British-era bungalow is home to Brahmaputra heritage centre

What is the news?

Vice-President has recently inaugurated the Mahabahu Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre in Guwahati.

About the Mahabahu Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre

The Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre has been set up in a nearly 150-year-old Scottish-type wooden bungalow after an elaborate restoration. The Centre is located in Guwahati’s Barphukanar Tila, meaning Barphukan’s Hillock.

The centre has on display the history of the Battle of Saraighat, the heritage of Assamese war boats, an amphitheatre, an exhibition space, a cafeteria and two viewing decks.

About Barpukhan hillock

Barpukhan was a post equivalent to Governor-General created by Ahom king Pratap Simha or Susengpha (1603-1641). The hillock in the Brahmaputra has been mentioned in ancient scriptures as Mandrachal. The hillock is used to be the 17th-century military office of the Ahom rulers.

From this hillock only, Ahom General Lachit Barpukhan launched the Battle of Saraighat in March 1671 to inflict the most crushing defeat on the Mughals.

Captain Archibald Bogle, posted as the Assistant Commissioner and Collector of Kamrup district in the 1850s, had the bungalow built.

Post-Independence, it continued to be the Deputy Commissioner’s Bungalow until 2011.

What is the significance of the Battle of Saraighat?

The Battle of Saraighat was the last major attempt by the Mughals to extend their empire into Assam. The Battle was fought in 1671 between the Mughal Empire, led by Raja Ram Singh I and the Ahom Kingdom, led by Lachit Borphukan.

The Ahom army defeated the Mughal Army by brilliant uses of the terrain, guerrilla tactics, clever diplomatic negotiations to buy time, military intelligence and by exploiting the sole weakness of the Mughal forces—its navy.

Battle of Saraighat is regarded as the “greatest naval battle ever fought in a river”.

Source:  This post is based on the article “British-era bungalow is home to Brahmaputra heritage centre” published in The Hindu on 4th October 2021.

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