Koch Rajbongshi community can be found in entire parts of Present
Assam, West Bengal, Nepal, Meghalaya, Bangladesh. Koch Rajbongshi community is one of the primitive community of the Koch Rajbongshi Kingdom being ruled by the Koch Rajbongshi Kings like King Nara Narayan, King Chilaray. The Koch Rajbongshi Kingdom is being merged with present Assam, most of the parts of the North
Bengal, Parts of Nepal and Bangladesh.
People some time misunderstand and take Koch Rajbongshi as Assamese in Assam and Bengali as in West Bengal because as Koch Rajbongshis are shy by nature, they do not disclose their ancient language in public and their traditional worship patter towards nature is a very private affair,
This behavior of Koch Rajbongshi tribe is because of their shyness but it
have also a negative effect because the world is unknown about their language and Tribal culture, only the Koch Rajbongshi have the knowledge about it and they do not share it with the rest of the world, It is personal and sacred communion which they share within their brotherhood.
The homelands of Koch Rajbongshi people comprises their ancient Kingdom, Kamatapur, Koch Kingdom, Kamarupa Kingdom they inhibit in entire Assam, Total Parts of the present West Bengal, Nepal and Bangladesh. They are the majority in Assam and while comparing the North Bengal Koch Rajbongshi community have majority of the population. Koch Rajbongshi people stay very close to the nature. It is a Tradition for Koch Rajbonshi Men to go for Hunting in the wild,
they usually go in a Group for Hunting.
They bring the "Prey" from the wild and share the meat in a Banana Leave as
per the requirement of each family. Usually every Koch Rajbonshi House have Mango Tree, Jackfruit tree and a Small Kitchen Garden, with a small Pond where they keep fish. If a "Prey" survive in hunting or during hunting they treat them in there house and keep that as a Pet in there house.
Koch Rajbonshi people have there ancient tradition of Treatment which is not very well know to the modern medicine world, the significant medicine that they use is not known to even Ayurveda Medicine Scientist.
The tradition of these medicine is passed orally from one generation to
another and not shared to the foreign element, because it is prohibited during the education process from the ancestor, the knowledge can be only given from one generation to another within the community .
They speak rajbongshi language it is also known as desi bhasa, or bhuwia
language, in Goalpara they call it goalparia bhasa, Goalpara is a part of Assam,
and it was once ruled by Koch Rajbongshi kings. Rajbongshi community prefer to speak in their own language, although it is not being included in the eight scheduled of the Indian constitution, but it is widely being spoken by the
majority of the people of Assam, Part of North Bengal, Nepal, Bihar certain parts of entire north east India and Bangladesh. It is one of the sweetest
language and every word carries a rhythm and sweetness and meaning.
They do not speak their language in public because of the shyness of this
community however they speak among themselves and within the community. Due to
geographical isolation of this community they intend to remain within their
geographical area, they prefer not to share their primitive customs and
traditions with foreign element and they want to keep it sacred. They believe in sacred hood where by foreign elements does not have access to observe the rituals and customs being practiced from ancient times.
Koch Rajbongshi wear their own traditional dress where by they wear it in their traditional events, community events and also in general day to day life.
Women and Men of Koch Rajbongshi have sets of traditional dress and jewellery.
Patani being wore by the women of this community and men wear
gamsha/dhoti and a yellow color piece of cloth surrounded in the
neck for men, They wear this yellow color cloth in their neck as a mark of
respect for nature, elderly people also have a tradition to wear a turban or a lengthy cloth wrapped in their head.
