Lachit Borphukan Biography – Facts, Battles

by Jan 31, 2022

I know you are used to reading about those famous and well-known freedom fighters who existed in the pre-independence regime; the likes of Chandra Bose, Abrindra Kumar, Khudiram Bose, and more of the like.

However, today we take you through a different story. Did you know that there are a lot of significant figures that have the same bravado as those prominent freedom fighters?

Today we will discuss the life of one of the forgotten legends who courageously contributed to the independence of India. Lachit Borphukan happens to be one of those forgotten legends. He originated from Assam in India and occupied a position of an army general.

One of the things that make him unique and worth the commemoration includes his determination, courage, and hard work towards achieving victory over the Mughal forces.

Historical records show that he had an imposing and undeniable success during the Saraighati war against the Mughal forces led by Ram Singh.

Even though Shivaji Lachit had always been on his toes to keep the Mughal empire from taking over Assam, Lachit was, on the other hand fighting relentlessly as the army commander and ensured they finally acquired the victory over the Mughals. This war happened in 1671.

He was born to an army commander, Momai Tamuli, later appointed as the Governor of upper Assam.

At the same time, Lachit’s father served as the commander of the Ahom Army. This gave him a very stable foundation for developing the needed skills needed for his general army career.

Birth and Early Life of Lachit Borphukan

Lachit Was born in 1622 on the 24th of November. He was born in the Ahim empire, located in today’s Assam in India. He was the son of Momai Tamuli, who happened to be the first governor of the Upper Assam.

As mentioned earlier, his father was also the army commander under emperor Pratap Singh. His mother’s name was Kunti Momai.

Right from his childhood, Lachit was a responsible and well-trained boy. Growing as a governor’s son gave me a stable background to acquire the necessary skills and proficiency to be a leader.

Lachit Borphukan lived a very comfortable and enjoyable life during his childhood. His father was wealthy and prominent in society, which guaranteed him and his family a very comfortable life.


His father was well exposed and knew the importance of education. Therefore, he decided to take him through school. Lachit learned military science, scriptures and humanities in preparation for his dream career of becoming a general.

Due to his determination and focus, Lachit Borphukan was able to go through his education and get the necessary qualifications to assume the position of an army general.

As he grew up, he got so exposed to responsibilities, which gave him even more experience of being a leader.

There was a reason why his father decided to sponsor him through the training. He noticed that Lachit Borphukan had a great passion for leadership.

Above all, throughout his childhood, he conducted things responsibly. He was going to be a great man in India. And sure, he became great later on.

Growing under the carte and tutoring a governor and military commander gave Lachit Borphukan the perfect nurturing he needed to become a leader one day. And sure, he did become a leader, a general to the Ahom army.

A victorious general in that matter. Under his leadership, the Ahom army got victory over the Mughal forces and kept them off the Ahom territories.

Career Background

I have mentioned earlier in the post that Lachit was from a stable family. His father was a significant person in the government. And so, that gave Lachit a perfect background for his general army career.

Even though he wasn’t sure of what he would like to become once he grew, Lachit was constantly learning a lot and his interest in getting into administration kept increasing with time.

His father knew his son was into leadership and pushed him into the necessary training. So, Lachit started his career journey as the royal shawl bearer.

A shawl bearer was relatively a prominent position in the ministry. His good behaviours, responsibility and leadership skills drove him into acquiring various senior positions in the administration.

For instance, he served as the head of royal stables and became the King’s chief guard. When he was appointed the Borphukan (head of the army), he was the King’s chief guard.

How did he become the General of the Ahom Army?

So, it happened at one time; Raja Chakradhwaj Singa posed a serious question to his ministers. The prime minister, Atan Buragohain, was also present. Raja asked them who was eligible to be the Borphuka of Ahom.

This one was a challenging and sensitive question to all attending ministers. However, after numerous discussions and arguments, all fingers pointed at Lachit.

The King, Raja Chakradhwaj Singa, didn’t think twice over his ministers’ choice. He there and then appointed Lachit to be the Borphukan. And that is how Lachit became the head of Ahom’s army.

Did you notice something there? Borphukan was not his real name. It’s not a name. It’s a title given to the heads of Ahom’s army. The King highly organized the Ahom army. Below is a brief explanation of the same.

