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Actually I started with Lachit Borphukan but ended up editing this article, too. Lot of works are still to be done.

(I am very bad with spellings. Will somebody please correct this article?)

Prabhakar 09:38, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

ok. shabbs 16:31, 5 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Kachwaha "king Ram Singh"[edit]

It's extrememly improbable that "Kachwaha", an Indian state at the western edge of India, second farthest from Assam (which lies in India's eastern-most region), is responsible for producing "King Ram Singh", viceroy of Dhaka, Bangladesh (directly to the south of Assam)! Incidentally, I will be editing the reference to "Kachwaha" in this article.

ALSO, I noticed that the linked references to Raja Ram Singh point to an article which can't possibly describe the same Ram Singh of Dhaka, Commander-in-Chief of the Mugal forces in the Battle of Saraighat. No article exists for this particular Ram Singh, so I will also be deleting the links to the incorrect man of the same name. shabbs 08:37, 6 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Raja Ram Singh was not the governor of Dhaka. The then governor of Dhaka could not keep Guwahati and so Aurangzeb sent in Raja Ram Singh, son of Mirza Raja Jai Singh who had gone against Shivaji. That the commander was Kachwaha king Raja Ram Singh is well documented in history and there is no room for speculation. Chaipau 13:10, 6 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
I used the links in the article itself. I looked up names and places with the search tool. I found several items that appeard to be questionable, for one reason or another, and I changed them, as I saw fit ("Be bold"). Anything that I changed in the article was based on related materials, found in the links contained in the article. When you added Kachwaha, I checked it out. It didn't seem, to me, to have a single thing to say about the Battle of Saraighat, or any of the important names or related places and people, including Ram Singh. Searches of the word, "Kachwaha", didn't seem to list any of the pages linked to the Battle article, either. I couldn't see the relation, plus (after checking out the geographic locations of all the places involved, and Kachwaha) it reasoned that the commander of the mughals would've been much more likely to have come from the same nation, especially to a cultural outsider. So I changed it.
sorry. :-(
shabbs 17:10, 6 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
No problem. You did not break anything, and it is in fact difficult to break things in wikipedia. Things can easily be repaired. So continue to be bold, and your spirit and effort, though misdirected here, are actually appreciated. Chaipau 17:36, 6 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Incorrect Numbers[edit]

The figures for Ram Singh's army are incorrect and actually tally with the army of Mir Jumla. Ram Singh was sent to Assam as punishment for helping the Maratha King Shivaji (who was in his charge at Agra) to escape from the Mughal capital. His army is given as 4000 Kachhawa Rajputs, 1500 Mughals, and 500 artillerymen with 15,000 auxilliary Koch archers whose military value was little. He also had only forty boats unlike Mir Jumla's 300.

The page also fails to mention that the Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur had joined Ram Singh in this invasion to protect him from witchcraft, which was reputed to be prevalent in Assam.

All info is from Assam naval wars

What are the sources of the above link? They seem to be wrong. The numbers in this Wikipedia article seems to be from the article by Lt. Gen. S K Sinha. In one of the battles preceeding the Battle of Saraighat, the Mughals massacred an Ahom army of 10,000 in a single day at Alaboi. A smaller army (5500 according to the blog), could not have done that. Chaipau 12:41, 11 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]

If Aurangzeb had been really interested in conquering Assam he would have made Ram Singh the Viceroy (Subahdar) of Bengal, like Mir Jumla was. The he would have had a larger army and access to the entire nawarra (naval flotilla) of Bengal and not the forty ships that he was ultimately given. The blogger is right in saying that Ram Singh was sent to Assam so that he would die from the fighting or the climate or from the then prevalent witchcraft of Assam.