Women wear patani from the chest till below the knee but it
does not touch the ankle, the cloth stays above ground of around 6 cms, the reason for wearing Patani not till the ground level or till the
ankle because they believe that water is a sacred as it is a part of the nature so while crossing lake or river the cloth should not touch the water, it is a mark of respect to the nature and they believe that if cloth touch the water the purification of the water goes away and thus how they can not use it in their traditional ritual practice of worshiping nature, In-fact the men wear (gamasha(5th long ) /Naucha ( 9 ft Long)), This Naucha or Gamasha they wear from the waist till the knee, it never touch the ankle because they believe that water is a sacred as it is a part of the nature so while crossing lake or river the cloth should not touch the water, it is a mark of respect to the nature and they believe that if cloth touch the water the purification of the water goes away and thus how they can not use it in their traditional ritual practice of worshiping nature.
They wear a kind of Turban, in their head it is a long length cloth wrapped in the head of the elderly men or significant person in the community to symbolist or high priest, in modern days people can wear the turban who have comparatively higher status and respect in the society.
Koch Rajbongshi Women gets up early in the morning and clean the house with a broom made up of BAMBOO Then they give water and food to all the animals first, then they take their breakfast.When they eat, if they have pet like Dog or Cat they also eat along with them the same break fast, it is a ritual and tradition .Keeping Parrot as a pet is a Tradition of Koch Rajbonshi (reason is still not known) Whenever Koch Rajbongshi people go for hunting they take the permission from the elder and from the nature to allow them to go for Hunting, it is a tradition of Koch Rajbongshi not to kill any animal for pleasure but only for consumption purpose they do hunting, during spring they don’t go for hunting because this is the time animal gives birth, so they
don’t kill animal this time, for managing spring time they dry meat before in well advanced, and they also keep ferment fish in there house to manage this time period .Koch Rajbongshi People do not eat all kinds of animal some of them they consider as bad for there community if they kill (for e.g. CROW) They don’t kill DOVE or even they don’t keep as pet in the house but if a dove comes and makes a nest, it is considered as good LUCK for the community and for the family, Seeing Peacock is considered as a Good Lucky during Hunting, Koch Rajbongshi People do not Kill or eat Peacock but they do catch Peacock for
feather for medicinal use but they release the peacock later on after getting the one or two feather. Koch Rajbongshi People make FAN out of coconut tree leave, TAL plant leave, and they also make FAN out of Bamboo, Koch Rajbongshi peoples Kitchen are made of Mud, reason is still unknown.
Traditional Medicinal Practice by Koch Rajbongshi Tribe
Koch Rajbongshi Tribe use leaves of Mari Gold for different purpose of
healing and bodily injury. Every house will have Mari gold plant which is
considered as a medicinal Plant For Cough and Cold Koch Rajbongshi
Tribe use Tulsi Leaves, Ginger, Baska Pata(Rajbongshi word), Black
Pepper to cure cough and Cold, For Dengu fever Koch Rajbonsghi People takes small Chicken with Ginger, Black Pepper, Garlic and Turmeric, onion, they make a paste of all these herbs in a Stone and Put it in a Bamboo with Banana Leave and put it in fire . The do body message for there children and old people with spring water, morning dew from the plant leave and warm oil which is mixed with ginger.
We are trying to explore more, we do belief that this community have some traditional practice method for Cancer and Psyrosys, we researcher are trying to explore more we will update what ever is possible considering the ethnic right and well being of this 12th century old ancient community of the world.
Our observation do say that this Koch Rajbongshi have very advance science in Traditional Healing which modern medicine yet to establish
They are the real Children of the Nature. Their Spiritual world is Animal and Plant, For them nature is Mother who nurture them and Heal them too like a real Mother .
We got to learn Medicine from you that we have to say..
Our Country will be always proud of you what ever knowledge you have share with us, because with your contribution we will develop our Country .
