the victory of the then Ahom King over the Mughals.
In this picture first 4 lines can be seen distinctly. Apart from these inscribed letters, there are other depictions of animal forms on the rock. These animal forms perhaps symbolise the kingdoms that came into confrontations.
The following photographs show the animal forms inscribed on the rock inscription
In the first picture, a Dragon and a Lion can be seen attacking each other. Here the Dragon can be said to symbolise the Ahoms, because it is seen that in many Ahom monuments, statue of a dragon is always present.
There is also a rectangular shape divided into twelve uniform sections as it can be seen on the picture at the left. This shape is assumed to represent the Samadhara fort, near which the Battle of Bharalimukh took place, whose existing evidence is the Koliabhomora rock inscription.
After the Mughals defeated Koch King Parikshit Narayan of Kamrup kingdom, the Viceroy of Bengal, Qasim Khan cherished the political ambition of continuing further expansion in the north-east. King Parikshits brother Bali Narayan sought help from the Ahom King in recovering this kingdom. Ahom King Pratap Singha with the view of consolidating power over the Brahmaputra Valley on the right bank, not only gave him a cordial reception but also appointed him as his representative in Darrang as Raja Dharma Narayan and assured all possible helps.
The river Barnadi marked the eastern boundary of Kamrupa, but after occupying it, the Mughals further penetrated up to Singri and then up to the mouth of Bharali River to the east of present day Tezpur. Mughals were interested in trading valuable resources of Assam - ivory, musk, aloe wood, pepper, bafta (silk), tobacco, etc., but resistance from the locals gave rise to considerable conflict and reprisals from the Ahom rulers. A Mughal trader named Ratan Shah, who had an unauthorised collection of aloe wood was detected by Habung Chetia, and was arrested and his collection was seized. In another incident, two vessels loaded with cereals and tobacco were also seized at the mouth of the River Belsiri, and the two occupants were put to death by Ahom officials. These two events further soured the relation between the Ahoms and Mughals and brought the two kingdoms on the verge of direct confrontation.
In an attempt to spread their clout over the Ahoms, the Mughal Viceroy selected his most trusted officer, Sayyid Abu Baqr to be the commander of force, consisting of about 10000 to 12000 cavalry and infantry, 200 musketeers and 300 to 400 war boats (Sarkar, 2007), mostly supplied by the Zamindars of Bengal. The army started from Bazrapur on the eve of the rains in 1615. About mid-November, 1615, the Mughal General started war by a sudden assault on Kajali, a strategic fort/post at the junction of the Brahmaputra and the Kalang rivers and caught the Ahoms by surprise. With this easy victory in hand, Mughals pushed further into the interiors of Assam.
Infuriated by the Mughal aggressions, the Ahom King Pratap Singha made all out efforts to check these. A fort was erected at the junction of the Dikrai and the Brahmaputra. Moreover, to check further advancement of Mughals, the defences of Samdhara fort at the confluence of the Bharali and the Brahmaputra were strengthened with additional army and he eleminated the chief officers, the Hati Barua, Rajkhowa and Kharghuka (Khargharia) Phukan with a large force. In the meanwhile, the Mughals had advanced unopposed upto Bharali, opposite Samadhara. Failing to cross the Bharali river on account of its rapids, the Mughals encamped and erected a fort on its bank. After about a month, the Mughals captured the Ahom stockade on the other bank in a deadly assault by the horsemen transported on boats on the Ahoms and killed most defenders including Ratia Deka (Son of Barchetia), and even captured Bingsa Patra, a commander. The Ahoms had to retreat to Samadhara.
With another defeat in the hands of Mughals, Ahom King Pratap Singha doubled his efforts to defend Assam. The three principal commanders at Samadhara, the Buragohain, the Borgohain and the Barpatragohain, were given a strong reinforcement of 14000 men and urged to fight against the Mughal camp and finish the fight. Then, the Ahoms captured the stockade at the mouth of Bharali River. Then, they planned a surprise night attack and thus sent spies to the Mughal fort opposite Samadhara. They reported that the Mughals choice of the fort site was defective, as the ground was sandy, not duly protected, and had not got the surrounding jungles cleared. Moreover, the Mughal commander underestimated the enemys army and wasnt prepared for emergency.
Taking the advantage of the Mughal position, the Ahoms invaded the jungles surrounding the Mughal fort to facilitate quick access. With the advantage of fog on a wintry night in the mid-January, 1616 an Ahom Army of 300000 and 700 war elephants, transported on three bridges of boats across Bharali River stormed the Mughal camp and destroyed the Mughal arsenal, captured the artillery and elephants (Sarkar, 2007). Thus, the Mughals were completely routed without even a chance to fight back. The commander of Mughals, Aba Baqr while trying to escape was killed by Bhella Borgohain. About 1700 of their soldiers were killed on the spot and 3400 died of wounds later, 900 were held captives, and about 3000 half-dead concealed. Only Miran Sayyid Masaud, the imperial supervisor of Zamindars war boats, Sona Ghazi and Raja Satrajit had a narrow escape. Meanwhile, reinforcements had come under Sayyid Hakim and Sayyid Kasu, they were also joined by Allah Khan Dakhini, Jamal Khan Mankali and Lachmi Rajput and tried to put up a battle against the Ahoms but all were in vain. (Sarkar, 2007)
Thus, after two back to back losses, the Ahoms tasted victory and also destroyed the Mughals both physically and psychologically. The Ahom king strengthened his position and added to his resources by capturing the Mughal stockades elephants, horses, war-boats, guns, swords and munitions. To mark such a grand victory, Ahom King Pratap Singha constructed a fort and had his exploits inscribed on a rock. (Sarkar, 2007).
This is the rock inscription that we can see now near the Koliabhomora Bridge, Tezpur and thus it is the existing evidence of the Battle of Samadhara, 1616 A.D. and an important part of history that needs to be preserved.
Bhattacharya, S. C. (2016). Parjyatokor Ramyyabhoomi Tezpur. Guwahati: Chandra Prakash
Sarkar, J. N. (2007). Assam-Mughal Relation. In H. K. Barpujari, (Ed.). The Comprehensive History of Assam. Vol II: Medieval Period: Political. From Thirteenth Century A.D. to the Treaty of Yandabo, 1826 (pp. 148-152). Guwahati: Publication Board, Assam.
Tezpur University community would like to acknowledge the contribution of the following persons and organisations for their active cooperation in restoring and maintaining the site of the Rock Inscription.
Dr. Satish Chandra Bhattacharya,
Researcher and Scholar, Former Vice Principal, Darrang College, Tezpur.
Mr. Manoj Kumar Deka, IAS
Deputy Commissioner, Sonitpur, Tezpur
Ms.Davinder Suman, IFS
DFO, Sonitpur West Division, Tezpur
Ms. Loly Hazarika,
District Museum Officer, Tezpur
S.P.Singla Construction Pvt. Ltd
Mr. Anil Kumar Singh
Team Leader, SA Infrastructure Limited, New Brahmaputra Bridge Project under NHIDCL on NH37A
Er. Bichitra Barman
Bridge and Structural Engineer, SA Infrastructure Limited, New Brahmaputra Bridge Project on NH37A
Please leave your feedback at this link