  • Deka led ten soldiers.
  • Bora led twenty soldiers.
  • Sainkia led a hundred soldiers.
  • Hazarika led a thousand soldiers.
  • Rajkowa led three thousand soldiers.
  • Pukan led six thousand soldiers.
  • And Borphukan was the head of the entire army.

Our legend, Lachit, was appointed to be Borphukan, the head of the entire army of Ahom. I must say, he assumed this position due to his continued character of bravery And responsibility, and above all, his background played a significant role.

Even before he was appointed the Borphukan, Lachit had a keen interest in administration from childhood. And so, he was always looking forward to getting into a significant position in the administration of Ahom Kingdom.

His father, who was a top official in the Ahom administration, noticed the same and trained him well to fit into the leadership. So, we could confidently say he was well-equipped for the position.

Battle of Saraighati

How did he participate?

The battle of Saraighati happened between the Mughal empire and the Ahom kingdom in the year 1671. This war occurred along the Brahmaputra river in Saraighati (today’s Guwahati).

The battle marked an end to the Mughal empire attempting to extend their territories into the Ahom Kingdom.

How did the battle start?

The Koch Kingdom separated the Mughal empire and the Ahom kingdom. The Ahom kingdom took Koch, a significant state that always kept away from the constant conflicts from the Mughals.

Also, the Koch acted as a barrier that kept the Mughals from accessing the Ahom kingdom while expanding their territories.

However, things started to fall apart when Nara Narayana, the King of the Koch kingdom, passed away in 1587. The Koch kingdom became unstable, and as a result, the Kingdom divided into two, with one part being ruled by his son while his nephew led the other.

Lakshmi Narayan, his son, took over the leadership of the west part of Koch’s kingdom while his nephew, Raghudev, took over the eastern part of Koch.

Lakshmi Narayan shaped a union with the Mughal Empire, following which the legislative head of Bengal helped assault Parikshit Narayan, child of Raghudev.

This happened in Dhubri in the year 1602. Following a progression of fights, Parikshit Narayan was crushed; however, his sibling Bali Narayana fled off to Ahom and took refuge there.

This was the start of the Mughals getting into the Ahom empire because they would use his refuge as a reason to invade the Kingdomkingdom.

The first war between Ahom and Mughal kingdom happened in 1615, and as a result, it initiated a series of battles between the two domains. However, a treaty was finally signed in 1639 and fixed Ahom and Mughal boundaries.

The Final Battle of Saraighati involving Lachit Borphukan

There were constant battles between the Mughal kingdom and the Ahom Kingdom. However, the Mughals failed in their long-anticipated goal of extending their territories into the Ahom kingdom.

This time, Lachit Borphukan was the ruling King of Ahom Kingdom, while Ram Singh was the ruler of the Mughal empire. The Ahom’s seemed to be quite stubborn and determined to protect their Kingdomkingdom at all cost.

After trying every diplomacy technique to get into Ahom kingdom, Ram Singh did not succeed. He then decided to launch a very massive naval attack on Ahom kingdom. Ram Singh did not lead the war himself.

He sent Munnawar Khan, his admiral, to show the attack. By the time the Mughals launched the attack, the Ahom’s were not as stable as usual. They had lost quite a lot from the previous battle. Also, Lachit had fallen ill.

The Mughals came well prepared and with a numerical and technological superiority compared to the Ahom’s.

So, the Ahom’s felt desperate and inferior. They started to retreat, and this gave the Mughal troops the hope to win.

Lachit Borphukan Intervenes

When Lachit Borphukan saw that the Mughals were gradually taking over in the battle, he requested to ride in a boat ignoring his ill condition.

He was shouting that it was better he died on duty rather than die while doing nothing. That right there portrayed the spirit of an honest and brave warrior.

He never believed in running away from his enemies. Lachit decided to get into the battle despite his illness condition.

He was always a strategical commander, so he charged towards the Mughal forces. When his forces saw their leader approaching the enemy, they felt encouraged and inspired. They joined in massive and fought courageously.

The Ahom’s battle boats were small and, therefore, could maneuver easily and quickly. On the other hand, the mughams boats were way too large and thus found it difficult to attack the Ahom effectively. That there was a tactical move for the Ahom’s.

