The Koch dynasty, was a dynasty that ruled regions in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, mainly the regions of Assam and Bengal; it is named after the Koch community, emerged as the dominant ruling house in the Kamata kingdom in 1515 after the fall of the Khen dynasty in 1498.

The first of the Koch kings, Viswa Singha and then his sons, Nara Narayan as the subsequent king and Chilarai as the general, soon occupied  the  western  portion  of  the  erstwhile Kamarupa Kingdom as well as some regions of south Assam.

The dynasty forked for the first time into two major branches that controlled Koch Bihar and Koch Hajo. Koch Bihar became a vassal of the Mughals, whereas Koch Hajo came under Ahom control and was subsequently absorbed. Koch Bihar became a princely state during British rule and  was absorbed after Indian independence. The third branch of this dynasty at Khaspur disappeared into the Kachari kingdom.

The progenitor of the Koch kingdom was a Mech or Koch, named Hariya Mandal, a resident of Chikangram, a village in the Khutaghat paragana of the Goalpara district. The son of Hariya Mandal, Bishwa Singha (1515-1540) laid the foundation of the Koch dominion over Kamata Kingdom in the early part of the 16th century and established his capital in Coch-Behar. Bishwa Singha died in 1540.After his death, his son Malladeva ascended the name – Naranarayana. His brother Sukladhvaj became his commander-in-chief. He was also called “Chilarai’ because of his ability to attack the enemy like a Chila (hawk). Naranarayan’s rule was the most glorious epoch of Koch kingdom. It was during his reign that the Ahoms suffered defeat in 1562. Chilarai also annexed the Kachari kingdom, Manipur, Tripura, Jayantia and Srihatta and extended its boundaries. Then again there was a battle with the Nawab of Gour. During that time Chilarai was attacked by smallpox and died on  the  banks of the Gangas.Naranarayan died in 1584 after a reign of nearly fifty years (1540-1584). In his times the power of the Koch Kings reached its zenith. Naranarayan’s rule is also remarkable, for it was during his reign that Assamese literature and culture flourished, which  was  inaugurated  by Srimanta Sankardeva.

Naranarayan was a great patron of learning and some of best-known Assamese writings date from his reign. Many Vaishnava hymns and homilies were written by Sankardeva and Madhabdeva; Purushottam Bidyabagish compiled a grammar; Bakul Kayastha wrote a book on Mathematics; Ram Saraswati translated the Mahabharat, and Ananta Kandali translated the Bhagavat and other books into Assamese.After the death of Naranarayan, the Koch kingdom was not able to retain its glory. Internal dissensions became the order of the day. Consequently the Afghans and the Mughals took advantage and in 1615, the Koch kingdom was annexed  to the Mughal Empire. But the then Koch king Balinarayan with the help of the Ahom king was able to get back the area between Bharali and Barnadi. He accepted the rule of the Ahom king and assumed the name Dharmanarayan as a vassal king, a tradition which continued till the time of British occupation of Assam.

Koch King

  • Koch was mentioned as Kavacha in Puranas and Tantras
  • The language they used was very similar to the Garo language
  • The Bansabali of Darang kings is one of the most important source for history of this period
  • Hariya Mandal married Hira and Jira
  • Bisu was born to Hira
  • Sisu was born to Jira
  • Bisu was very courageous.
  • He started defeating the Bhuyans
  • By 1515, he occupied a large area from Karotaya river to Bornadi Bisu changed his name to Biswas Singha
  • He became a patron of Hinduism
  • He rebuild the Kamakhya temple
  • Also brought a number of brahmins from Benaras, Kanauj etc
  • Shifted his capital from Chinakgram to Koch Behar
  • He took cencus
  • Decided the people (Pike system) – Thakurai (3,000) Nawab (60,000)
  • Biswa Singha had 18 sons.
  • He sent the eldest two son (Malla Dev and Sukladhvaj) to Benaras to study
  • When Bishwa Singha died, eldest two sons were in Benaras. The third eldest son, Nar Singh, became the king.
  • The elder two sons then returned from Benaras and defeated Nar Singh
  • Malla Dev became the king
  • Changed his name to Nar Narayan
  • Sukladhvaj became the Commander-in-Chief
  • Sukladhvaj was popularly known as Chilarai
  • Suklengmung attacked Nar Narayan, but Ahoms were not successful
  • Ahoms finally lost in Kaliabor in 1546
  • In 1547, Nar Narayan constructed a road from Koch Behar to Narnarayanpur, about 350 miles Supervised by Gosai Kamal, as such the road came to be known as Gosai Kamal’s Road
  • Nar Narayan build a fort at Narnarayanpur
  • Ahoms attacked at defeated the Koch
  • The Ahoms and Koch again met at the mouth of the Dikhow river in 1502.
  • Ahoms lost again
  • In 1503, Chilarai attacked Ahoms,
  • Ahoms greatly lost
  • Koch occupied Gargaon
  • Narnarayan then annexed
  • Kachari kingdom
  • Manipur kingdom
  • Jatinga kingdom
  • King of Tipara
  • Sylhat king
  • Dimoria kingdom
  • Padshah of Gaur attacked the Koch kingdom
  • Chilarai was taken prisoner
  • Koch lost
  • Nar Narayan made alliance with Akbar
  • Attacked Padshah of Gaur and defeated him
  • Chilarai had smallpox and died
  • Nar Narayan died in 1584


  • Tantrik Hinduism was getting popular
  • Human Sacrifice was done
  • Nar Narayan gave patronage to Srimanta Sankardev and Vaishnavism
  • Srimanta Sankardev was born in 1449
  • After Srimanta Sankardev, the successor was Madhav Dev. A sum of people did not accept Madhav Dev. They were known as Bamunia Gohain.


  • Nar Narayan was interested in learning
  • Ananta Konduli translated Bhagavat Gita to Assamese
  • A number of Vaishnavism hymes were written
  • Purushyuttam Bidyabagish wrote a grammar


  • Gokhai Komol Ali
  • Straighten the Brahmaputra near Pandunath


  • Ralph Fitch visited Koch kingdom during the time of Nar Narayan
  • Raghu Deb, the son of Chilarai, was given a part of Nad Narayan’s kingdom that lied east of the Sankosh river – present day Mangoldoi, Kamrup and Goalpara districts
  • Raghu Deb rebuild the Hayragriva temple at Hajo
  • Isa Khan, an Afghan, attacked Raghu Deb and occupied Rangamati in Goalpara district
  • After Nar Narayan, his son Lakshmi Narayan became the king and Raghu Deb refused to pay any tribute. He declared himself independent.
  • Raghu Debas son Parikshit, rebelled against Raghu Deb and had to flee away to Lakshmi Narayan and was well accepted.
  • When Raghu Deb died, Parikshit became the king.
  • He shifted his capital to North Guwahati and build a palace near Asvakranta hill.
  • The conflict started between Parikshit and Lakshmi Narayan. Parikshit asked the Ahoms for help and Lakshmi Narayan went to the Mughals.
  • Mukkarram Khan was sent by Jahangir to invade the Koch kingdom.
  • Parikshit lost and was taken, prisoner. He died on his way back from Delhi.
  • Mukkarram Khan was made the Governor.
  • War started again between Ahoms and Mughals.
  • Ahoms won and Bali Narayan was installed as the Raja of Darrang.
  • After Bali Narayan, Dharma Narayan and Sundar Narayan became the king. However, they had to consult the Bar Phukan for all important matters.