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Encyclopedia > Etymology of Assam

The Etymology of Assam is an issue that often comes up for debate in the Indian state of Assam. In the latest instance, the Government of Assam under the Indian National Congress has sought to change the name of the state from Assam to Asom. This move has been opposed by a wide range of people, triggering once again a public debate. Assam   (Assamese: অসম Ôxôm) is a north eastern state of India with its capital at Dispur, a part of Guwahati. ... The Government of Assam is the provincial government of Assam. ... Indian National Congress (also known as the Congress Party or Congress (I), abbreviated INC) is a major political party in India. ...


The academic consensus is that the name is associated with the Ahom kingdom, established by the Shan prince Sukaphaa, that existed from the 13th to the 19th century for nearly 600 years. According to historian Satyendra Nath Sarma,[1] The Ahom Kingdom (1228-1826) was established by Sukaphaa, a Tai prince from Mong Mao, in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river, between the extant Chutiya kingdom in the north and the Kachari kingdom in the south. ... The Shan (Burmese: ; IPA: ; Chinese: ; pinyin: ) are an ethnic group of Southeast Asia. ... Sukaphaa (reign 1228-1268) is the first king of the Ahom kingdom in medieval Assam. ... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...

While the Shan invaders called themselves Tai, they came to be referred to as Āsām, Āsam and sometimes as Acam by the indigenous people of the country. The modern Assamese word Āhom by which the Tai people are known is derived from Āsām or Āsam. The epithet applied to the Shan conquerors was subsequently transferred to the country over which they ruled and thus the name Kāmarūpa was replaced by Āsām, which ultimately took the Sanskritized form Asama, meaning "unequalled, peerless or uneven"[2]

Contents

Evidence of names

Pragjyotisha

The land referred as Progjyotisha in the Mahabharata is now accepted to be Assam. In the Bhismaparvan, the Pragjyotisha king Bhagadatta is said to have joined the Kurukshetra war with an army of kirata and cinas. Since the name China is derived from the Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC), the reference is dated to after that period. Mahabharat redirects here. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... The Kiratas mentioned in early Hindu texts are the non-Aryan aborigines of the land. ... The Chinas or Ciñas are a people mentionned in ancient Indian sources at the beginning of our era, such as the Manu Smriti, the Mahabharata as well as in the Puranic literature. ... The Qin (Chin) Dynasty (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chin Chao) (221 BC - 206 BC) was preceded by the Zhou Dynasty and followed by the Han Dynasty in China. ... Centuries: 4th century BC - 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC Decades: 270s BC 260s BC 250s BC 240s BC 230s BC - 220s BC - 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC Years: 226 BC 225 BC 224 BC 223 BC 222 BC - 221 BC - 220 BC 219 BC... Second Punic War: Scipio Africanus Major destroyed the combined Carthaginian army of Mago Barca and Hasdrubal Gisco in the Battle of Ilipa, thus ending Carthaginian hold in Spain. ...


Kamarupa

The earliest mention of Kamarupa comes from the Samudragupta's Allahabad stone pillar from 4th century AD. Epigraphic sources from Assam calls the kingdom Pragjyotisha-Kamarupa. In the early 12th century epigraphic sources from the Pala dynasty (Kamarupa) mention Kamarupa as a mandala (an administrative division) of the kingdom they ruled. The invasion of western Assam by Allauddin Hussein of Gaur upto Barnadi river in 1498 is recorded in coins (from the early 16th century), which declares Hussein as the conqueror of "Kamru" (and not "Assam".) Samudragupta, ruler of the Gupta Empire (c. ... (3rd century - 4th century - 5th century _ other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ... (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... The Pala dynasty of Kamarupa ruled the kingdom from 900. ... Gaur, or Laknauti is a ruined city, in the Malda district of West Bengal, India, on the west bank of the Ganges 40 km downstream from Rajmahal. ... 1498 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ...


