During the earlier part of the 13th century, when the Ahoms established their rule over Assam with the capital at Sivasagar, the Sovansiri area and by the banks of the Disang river were under the control of the Chutias. According to popular Chutia legend, Chutia king Birpal established his rule at Sadiya in 1189. He was succeeded by ten kings of whom the eighth king Dhirnarayan or Dharmaraj had a son, Sadhak Narayan and a daughter Sadhani. In his old age he handed over his kingdom to his son-in-law Nitai or Nityapal. Later on Nityapal’s incompetent rule gave an opportunity to the Ahom king Suhungmung Dihingia Raja, who annexed it to the Ahom kingdom. Sadhani and Nityapal committed suicide.
Medieval History (12th to early 19th century AD)
The first Mohammedan invasion (1206 & 1226) of Kamrupa took place during the reign of a king called Prithu who was killed in a battle with Ilitutmish in 1228.During the second invastion by Ikhtiyaruddin Yuzbak or Tughril Khan, about 1257, the king of Kamrupa Saindhya (1250-1270) transferred the capital Kamrup Nagar‘ to Kamatapur in the west. From then onwards, Kamata’s ruler was called Kamateshwar.
According to traditions, Lower Assam and the adjacent part of Bengal subsequently formed a kingdom called Kamata, and its ruler at the beginning of the fourteenth century was Durlabh Narayan (1330-1350). He is followed by Indranarayan and probably he was the last ruler of this dynasty.During the last part of 14th century, Arimatta was the ruler of Gaur (the northern region of former Kamatapur) who had his capital at Vaidyagar. The last descendent of Arimatta was Mriganka, who died childless, followed by the rule of the Bhuyans and after the invasion of the Mughals in the 15th century many muslims settled in this State and can be said to be the first Muslim settlers of this region.
In the 15th century a line of Khen kings rose to power and Nilambar, the third and the last of this line, was overthrown in 1498 by Hussain Shah, who after a long seize, took the capital, Kamatapur by his stratagem.
First Mohammedan Invasion of Kamrupa
In 1206 the Afghan Muhammad-i-Bakhtiyar (Bakhtiyar Khilji ) passed through Kamarupa against Tibet which ended in disaster, the first of many Turko-Afghan invasions. The ruler of Kamarupa at this point was Prithu (d. 1228, called Britu in Tabaqat-i Nasiri), who is sometimes identified with Visvasundara, the son of Vallabhadeva of the Lunar dynasty, mentioned in the Gachtal inscription of 1232 A.D. Prithu withstood invasions (1226–27) from Ghiyasuddin Iwaj Shah of Gauda who retreated, but was killed in the subsequent invasion by Nasiruddin Mahmud in 1228.
Nasiruddin installed a tributary king but after his death in 1229, the control of Kamarupa lapsed back to local rulers.
Kingdom of Kamata
From among the local rulers, there emerged a strong ruler named Sandhya (c.1250–1270), the Rai of Kamrup, with his capital at Kamarupanagara, the seat of the last Pala kings.
Malik Ikhtiyaruddin Iuzbak, a governor of Gaur for the Mamluk rulers of Delhi, attempted an invasive attack on Sandhya’s domain in 1257; and Sandhya, with the help of the spring floods that same year, captured and killed the Sultan. Subsequent to this attack, Sandhya moved his capital from Kamarupanagara to Kamatapur (North Bengal) and established a new kingdom, that came to be called Kamata.At that time, western Kamarupa was the domain of the Koch and Mech peoples. In other parts of the erstwhile Kamarupa, the Kachari kingdom (central Assam, South bank), BaroBhuyans (central Assam, North bank), and the Chutiya kingdom (east) were emerging. The Ahoms, who would establish a strong and independent kingdom later, began building their state structures in the region between the Kachari and the Chutiya kingdoms in 1228.
The Bhuyans were petty chiefs who had their petty principalities towards the east of Kamrup- Kamata area. They were politically aware and accordingly they made the adjustments, sometimes accepting the suzerainty of kings more powerful than them or sometimes declaring their independence.
The title ―Baro‖ is a title of honour given to twelve chieftains who, even though were not kings, established in their independence they stood united against any common enemy. They took up arms against the Ahoms also, but it was the Ahom king Pratap Singha who crushed the rebellion of the Barobhuyans. Mention here should also be made of Srimanta Sankardeva, the most illustrious of the Bhuyans.
The Khen dynasty replaced the weak rulers of Kamata kingdom following Arimatta in the middle of the 15th century. Niladhvaj Khen, the first king, united several Baro-Bhuyan chieftains of the area and removed the last of Arimatta’s successors—Mriganka.
There were only three Khen rulers. The last king, Nilambar expanded the kingdom to include the present Koch Bihar districts of West Bengal and the undivided Kamrup and Darrang districts of Assam and northern Mymensing in Bangladesh as well as eastern parts of Dinajpur district, though he was removed by Alauddin Husain Shah in 1498.
