Asom Divas on December 2 is a regional public holiday in the Indian state of Assam that takes place annually. It commemorates the arrival of the founder and first King of the Ahom kingdom in the territory of ancient Assam, which is one of the country’s largest states with over 30 million people today. Did you know that Asom Divas is also known by several other names, including Asom Day, Sukapha Divas, and some others? Now you know!
History of Asom Divas
Asom Divas, also known as Asom Day or Sukapha Divas, celebrates the legacy of the first king of the Ahom kingdom in Assam and commemorates his arrival in the region in the early 13th century.
Chaolung Sukapha, who was a prince from the Tai state of Mong Mao, close to present-day Ruili in Yunnan, China, was forced to migrate after the birth of a cousin blocked his path to his father’s throne. And, after 13 years on the journey and crossing the Patkai mountains, he arrived in Namrup, in the southeast of the Indian state of Assam in 1228, and founded the Ahom kingdom.
Sukapha’s reign as the king of Ahom kingdom, who ruled medieval Assam for six hundred years, and famously resisted other great powers, such as the Mughals, is considered to be a glorious chapter in the history of Assam.
He is widely referred to as the architect of ‘Bor Asom’ or ‘greater Assam’ because of the amicable relationship he developed with the tribal communities living in Assam at the time of his arrival. He was revered for being a strong, courageous, and fearless leader who played a vital role in unifying the various indigenous ethnic groups of Assam.
The day dedicated to honoring his legacy, Asom Divas, highlights Assam’s rich culture! The celebration begins with beautiful folk music and several indigenous dances like Bagurumba, Bihu dance, and Bhortal dance performed by local artists. An award ceremony follows, as well as a grand procession organized by the authorities.
Asom Divas timeline
Sukapha reaches Namrup in December and establishes the Ahom kingdom.
Assam becomes a constituent state of India.
Assam’s capital city shifts to Dispur, a suburb of Guwahati.
Asom Divas is observed for the first time in Assam on December 2.
Asom Divas FAQs
Why do we celebrate Asom Divas?
To highlight the lasting legacy of the first king of Ahom kingdom in Assam and commemorate his arrival into the region.
Who is the first king of Assam?
Chaolung Sukapha. He was said to have reached Assam in the 13th century with around 9,000 followers according to Arup Kumar Dutta, the author of the book “The Ahoms”. Needless to say, Sukapha was the first Ahom king in Assam.
Is Ahom a tribe?
Yes. The Ahom tribe ruled much of Assam from the 13th century when Sukapha reached Assam, until the establishment of British rule in 1838.
How to Observe Asom Divas
Attend the event
One way to observe Asom Divas is to attend the event in Assam. It will provide a unique, authentic experience.
Read up on its history
There’s no better way to observe Asom Divas than to immerse yourself in the history of Sukapha and his journey to Assam! Learn about the 13-year journey he took from his homeland in China and the battles he fought along the way.
Talk about it on social media
Share your thoughts on the Ahom kingdom and its founder on social media. Kickstart a discussion that generates interest in Sukapha’s legacy.
5 Things You Should Know About Chaolung Sukapha
A name fit for a king
‘Chao’ means ‘lord’ and ‘Lung’ means ‘great’.
He reached Assam with 9,000 followers
Sukapha was said to have reached Assam in the 13th century with around 9,000 followers according to Arup Kumar Dutta, the author of the book “The Ahoms”.
There are books written solely about him
There are several books written solely on Sukapha and the journey he took to Assam.
He’s considered the architect of ‘greater Assam’
Through his ability to unify different communities and tribes, Sukapha laid the foundation for a vibrant, thriving Assam.
Commemorating the king
On February 26, 2021, a 100-foot tall statue of Sukapha was unveiled in Nazira, Assam.
Why Asom Divas is Important
Cultural dance and music
The holiday serves as an exhibition of the beautiful culture of Assam. The day showcases the beauty of traditional dance and music.
It highlights Sukapha’s legacy
The significance of Asom Divas lies in the legacy of Sukapha who was able to form amicable relationships with the tribal communities living in the region after his arrival. The day serves as a way to highlight this legacy.
It helps us see the importance of unity
Sukapha’s successful crisscrossing of a diverse group of tribes across several politically sensitive regions is one of his everlasting legacies. Asom Divas helps us see how important unity can be through the lens of Assam’s history.
Asom Divas dates