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Jaintia, Kingdom of


Jaintia, Kingdom of an ancient hill kingdom of assam. In medieval period most part of to-day's greater sylhet was within the territorial jurisdiction of the Jaintia king. Ethnically, the inhabitants belong to the same type as the khasias and speak the same language. The Jaintia people were, and largely still are, animist and matriarchal. But the king adopted Sanskrit name around 1500 AD. Parbat Ray was then the king and his capital was at jaintapur. Between 1548 and 1564, Jaintia was conquered by the king of Cooch Bihar.

In the late sixteenth century the kingdom came under the control of the Kachhar king. The kingdom regained its independent in 1605 with the help of the Ahom king. Lakshmi Narayan (1669-1697) was a vigorous king. He got the glory of constructing a brick-building in his capital, Jaintapur. The east india company drove the Jainta king from the plains of Sylhet after the acquisition of diwani (1765). The kingdom of Jaintia lost its independence when the Burmese conquered Assam in 1824. Soon, the British drove the Burmese away, and the kingdom's independence was restored in 1825. To facilitate their trade on chunam (lime stone) and rattan (cane) in Sylhet, the East India Company annexed the Jaintia kingdom to their Bengal state in 1835. [Sirajul Islam]