Assam and other derivatives

The earliest mention of Assam is found in the Bhagavat of Sankardeva, composed in the 15th and 16th centuries. The relevant stanza[3] is (in iTrans) The Bhagavat of Sankardeva is the adaptation of the Bhagavata Purana made by Srimanta Sankardeva in 15th-16th century in the regions that form present-day Assam and Cooch Behar. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ...

 kiraTa kachhaari khaachi gaaro miri yavana ka~Nka govaala | asama maluka dhobaa ye turuka kubaacha mlechchha chaNDaala || 

One of the first unambiguous references comes from Thomas Bowrey in 1663 about Mir Jumla's death: "They lost the best of Nabobs, the Kingdome of Acham, and, by consequence, many large privileges".[4] // Events Prix de Rome scholarship established for students of the arts. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...


Jean-Baptiste Tavernier's Travels in India, published in 1676 uses the spelling "Assen" for Assam in the French original. Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. ... Events January 29 - Feodor III becomes Tsar of Russia First measurement of the speed of light, by Ole Rømer Bacons Rebellion Russo-Turkish Wars commence. ...


The official chronicler of Mir Jumla too calls the place "Asam".[5]


In various documents of British East India Company, in their relationships with the last few Ahom kings, the name of country was mentioned as Assam. After the fall of the Ahom kingdom and the conquest by the British in 1826, in the Treaty of Yandabo, "Assam" was used to denote the area under the erstwhile Ahoms, and its protectorates (Darrang Koch, Jaintias, Kacharis and some hill areas in the present Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland). The Ahom Kingdom (1228-1826) was established by Sukaphaa, a Tai prince from Mong Mao, in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river, between the extant Chutiya kingdom in the north and the Kachari kingdom in the south. ... The oldest surviving photograph, Nicéphore Niépce, circa 1826 1826 (MDCCCXXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ...


After the British took control of the region, the name "Assam" was extended to the province which was then much larger than he erstwhile Ahom kingdom. It then included, Garo Hills and Lushai Hills (Mizoram). The boundaries of Assam have been redrawn many times after that, but the name Assam remained. Today, the political boundary of Assam contains roughly the historical Ahom Kingdom and its protectorates, the Kachari kingdom, Koch Hajo and a part of the Jaintia Kingdom. The Ahom Kingdom (1228-1826) was established by Sukaphaa, a Tai prince from Mong Mao, in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river, between the extant Chutiya kingdom in the north and the Kachari kingdom in the south. ... The Garo Hills are part of the Garo-Khasi range in Meghalaya, India. ... Categories: India geography stubs | Mizoram | States and territories of India | Seven Sister States ... Mizoram (Hindi: िमज़ोरम)   is one of the Seven Sister States in northeastern India on the border with Myanmar. ... The Ahom Kingdom (1228-1826) was established by Sukaphaa, a Tai prince from Mong Mao, in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river, between the extant Chutiya kingdom in the north and the Kachari kingdom in the south. ... The Kachari kingdom was a powerful and advanced kingdom in medieval Assam. ... Koch Hajo was the eastern portion of the Kamata kingdom of medieval Assam that Nara Narayan handed over to Raghudev (son of Chilarai) to govern, fixing the Subansiri river as the boundary between the western and the eastern portions. ... The Jaintia Kingdom from eastern Shillong Plateau extended to the plains south of it and to the north of the Barak River valley in Assam. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Sarma, Satyendra Nath (1976) Assamese Literature, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden.
  2. ^ Banikanta Kakati: Assamese: Its Formation and Development, p2
  3. ^ Srimandbhagavat, skandha 2, H Dattabaruah and Co., Nalbari, pp-38
  4. ^ Bowrey, Thomas, A Geographical Account of Countries around Bay of Bengal, ed Temple, R. C., Hakluyt Society's Publications
  5. ^ The Indian Antiquary, July 1887, pp222-226

 
 

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