According to the Gosani Mangala (1823), the Khen rulers had a humble origin, implying that they were local indigenous chieftains. They worshiped Kamatashwari (also called Chandi or Bhavani), thus providing a break from the earlier dynasties that drew their lineage from Narakasura, the son of Vishnu i.e Bhauma dynasty. The Khen rulers were of Kheng-Bhutanese lineage from the mountains. Possibly non-Aryan in origin, it was only the decline of the Kamarupa kings which allowed them to blossom into a powerful entity in their own right from their former position as local chieftains.
The Khen dynasty finally fell to Alauddin Husain Shah in 1498. But Hussein Shah could not rule the kingdom—Bhuyan chiefs of the region, with the help of the Ahom king, Suhungmung, defeated the invaders in 1505. Soon the control of the Kamata kingdom passed into the hands of the Koch dynasty.After the collapse of the Palas of the Kamrupa Kingdom, western Kamarupa was the domain of the Koch and Mech peoples – kamata, Khen and Koch Kingdoms. In other parts of the erstwhile Kamarupa, the Kachari kingdom (central Assam, South bank), BaroBhuyans (central Assam, North bank), and the Chutiya kingdom (east) were emerging. The Ahoms, who would establish a strong and independent kingdom later, began building their state structures in the region between the Kachari and the Chutiya kingdoms in 1228.
The Dimasa Kingdom (also Hidimbā kingdom) was a major kingdom in Assam, Northeast India ruled by Dimasa kings, called Timisa in the Ahom Buranjis. The Dimasa kingdom and others (Kamata, Chutiya) that developed in the wake of the Kamarupa kingdom were examples of new states that emerged from indigenous communities in Medieval Assam that transformed these communities. The British finally annexed the kingdom: the plains in 1832 and the hills in 1834. This kingdom gave its name to undivided Cachar district of colonial Assam. And after independence the undivided Cachar district was split into three districts in Assam: Dima Hasao district (formerly North Cachar Hills), Cachar district, Hailakandi district.
In the beginning of the 13th century, when the Ahoms appeared on the political scene of Assam, the Kacharis were the most important and organised tribe with their kingdom extending fromthe river.
Dikhou in the east to the Kapili in the west and covering the present district of North Cachar in the south. The Kacharis have no written records o their rule. According to certain traditions, there were two branches of Kacharis, one ruling at sadiya and the other on the south bank of the Brahmaputra with capitals at Dimapur, Maibong and Khaspur.
The southern branch of the Dacharis claimed their esent from Ghatotkacha, son of Bhima, through the Kachari princess Hedamba or hidimba. As for the Sadiyal Kacharis their identity is not fully established.The Kacharis are known under different names in different places throughout north-east India. In goaplara and North Bengal they are called Mech and in North Cachar Hills Dimasa. In the Brahmaputra valley, the Kacharis call themselves Bodo or Bodo-fisa.
The first encounter of the Kacharis with the Ahoms took place about the end of the 15th century. The Ahoms were defeated and compelled to sue for peace. This humiliation was fully retaliated by Suhungmung or the Dinihgia Raja, who inflicted a crushing defeat on the Kacharis in 1526 AD and made them feudatory to the Ahoms. Henceforth the Kachari kings were called thapita sancita of the Ahoms. But soon afterwards, the Kacharis revolted against the Ahoms who led an army to subdue the rebels, killed their king and took possession of their capital city Dimapur.
The Kacharis then moved downwards and established their headquarters at Maibang on the bank the Mahur river, but the Ahom kings did not refrain from considering the Kacharis as being in virtual subordination.The Kacharis were conquered by the Koches in 1562 and Kamalnarayan, popularly known as Gosain Kamal, who was another brother of Naranarayan, the Koch king, was appointed governor of Cachar.
This had stopped Ahom intervention in Kachari affairs as the Ahoms also by that time had become tributary to the Koches. However following the defeat of the Koches in Bengal (1567-68), the rulers of the north-eastern states reasserted their independence.
The Jaintia Kingdom was a matriarchal kingdom in present-day Bangladesh’s Sylhet Division and India’s Meghalaya state. It was partitioned into three in 630 AD by Raja Guhak for his three sons, into the Jaintia Kingdom, Gour Kingdom and Laur Kingdom. It was annexed by the British East India Company in 1835.
Jayantia was a matriarchal race which had established their kingdom in and around Jayantia hills. This race forged matrimonial relation with the Ahoms and fought alongside during the invasion of the Mughals.
In the 17″ century Jayantia king Dhanmanik helped the Ahoms in the war against the Kacharis. One of their ruler, Jashomatta Rai was the contemporary of the Ahom king Nariya Raja (1644-1648). He claimed back the possession of Dimoria, Gobha, Nellie and Khola principalities which led to the souring of relations between the Jayantias and the Ahoms. Bijayanarayan was the last Jayantia ruler after whom this kingdom passed into the hands of the British along with the Ahom kingdom.