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Indian History

Assam’s Jerenga Pothar and Dhekiajuli Town

  • 08 Feb 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

The Prime Minister visited two significant historical places in Assam.

  • The first was Sivasagar’s Jerenga Pothar, where 17th-century Ahom Princess Joymoti sacrificed her life.
  • Second was Dhekiajuli town, associated with the Quit India Movement of 1942.

Key Points

  • Jerenga Pothar:
    • Jerenga Pothar, an open field in Sivasagar town, is popularly connected to the valour of 17th century Ahom princess Joymoti.
      • Formerly known as Rangpur, Sivasagar was the seat of the powerful Ahom dynasty, who ruled Assam for six centuries (1228-1826).
      • Chaolumg Sukapha founded the Ahom kingdom.
    • From 1671 to 1681, the Ahom kingdom was undergoing a period of turmoil, it was at this time that Prince Godapani (Joymoti’s husband) escaped to the Naga Hills before enemies could capture him.
    • But his enemies captured his wife Joymoti, hoping she would tell them about his whereabouts, however, despite being tortured for days, tied to a thorny plant, in an open field, Joymoti refused to divulge any information.
    • She died, sacrificing her life for her husband, who ultimately became the king, ushering in an era of stability and peace in Assam.
      • The place Joymoti was tortured to death was Jerenga Pothar.
    • Significance of the Place:
      • While the Jerenga Pothar itself is not a protected archaeological site, its vicinity includes a number of protected sites, including the Na Pukhuri tank to its east and the Pohu Garh, a natural zoo built during the Ahom era, to its west.
      • Close by is the large Joysagar tank, built by Ahom king Swargadeo Rudra Singha in 1697, and the Vishnu Dol temple.
      • In 2017, the field was used for the centenary celebrations of the apex and influential literary body, the Asam Sahitya Sabha.
  • Dhekiajuli Town:
    • Dhekiajuli was home to possibly the youngest martyr of the Indian freedom struggle.
    • On 20th September, 1942, as part of the Quit India Movement, processions of freedom fighters marched to various police stations across several towns in Assam.
    • These squads, which were known as ‘Mrityu Bahini’, or death squads, had wide participation - including women and children - and set out to unfurl the tricolour atop police stations, seen as symbols of colonial power.
    • The British administration came down heavily on them. In Dhekiajuli, at least 15 people were shot dead, three of them women, including the 12-year-old Tileswari Barua.
    • Tileswari is considered as one of the youngest martyrs of India’s freedom struggle.
    • 20th September has for long been observed as Martyrs’ Day in Dhekiajuli town.

Source: IE

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