Usually they cook in a Bamboo along with Banana Leave by putting it in
fire Koch Rajbongshi people Burn Brinjal and potato in fire directeally
and roast it and make a past with hand and e,at Koch Rajbgonshi people burn fish and eat They never wash the food item that is been burned for eating purpose, because they belief that the mother nature will get offended if they wash and eat .They don’t use any utensils for eating, rather they use Banana plants Body part as a Plate And Banana Leave as a wrapper to keep the food warm .They use Bamboo Plant as a Vessel for Cooking ( For E.g. Bash Pitha)They Wrap a special kind of Rice(borni Chawel) in a Banana Leave and tie wit banana plant thread (which they make out of banana Plant leave) and Put it in a mud vessel where water is poured and fire is given from down side for boiling ( for e.g. Topla Bhat) they use bamboo plant as a Drinking Glass for drinking water. They used matured bottle Guard shell as an vessel to keep dry food. Koch Rajbongshi People use dry food a lot, they dry in the sun, cabbage, cauliflower, onion to use in off season. Koch Rajbonsghi people dry meat and keep it and use it when ever there is no meat in the family to eat. They also put Raw Fish in a Bamboo and ferment it and use it when ever there is no fish.
Koch Rajbongshi people use a special wooden block to make the paddy into rice Koch Rajbongshi people use a special stone to make paste for there herbal medicine Every food Koch Rajbongshi people take have a significance for medicinal use. Koch Rajbongshi people thank the nature for providing food before they eat, they sprinkle water around
the Banana Plate before and after eating .Koch Rajbongshi people either
eat in a community or along with Family but nobody gets up from the eating place until and unless every body finishes eating.
Koch rajbonshi people use shell of Coconut, dry matured shell of bottle guard as a Ladle.
The main dialects are Western Rajbanshi, Central Rajbanshi, Eastern Rajbanshi and the dialect of the Rajbanshi of the hills, also known as Kamta or Rajbongshi.
Koch Rajbongshi people have had been using the olive branch of
Mango trees and olive branch of bamboo tree for oral Hygiene, in modern era in the civilized society people use tooth brush but still it been observed from years together the Koch Rajbongshi people of North East India and west Bengal still had been following the same rich cultural traditional Practice of Herbal method .For daily Tongue cleaning they use a thin layer of Bamboo piece, which can easily be banded .It is also seen that Tribal People across the globe follow similar tradition for oral hygienic practices in their day to day Life same as Koch Rajbongshi ethnic tribe of INDIA Koch Rajbongshi take bath in a community in
nearby lake and they use Ritah for cleaning their Hair and for cleaning
their costumes, they use stone and sand to rub there body, they use river side clay in their body as a paste and dry it in the sun then they wash it
.Ladies also use to rub turmeric piece in there skin specially before
marriage and before giving birth to the child.It is also been observed that Koch Rajbongshi boys do push up in small lake during the time of taking bath as an exercise in the water ( reason is not yet discovered a special research can be conducted for this purpose).
Religion and beliefs
Primarily Koch Rajbongshi were primitively animist and they worship nature. Eventhough they are animist but it was seen that in official documentation they does not have any place to mention animist as their religion because of limited option offered by the countries legal book, thereby in the due course of time the term animist as their religious believe is being quoted as the most nearest practice and tradition but it cause a great declination of a rich ancient practice of theology and thereby the world heritage have significantly lost the term animist from the tribe kochrajbongshi, however it is being observed keenly the practice of the spiritual world of the kochrajbongshi tribe is actually animist by nature, it is a matter of question of ethics, how an ancient practice is being erased from the history because of lack of availability of legal option to demonstrate in black and white in legal documents, official work and other significant events of life like marriage, court proceeding and so on, thereby though Kochrajbongshi tribe practice animism but legally they are left with choice by law not to mention their real practice but rather the mentioned option given to them to write as their religious practice. They worship Bamboo plant, earth, sun, moon, stone and nature.
The different festival they celebrate is based on agriculture, Women plays a significant role in performing all the festivals. Folklore consists of legends, oral history, music, customs, etc., and these are the traditions of a culture.
