The word “Buranji” is derived from the Ahom language. According to Dr. Suryya Kumar Bhuyan it literally means “a store that teachers the ignorant.”Buranjis are historical documents which held a very high position in the Ahom court and an important piece in Assamese Literature. The Buranjis constitute an unprecedented and glorious chapter in Assamese literature. It will not be an exaggeration to remark that it is from these Buranjis that modern Assamese prose emerges.
The documents consisted of periodic reports transmitted to the court by military commanders diplomatic letters sent to and received from foreign rulers and allies, judicial and revenue papers submitted to the kings and ministers for final orders, and the day-to-day progress of the court, and significant occurrences reported by reliable eye-witnesses. The Buranjis were first written in Ahom , which was the language of rulers, which later came to be complied in Assamese language.
The historical works or Buranjis are numerous and voluminous. Knowledge of Buranjis was an indispensable qualification to an Assamese gentleman. The compilation of a Buranji was a sacred task,’ and, therefore, it was customary to begin it with a salutation to the deity.
The Ahom Buranji written in the Tai Ahom language is the most important buranji which contains a complete account of the Ahom rule in Assam. Deodhai Assam Buranji was compiled from a number of old chronicles. It includes the translation of the above mentioned Ahom Buranji along with the important information from several original manuscripts in Assamese dealing with the political relations of the Ahoms the Naras, Chutias, Kacharis, Burmese and the Jayantias. Another Tai-Ahom Buranji’s Assam translation has been incorporated in the Satsari Assam Buranji which gives us an account of the period from the Ahom king Kamaleswar Singha to king Purandar Singha.
There are different kinds of Assamese Buranjis. One class of Assamese Buranji is of the nature of reports and records etc. The Kataki Buranji belongs to this class. The Datiyalia Buranji gives us the information of the neighbouing states of the Ahoms. Chang-rung Phukanar Buranji deals with the construction maidans, temples roads, bridges and plantation of banyan tree on the roadsides etc.
Another Buranji named “Kamarupa Buranji” published in 1930 AD is a compilation from several original sources. This Buranji deals with the conflicts with Cooch Bihar and Assam and ends with the defeat of the Mughals in the hands of Swargadeo Gadadhar Singha in the battle of Itakhuli in 1682 AD.
Although all the literature scripts of Ahom time are not available at present, but itplays a pivotal role in the past and present. In the words of G. A. Grierson, we can conclude that “The Assamese are justly proud of their national literature. In no department have they been more successful than in a branch of study in which India is, as a rule, curiously deficient.”