On November 24, 1622, the Supreme leader of the Ahom army, Momai Tamuli Borbarua, and his wife Kunti Moran welcomed their son, Lachit Borphukan. Conflicts between the Mughals and Ahoms began in 1615 and they persisted for decades to come.
As a result, the formative years of Lachit Borphukan were majorly spent against a backdrop of battles and war-like events. As he displayed a lot of courage, patriotism, and outspokenness since childhood, he quickly caught the attention of the King.
He further chose to study humanities and military techniques.
After completing his studies, Lachit was appointed the "Soladhara Barua" (scarf-bearer), which was the Ahom King's equivalent to a modern-day private secretary.
In the next few years, he served in several key roles, including the Superintendent of the Stable of Royal Horses and the Superintendent of the Royal Household guards. After that, he got promoted to the commander of the Ahom Army.
By the time Lachit Borphukan was appointed the commander, the Mughals had already attacked Guwahati and forced the Ahoms to sign the humiliating peace treaty known as "The Treaty of Ghilajharighat '' in 1663. Under the aforementioned treaty, unfair and onerous penalties were imposed on the Ahom kingdom.
And therefore, Lachit Borphukan carried out King Chakradhwaj Singha's plan to end the monopoly of the Mughals over the entire territory. His leadership and courage in the face of seemingly overwhelming circumstances continue to earn him praise to this day.
By the summer of 1667, Lachit had amassed his troops and made all the necessary preparations for reconquering Guwahati. After hearing news of the Mughal defeat at Guwahati, Emperor Aurangzeb ordered an invading army led by Ram Singh.
But to their dismay, Lachit's guerilla tactics succeeded in thwarting the Mughal army despite the Ahom troops' disadvantages in terms of army size and technology.
Seeing no other way, Ram Singh resorted to deceit because he knew that the Ahom soldiers could only be destroyed without their leader. And therefore, Ram Singh planned to make the monarch suspicious of his Commander's motives.
He shot an arrow carrying a letter to the Ahom army camp. This letter was found by Chakradhwaj Singha. The letter said that Lachit was being paid one million Indian rupees to help with the Guwahati evacuation. Although it made Chakradhwaj Singha think for a while, Prime Minister Atan Buragohain assured him that the Mughals were just trying to get Chakradwaj Singh to fire the man who had been leading the successful resistance to them.
Ram Singh, having tried everything else, eventually reached Guwahati in 1671 through a naval force that sailed up the Brahmaputra. As he was approaching Saraighat, he ran upon a flotilla of Ahoms, captained by Lachit Borphukan.
Once again, the Ahom army was way too outmatched in numbers and firearms compared to the Mughals. Being forced to confront the technically advanced Mughal army in open terrain, the Ahom soldiers' morale began to deteriorate.
Lachit saw that some of his forces were fleeing to save their lives. But Lachit hopped onto the boat and went in search of his soldiers. When one of his soldiers offered to carry him to safety, Lachit flung several of them into the sea while shouting that he would "die completing his duty to his king and nation, even if it meant he had to do it by himself,".
It is said that he was very ill during that time. Seeing his enthusiasm against all odds, Lachit's men were re-energized and a fierce fight ensued on the Brahmaputra.
To the surprise of the Mughal army, Lachit's army won the battle despite being under-armed. The Mughals had no other option than to retreat their steps and leave Guwahati.
The Ahom kingdom's western limit was the Manas river, where the Mughals were finally cornered. Lachit Borphukan ordered his troops to avoid interaction or confrontation with them unless provoked.
This battle changed the perspective of the Mughals toward the people of Assam. They started seeing this region with more respect. And to this date, the people of Assam have not forgotten his sacrifice for the motherland. Without him, things would have been completely different.
To immortalize his legacy, General VP Malik announced the creation of the Lachit Borphukan gold medal in 1999. And every year, the top cadet at the National Defense University is honored with this medal. This was an act of paying tribute to the late Commander and also to encourage military troops to act with the same bravery and selflessness as that of Borphukan.
Lachit Borphukan died of an illness in 1672. His memorial, famously known as Lachit Maidaam, was built 16 kilometers outside of Jorhat in Hoolungapara, in the same year by King Udayaditya Singha. Guwahati fell into the hands of the Mughals in 1679, and they stayed there until 1682 when there was no more war between the two parties.hit
Kunti Moran is the mother of Lachit Borphukan.
Momai Tamuli Borbarua is the father of Lachit Borphukan.
Lachit Borphukan was born on 24 November 1622
Lachit Borphukan died on 25 April 1672