Different societies have different types of customs and beliefs that differentiate them from others. Koch Rajbongshis are indigenous tribe, it has got distinctive culture, shyness with the public at large, geographical isolation and social and economic backwardness. Koch Rajbongshi are the ethnic group living in India from 12th century. Koch Rajbongshis are the one of the most primitive and they are the original inhabitants of so-called present geography of India, however the part which is so called India as of now, the Koch dynasty came to merged with India after the independence of India, the Koch kingdom were never ruled by British and it was an independent state but British has used the capital of the kingdom (Cooch Behar or Koch Behar) as a business strategic point, for Britishers India was a SBU - Strategic Business Unit.
Before the merger with India the Kochrajbongshi dynasty, It
includes most of the parts of Assam, Entire parts of North Bengal, some parts of present Bihar, Bangladesh, Nepal. Once Koch Rajbongshi Kingdom ruled entire North Eastern States of India.
History reveals that the ancient territory of Kamrup played a
role in the development of the present region of Cooch Behar district in West Bengal. The Allahabad Pillar Inscription of the famous Gupta Emperor Samudragupta mentions about the existence of the Kamrup territory in the 4th century AD. During the 15th century AD, the western part of Kamrup came under the sway of the ‘Khen’ dynasty to usher a new kingdom there known as ‘Kamta’.
The present Cooch Behar owes its origin from this ‘Kamta’ land. The ‘Khen’ dynasty is noted for the kings of Niladhvaja, the founder of the dynasty, his son Chakradhvaja and grandson Nilambar (1473-98/99 AD). It is stated by some that the ‘Kochrajbongshi’ dynasty followed the lineage of Nilambar. But the most widely accepted view holds that king Maharaja Viswa Singha was responsible for establishment of an independent ‘Koch’ kingdom in 1510 AD or 1530 AD.
In the beginning, the capital of this kingdom was not static and
became stable only when the same was shifted to Cooch Behar. The territory of Cooch Behar was known as ‘Kamta’ even during the period of Maharaja Viswa Singha and his son Maharaja Nara-Narayan. The Mughal forces grabbed certain portion of the ‘Kamta’ kingdom in the middle of the 17th century AD. Later on the accounts of Badshanama, Shah-Jaha-nama, Tarikh-I-Assam and the Alamgirnama ascribed this
territory as Cooch Behar. It is, therefore, very much apparent that the ‘Kochrajbongshi’ kingdom was known as ‘Kamta’ even during the middle of the 17the century AD when the Kochrajbongshi kings like Maharaja Viswa Singh, Maharaja Nara Narayan and Maharaja Pran Narayan used the title ‘Kamteswar’ for themselves. The valor of the ‘Kochrajbongshi’
kings is known best by the prides of Maharaja Nara Narayan. He has issued his own coins.
The kings who ruled Cooch Behar till its union with Indian territory and its declaration as a district headquarter of the Province of West Bengal in 1950 are known as Maharaja Viswa Singha, Maharaja Nara Narayan,
Maharaja Lakshmi Narayan, Maharaja Bir Narayan, Maharaja Pran Narayan, Maharaja Basudev Narayan, Maharaja Mahindra Narayan, Maharaja Roop Narayan, Maharaja Upendra Narayan, Maharaja Devendra Narayan, Maharaja Dhairjendra Narayan, Maharaja Rajendra Narayan,Maharaja Dharendra Narayan, Maharaja Harendra
Narayan, Maharaja Shivendra Narayan, Maharaja Narendra Narayan, Maharaja Nripendra Narayan, Maharaja Rajrajendra Narayan, Maharaja Jitendra Narayan and Maharaja Jagadipendra Narayan.
The history of Cooch Behar dates back to the period of the
Pala-Senas (i.e., Circa 11th – 12th century AD) These include sculptures, coins of the Sultanate and the Mughal Periods, temples, mosques of the mediaeval and late mediaeval period. Of the ancient remains, mention may be made of the Rajpat of Gossanimari, Siva Temple of Baneswar and the Palace of Cooch Behar. It is traditionally believed that the huge mound of Rajpat of the Gossanimari village at a distance of 13 kilometer to the west of Dinhata Police Station marks the site of the ancient capital of ‘Kamtapur’ of the ‘Khen’
The word Rajpat has been derived probably from the Bengali
‘Rajbari’ or ‘Rajbati’ or ‘Rajprasad’. The ‘Khen’ king Nilambar of this Kamtapur Kingdom was defeated in a battle by sultan Hussain Shah of Bengal in 1498 AD.
