Sati Sadhani Day in Assam Date in the current year: April 21, 2024

Sati Sadhani Day in Assam Sati Sadhani Day (Sati Sadhani Divas) is an annual holiday celebrated on April 21 in the Indian state of Assam. It was established to honor the last ruler of the Chutia Kingdom, a late medieval state located in the territory of present-day Assam.

The Chutia Kingdom was one of the ethnic states that emerged in the Assam region after the fall of the Kamarupa Kingdom in 1140. It is not known for certain when exactly it was formed, but the first mention of a Chutia king dates back to the second half of the 14th century. The earliest known Chutia king was Nandin or Nandisvara, and the last ruler in the Chutia dynasty was Queen Sati Sadhani.

She was born in around 1493 to king Dhirnarayan. When Sadhani turned 19, the king decided it was time for her to marry and arranged a svayamvara, a ceremony where his daughter would choose a husband from a group of suitors. Dhirnarayan promised to marry Sadhani to anyone who would shoot down a running squirrel with an arrow. A cow-herder named Nitai won the challenge and became Sadhani’s husband. After the wedding, he changed his name to Nitipal.

In 1522, Nitipal and Sadhani were crowned the king and queen of Chutia. Since Nitipal used to be a cow herder and had no idea how to rule, he turned out a very inefficient and reckless ruler. For example, he dismissed all ministers and replaced them with his friends from his home village. The old ministers rebelled, which resulted in several parts of Chutia splitting from the kingdom and becoming independent.

Eventually Sadhani took charge, but the damage had already been done. Chutia was weakened, and the ruler of the neighboring Ahom Kingdom took advantage of it. The conflict between the two kingdoms that had started during Dhirnarayan’s rule reached its peak in 1523, when the ruler of the Ahom Kingdom announced the annexation of Chutia.

Nitipal and Sadhani tried to negotiate for peace, but to no avail. On April 16, 1524, the Ahom army attacked Sadiya, the capital of Chutia. Sadhani and Nitipal fled to the mountains with some of the surviving soldiers and launched a guerrilla campaign against the invaders. Sadhani even formed a female squad consisting of 120 warriors.

Unfortunately, some of the former Chutia ministers and military commanders sided with the Ahom Kingdom and helped the invaders. As a result, Chutia troops were defeated, King Nitipal was shot with an arrow, and Queen Sadhani fought until taking her own life by jumping from a hill, choosing death over captivity.

According to another account, Nitipal was killed during the capture of Sadiya, and Sadhani was offered to marry the new governor of the city, appointed by the ruler of Ahom. She chose death over dishonor and jumped from a hill.

To commemorate Sadhani’s valor and the sacrifices she made, the Government of Assam proclaimed April 21, her death anniversary, as Sati Sadhani Day (Sati Sadhani Divas). It is an official state holiday in Assam. In addition, the annual Sati Sadhani Award is given for outstanding contributions to art, culture, and literature.

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