Ram Singh was an Rajput king, with his own kingdom. Why would he accept the subahdarship of Bengal?
The Subahdar of Bengal was Shaishta Khan, the uncle of Aurangzeb at the time of the Saraighat battle. Ram Singh had access to the forces of Shaishta Khan, who provided him logistics. Whatever the absolute number of the Mughal forces under Ram Singh, it had a numerical superiority over the Ahom forces. It was so formidable that Lachit Borphukan did not engage the Mughal forces at Manas river, which he had reached before Ram Singh advanced east. He had to engage the Mughal forces at Alaboi on land because the Ahom king was getting impatient with Lachit's guerilla tactics, which resulted in the massacre of 10,000 Ahom troops.
Lachit decided it was impossible to meet the Mughal force on land and he retreated to Saraighat. He had a network of garhs built to check the advance of Ram Singh's forces by land, and waited from him to advance up the Brahmaputra. Along its entire expanse, the Brahmaputra was the narrowest at Saraighat. The relatively large naval force, Lachit had hoped, would pose lesser problems for the Ahom naval forces as it squeezed through this portion. Even then Ram Singh's formidable forces were winning against the inferior Ahoms. Only when he took to battle from his sick bed did the Ahom's retaliate adequately.
Whatever the absolute numbers (the blogger's numbers are dubious anyway), Ram Singh was well prepared, adequately supported by the subahdar of Bengal and numerically far superior to the Ahom forces. It cannot be true that Ram Singh was sent to Assam for failure.
Chaipau 21:47, 18 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]

"Ram Singh was an Rajput king, with his own kingdom. Why would he accept the subahdarship of Bengal?"

Because when his father Jai Singh fought against Shivaji he was made subahdar of the Deccan. Direct control of the subah's resources gives an edge to the military commander. The numbers in the blog are from Jadunath Sarkar, who is the best authority of that period, particularly in military history.

During the long wars with the Ahoms Ram Singh also did not receive any compensation for the losses that he suffered and finally grew sick of the war. He was definitely sent to Assam as punishment for the escape of Shivaji from Agra.

Okay, here I quote from Jadunath Sarkar from Section IV, The Comprehensive History of Assam, Vol II ed H. K. Barpujari.
Learning of the loss of Kamrup on 19th December, 1667 Aurangzeb decided at once to retreive imperial prestige and regain lost dominion to chastise the 'the wicked tribe' of the Ahoms, and who 'had a second time audaciously crossed their own frontier'. He commissioned Ram Singh of Amber, son of the distinguished general Mirza Raja Jai Singh, and a Commander of 4000, to lead an invasion of Assam. The expeditionary force had as its basic force i.e. the original imperial allotment 4000 troopers in his won pay, 1500 ahadis and 500 barqandezes. This nucleus was gradually augmented by 30,000 infantry (given by the Empreror), 21 Rajput Chiefs (Thakurs) and their contingents, 18,000 cavalry and 2,000 archers and shieldmen came as auxiliaries.
So the number you quoted is Ram Singh's own Rajput force as a charhazari mansab, at the beginning of the the expedition in 1667. But the time Ram Singh attacked in 1669 and the time of the final battle at Saraighat in 1671, the number had inflated to those given above. Sarkar mentions that Ram Singh began with 40 ships, but further on he says "once he sent a fleet of 500 boats with sixteen-mouthed prows and guns." Thus the number of naval vessels increased too.
It is Sarkar's opinion that Ram Singh was sent as a "measure" of punishment. But it is a half-hearted opinion, not backed up by any historical reference. Ram Singh's commission for recapturing Guwahati could also be interpreted as a chance Aurangzeb gave him to redeem himself after the incident with Shivaji, which he did by demonstrating his loyalty to the Mughal Empreror. Even though he failed in securing Assam, Ram Singh was accepted back in the Mughal courts. Ultimately, Sarkar questions Aurangzeb's judgement on sending Ram Singh for such an important expedition. If the aim was to punish, why should Sarkar question Aurangzeb's judgement? The expedition had the imperial prestige at stake (look at his quote above), as the Mughal forces were trying to get back territory once held by it. Finally, it was Ram Singh's weakness that did him in. Sarkar, further says, "Ram Singh had, apart from loyalty, no idealism to inspire him". In the end, it would have been utterly foolish of Aurangzeb to punish Ram Singh this way—Ram Singh survived and rejoined Aurangzeb's court, whereas the imperial army met defeat and incurred the attendant cost of the war!
The defeat of Ram Singh at Saraighat does not have a simple explanation—that Aurangzeb wanted to punish Ram Singh. Very rarely do generals die in a defeat. But to suggest that Aurangzeb planned Ram Singh to die and the imperial army to win is ridiculous. Sending a general at the head of a large army is a very inefficient way to send a man to his death. The defeat of the imperial army was not a forgone conclusion, anyway. Even the Ahoms did not believe so. But they fought with guile, unity of effort, grit, imagination, and won.
Chaipau 20:55, 19 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Chaipau, didn't this narrative of punishment arise out of Padshah Burranji? TrangaBellam (talk) 15:10, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@TrangaBellam: I am not sure. This narrative usually comes out of those who would like to explain away Ram Singh's defeat, or those who would like to paint Ram Singh as a kind of rebel. J N Sarkar does mention "punishment" cursorily, but he does not attribute it to any primary source. He strongly refutes the rebel/disloyal argument. His explanation is that Ram Singh was just not a very good general. Strangely, Sarkar mentions that the Bengal viceroy of the Mughals preferred an independent Assam! Chaipau (talk) 17:03, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Jadunath Sarkar on Ram Singh[edit]