The pomp and glory of Rajpat are now all in ruins under the deposit of huge earth flanked by bare greeneries all around. It is believed that the ancient palatial complex of Kamtapur including the early Kamteswari temple are all lying buried in this mound. This mound is at
present protected by the Archaeological Survey of
The Cooch Behar Palace which is noted for its elegance and
grandeur is also protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. This
magnificent Palace was constructed by the ‘Kochrajbongshi’ king Maharaja Nripendra Narayan in 1887 AD. Built in bricks in the classical Western style this double-storied structure is rests on a 4 feet 9 inches above the ground and covers an area of 51309 square feet. It is 395 feet in length and 296 feet in breadth. The Palace is fronted by a series of arcaded verandahs in the ground and first floors with their piers arranged in an alternate use of single and double rows.
The Palace is slightly projected at the south and northern ends
and in the centre there is a projected porch to provide an entrance to the
Durbar Hall. The elegantly shaped metal dome of the Durbar Hall is topped by a cylindrical louver type ventilator (being 124 feet high from the ground level) recalling the style of the Italian Renaissance. The intrados of the dome is carved in the stepped patterns while the Corinthian columns that support the base of the cupola found a new dimension in variegated colours and designs to an entire surface. The palace comprises various halls and rooms that include the Dressing Room, Bed Room, Drawing Room, Dining Hall, Billiard hall, Library,
Toshakhana, Ladies Gallery and Vestibules. Unfortunately, all the articles and the precious objects as contained by these rooms and halls are now lost and curbed slightly the crowning glory and superb manifestation of the Palace.
Maharaja Viswa Singha was a valiant ruler. Muslims attacked the
kingdom many times during his rule. In 1532 A.D. Turukh Khan was defeated while invading Kamrup. At that time Nasrath Shah, king of Gour, attacked the kingdom but was defeated. Maharaja Viswa Singha won over Kamtapur from the Muslim strength and incorporated within his kingdom. He rebuilt the temple of Goddess Gosanimari which was destroyed by Hossain Shah.
During the rule of Maharaja Lakshmi Narayan Akbar's army
commander invaded Behar. He captured the portion of Gour under Lakshmi Narayan and adjoining many lands. Maharaja Lakshmi Narayan waged war against him but could not defeat the Mughal power. At last Maharaja visited Delhi and having met Jahangir, the then Badshah, entered into an agreement which stated that neither of the two forces would invade the respective kingdoms.
It was then the turn of Maharaja Pran Narayan (1626 - 1665 A.D.)
to fight the Mughals. Taking advantage of the inner conflict at the Mughal camp concerning the succession to the throne of Delhi between Aurangzeb and his brothers, Maharaja Pran Narayan captured Ghoraghat - the center of Mughal power in that part. In 1661 A.D. he also captured Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh. After enthroning the throne, Badshah Aurangzeb sent his army commander Mirzumla to recover the lost territories. Mirzumla reoccupied Dhaka, Ghoraghat and other
regions. Having occupied few regions of Behar, he left for his expedition to Assam. Then Maharaja Pran Narayan regained the lost regions from the clutches of Mughal power. During his time southern border of Behar kingdom was extended up to Tajhat of Rangpur and Baharband
The Kamata kingdom appeared in the western part of the older
Kamarupa kingdom in the 13th century, after the fall of the Pala dynasty. The rise of the Kamata kingdom marked the end of the ancient period in the history of Assam and the beginning of the medieval period. The first rulers were the Khens, who were later displaced by Alauddin Hussain Shah, the Turko-Afghan ruler of Bengal. Though Hussain Shah developed extensive administrative structures, he could not maintain political control and the control went to the Koch dynasty. The Koch Rajbongshi's called themselves Kamateshwars (the rulers of Kamata/Kamatapur Kingdom), but their influence and expansions were so extensive and far reaching that their kingdom is sometimes called the
Kochrajbongshi kingdom. Under His Highness Maharaja Naranarayan the then King of Kamatapur, the Koch dynasty flourished to the highest extent and his brother Shukladhwaj Singha (famous as Chilarai) was one of the greatest heroes of that time and he prominently dominated the eastern part of Kamatapur which now known as Assam(Previously Assam is known as Pragjyotispur)
The Rajobngshi community has a rich heritage and culture which
had been inherited from the ancient civilization. The Rajbongshi community has their own dialects, culture, and way of living. The culture reflects the humbleness, peace, unity and harmony with nature, as Rajbongshi are primarily animist.