There was a melee between the two parties and Munnawar Khan, who stood in the place of the Mughal King; Ram Singh died alongside a few officials from the Mughal empire. This came in as a big blow to the Mughal forces, and they retreated immediately.

The Ahom’s, under the leadership of Lachit, pursued the Mughal forces up the Manas River.

After the Ahom forces defeated them, under the leadership and management of Lachit, the Mughals army retreated and sailed up, approaching Assam to Guwahati.

The Mughal forces were by then under the supervision of Ram Singh. At this point, the army troops had just decreased in number due to the war between them and Lachit’s forces.

A lot of the Mughals forces died in the battle hence affecting the stability and the power of the Mughal army. They never attempted to attack Ahom again.


Lachit Borphukan passed on the 25th of April 1672, not so long after winning the battle of Saraighati. Remember, he felt seriously unwell even during the war.

The historical records do not highlight a specific sickness linked to his death. most of them just link to an unknown sickness.

His unparallel heroic deeds still linger in the minds of the Assam people. The people of Assam celebrates his birthday together with his heroic deed every year, on the 24th of November.

Did you know that Assam people call his name whenever they feel like giving up? They believe when they revoke his name, victory must be theirs.

Lachit Borphukan today remains an icon of courage, bravery, and statesmanship.

Memories & Honors in respect of Lachit

Every hero has a legacy. Lachit Borphukan is not an exception in this case. He also has a couple of legacies. These I will list below.

Lachit Divas

Lachit Divas can also be referred to as the Lachit day. This is a celebration held every 24th of November in Assam, India. The purpose of this holiday is to remember and celebrate the heroic deed of Lachit Borphukan.

Also, this day commemorates the victory the Ahom forces acquired over the Mughals at the final battle of the Saraighati under the leadership of Lachit.

Lachit Gold Medal

Wondering what this is? Well, it’s an award granted to the best cadet trainee. Every year since 199, this award was launched, and all best cadets of the National Defense Academy of India get the Lachit Borphukan Gold Medal.

Mahabir Lachit Award

This award is given to anyone who comes out as a notable individual in Assam.

Lachit Borphukan’s Maidam

This memorial building was constructed to honor the fallen soldier and a great warrior of the Ahom kingdom, Lachit Borphukan. This is where his last remains were laid.

In other words, this is his graveyard. “Maidam” means tomb for those who do not know. The Maidam was established in 1672 by Swargadeo Singha.

Interesting Facts about Lachit Borphukan

I must say, Lachit was a fascinating person. Even from his history, we have a couple of fascinating things about him. These I will list below.

Courageousness and Focus

Lachit Borphukan was a fearless man. From his childhood, he dreamt and anticipated becoming a leader. His courage and passion for leadership gave him the chance to work close to the King. Before he became the head of the army of Ahom, he was working as the chief guard of the King.


When the Ahom army was on the verge of surrendering to the Mughal forces, Lachit was very sick, but he still requested to sail in a boat to lead the troops.

His selflessness motivated the Ahom forces, and they courageously charged towards the Mughals and defeated them. He didn’t care about his illness condition.

Wise and strategical Leadership

First of all, he was the chief guard to the King and later became the head of an entire army. Managing a whole army needs a wise and strategical person.

During his era, the Ahom army won many battles under the leadership and planning of Lachit. Winning any struggle in ancient times needed very strategic and wise.

During the final war of Saraighati, the Mughal forces came fully equipped and ready to win the battle. Lachit had fallen ill and did not have the energy to lead the troops.

However, he had to intervene when he saw his men retreating. His strategical use of small boats helped a lot in the final to the Mughal forces.

They found it so hard to attack the small ships swiftly sailing towards them. This is how the Mughals lost the battle against the Ahom forces.

The Mughals bribed him to abandon his army

The Mughals knew defeating the Ahom’s under the leadership and guidance of Lachit would be pretty challenging.

So, they decided to bribe him to leave his army unguided. The Mughals gave him a lakh as a bribe. However, Lachit didn’t abandon his army.

Lachit Borphukan is not his original name

It might interest you to know that Lachit’s original names were Lachit Deca. These are the names his parents gave him after birth.

However, he acquired the name Lachit Borphukan when the king made him the head of Ahom’s army. The title Borphukan meant a leader of an entire army. Since then. Lachit adopted the name Lachit Borphukan.

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