I am quoting from History of Aurangzeb by Sir Jadunath Sarkar

"Ram Singh reached Rangamati in February 1669. But from the first his task was hopeless. Service in Assam was extremely unpopular, and no soldier would go there unless compelled. Indeed there is reason to believe that Ram Singh was sent to Assam as a punishment for his having secretly helped Shivaji to escape from captivity at Agra. He had only 8000 troopers around his standards, and his losses were seldom replenished.

The Ahoms, being a nation in arms, mustered one hundred thousand when mobilized. Unlike the time of Mir Jumla's invasion, the mastery of the water now belonged to the Ahoms, and the Mughals could do little with their 40 war-vessels on the Brahmaputra."

So it was actually 8000 against 100,000!!!

This is an earlier work of Jadunath Sarkar. The later work (in The Comprehensive History of Assam) includes sources not used in this work (The History of Aurangzeb) and therefore clearly supercedes the earlier work. The numbers themselves indicate that Sarkar has come across new data. Because he mentions in the later work that Ram Singh started with the 4000, which was augmented by the Empreror.
The Ahom numbers are greatly exaggarated. The Ahoms did not have a standing army, and commanders had different numbers of "paiks" under them. Not all officials in the Ahom administration was involved in the war, just as the entire Mughal army wasn't. Had Guwahati fallen, the Ahoms would have had to first defend Kaliabor, and then the capital. Sarkar gives a detailed account of the war and the battle in The Comprehensive History of Assam. The details and the tactics the Ahoms adopted show that they were fighting with the smaller of the two armies.
Also, notice his qualification on his opinion of a punishment. "Indeed there is reason to believe that Ram Singh was sent as a punishment...". It is Sarkar's opinion, and that too a half-hearted one.
Chaipau 20:33, 20 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 17:27, 9 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

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@TrangaBellam: could you please put down here the facts that you dispute? Chaipau (talk) 20:57, 5 December 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Removing maintenance tag under #4 WP:WTRMT. Chaipau (talk) 09:53, 1 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]


this page covers the whole series of Ram Singh's invasion, the topic about the battle of Saraighat is only squeezed in one last paragraph, should there be a change in the name? ComparingQuantities (talk) 18:42, 19 April 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Examples of this type is given in Battle: Battle of the Atlantic, Battle of Britain, etc. Chaipau (talk) 02:42, 21 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Giving here examples of other articles is maybe not suitable or doesn't match this case. Various authors have described this whole phase as 'Ram Singh's expedition to Assam' instead of just naming it after the battle. I don't see how this is different from Mir Jumla's invasion of Assam. ComparingQuantities (talk) 12:28, 23 May 2023 (UTC)[reply]