A few rulers, kings, queens, princes and princesses of the Kochrajbongshi dynasty are His Highness Maharaja Naranarayan, Prince Chilaray, Maharani Gayatri Devi, (Princess Gayatri Devi later on married Prince of Jaipur Man Singh) which had helped a strong relationship between the two kingdoms. Maharaja Ajit Narayan Dev
of Sidli ( Capital at Bidyapur) Kingdom was also part of the Kochrajbongshi dynasty.
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Welcome to Kamatapur
Kamatapur Kingdom was also known as kamatapur or Kamata, The kamatapur Kingdom was ruled by the Kochrajbongshi Kings, The historic Kamatapur Kingdom merged with the Indian territory after the independence of the Indian territory from the British.
The capital of the Kingdom was Cooch Behar.
Cooch Behar Merger Agreement
On 15th August 1947, it was the birth of an independent India and Pakistan, free from two decades of Colonial Rule. Question arose regarding which nation the State of Cooch Behar will cede to. On the 28th of August 1949 an agreement was contracted between the Governor-General of India and Kochrajbongshi King His Highness the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, which came to be known as the Cooch Behar Merger Agreement, in which His Highness the Maharaja of Cooch Behar ceded to the Dominion Govt. of India.
The inhabitant of the Kingdom were the Kochrajbongshi Tribe, later on after the merger of the Kingdom the community got divided into various parts of the India and outside the Indian domain.
The Present Kamatapur
The historic Kamatapur was divided and later on merged with the Indian territory, the Western Part of the Kamatapur Kingdom got merged with the West Bengal state, the eastern part merged with the Present Assam, the entire lower Assam was the part of the Kamatapur Kingdom, The Rongpur part merged with the Present Bangladesh, few parts joined with Bihar and Nepal.
Kamatapuri have various folk song of their own, in Assam they call it Goalpariya lokogeet, where as the same group call it Bhawia Gan in West Bengal, in Rongpur of Bangladesh they call it Rongpuriya Folk song.
The Kamatapur movement by the Koch Rajbogshi people for the demand of the separate state within the Indian domain have taken a historic movement, Rajbongshi community and tribe also known as or called as Kochrajbongshi in Assam, Rajbongshi in West Bengal, Rajbanshi in Nepal,
All Koch Rajbongshi Student Union, the student wing of the tribe have been demanding of the ST (Scheduled Tribe) status for the community and the separate state hood demand for the community. Kamatapur State demand is very much legitimate for the community as it is not the formation of the new state rater it is the re-unification of the Historic Kamatapur Kingdom, various petition have been submited to the Government of India for the formation of the Kamatapur state and the ST status of the community.
Kochila Movement in Nepal
The Rajbongshi community of the Nepal have declared a movement of United Kochila Province, The demand for the Kochila comprises of the present three district of Nepal – Morang, Jhapa and Sunsari.
They community urged the need for all people living in the Kochila region to wage a joint struggle for achieving the separate Kochila Province in Nepal.