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Assam State Information

Assam State Information

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Published by: CHAITANYA SIVA on Dec 29, 2010
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Assam (Asom) State Information
Capital : Dispur Districts :23Languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo & Karbi
Introduction to Assam
Assam has a unique landscape with sprawling tea gardens and unending stretches of paddy fields interspersed with groves of coconut, areca nuts, and banana trees.Its population is a confluence of streams of different races and tribes like the Austrics,the Aryans, Negroids, Indo-Burmese, Indo-Tibetans, and Mongoloid. They haveenriched each other and have evolved to give a distinctive identity to the Assamesepeople.
Geography of Assam
Assam is located at the gateway of Northeast India, Assam is separated by Bangladeshfrom mainstream India.The state is bounded in the north by Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan; in the east byNagaland, Manipur, and Burma; in the south by Bangladesh, Tripura, Mizoram, andBangladesh; and in the west by West Bengal.Assam can be broadly divided into three distinct physical units, the Brahmaputra Valleyin the north, the Barak Valley in the narrow protruding south, and the state’s hilly regionseparating the two valleys.
Brief History of Assam
The region of Assam was mentioned by the Chinese explorer Chang Kien of havingtrade links with China in 100 B.C. The Periplus of the Erythrean Sea and Ptolemy’sGeography also acknowledge the existence of this state before Christ. The Australoidsor the pre-Dravidians were the earliest inhabitants of this state. But, it were theMongoloids who entered the land through the eastern mountainous passes and overrunthe land long before the time of the compilation of the Hindu religious literature knownas the Vedas.In the Vedic literature, the state has been mentioned as the land of Kirats withPragjyotishpur as the capital. In the epic Mahabharata, it is mentioned that the Kiratsfought against the Pandavas. Huen Tsang, the great Chinese traveler, visited thisregion in the 7th century. At that point of time, Pragjyotishpur was known as Kamrup,which was then a strong kingdom under King Bhaskaravarman. However, after this
there was a gradual decline of this region and subsequent centuries were witness torepeated onslaughts by aboriginals that reduced the power of the kingdom and led to itsfragmentation. It was a time when no single power could hold sway in Assam.When the Ahoms entered Assam crossing the eastern hills in 1228, they chanced upona period in its history when it was at its most susceptible. Among the local tribes, theChutias and the Kacharis could offer only a semblance of resistance. The entry of Ahoms in Assam started a new beginning, and many scholars opine that the state wasnamed after this dynasty that ruled it for six centuries. With the advent of the Ahoms,the center of power shifted from Kamrup in Lower Assam to Sibsagar in Upper Assam.The importance of Lower Assam declined sharply, except for a short period in the early16th century when the Koch dynasty extended their western limits considerably under their illustrious king Naranarayana.The Mughal Empire was at its zenith during this time and they took it as a challenge tocrush the Ahoms. They attacked the state 17 times. The last of the wars was foughtnear the present-day Saraighat Bridge over the river Brahmaputra in Guwahati. In thiswar, the Ahoms gave the Mughals a crushing defeat under the leadership of the ablegeneral Lachit Barphukan. Lachit Barphukan achieved immortality for his heroism andmany anecdotes are now an integral part of the folklores of Assam.The next centuries spelled troubles for this kingdom and save for a brief interventionduring the reign of king Rudrasingha, the state went on a gradual decline in the 18thcentury. This was the time when the Burmese attacked this state and annexed theminto their empire. However, they could not hold sway on the region for long and in 1826,the British forced them to cede Assam by the Treaty of Yandaboo.With the rest of India, Assam also played an important role in the war of independence.It was declared a state under the Union of India after it achieved independence in 1947.At that time, except Manipur and Tripura, the whole of the Northeast region was calledAssam. However, due to strong regional distinctions, all of them have to be carved outas separate states, starting with Nagaland in 1963 and ending with Arunachal Pradeshin 1972.
Government of Assam
Tarun Kumar Gogoi is the Chief Minister of the state of Assam in India. He is member of Indian National Congress.
Districts of Assam
Assam is divided into 23 districts: Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Cachar, Darrang, Dhemaji,Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Goalpara, Golaghat, Hailakandi, Jorhat, Kamrup, Karbi Anglong,Karimganj, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Marigaon, Nagaon, Nalbari, North Cachar Hills,Sibsagar, Sonitpur, and Tinsukia.
Assam Travel Information
Guwahati derives its name from two words, guwa (meaning betel nut) and hati (meaninglittle market). It is customary for anyone on his first visit to this city to visit the Kamakhyatemple, dedicated to the Mother Goddess.The importance of the temple is second only to the mighty Brahmaputra, the river withan undeniable presence in the town. In the center of the city, with the magnificentbackdrop of the Brahmaputra and atop Sukleshwar Hill stands the Janardan temple.West of Chitrachal Hill is the unique temple of Navagraha dedicated to the nine planets.Once a renowned seat of astronomy and astrology, it is possibly the reason for Guwahati’s earlier name of Pragjyotishpur.The Assam State Zoo is not very far from the heart of the city. The undulatingtopography and the three-side open enclosures make the zoo almost like a naturalhabitat for the animals.Guwahati has several museums, repositories of this state’s ancient culture and tradition.The Assam State Museum is the largest amongst them and has sections on epigraphy,sculpture, natural history, crafts, ethnography, and arms.The mighty Ahoms reigned supreme for 600 years at Sibsagar, at a distance of 369 kmfrom Guwahati, where the ruins of their temples and palaces still exist.Resurrected by the Archeological Survey of India, these ruins provide an interestinginsight into the past glory and splendor of Assam.Other destinations are Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Pabitora, a smallwildlife sanctuary and Hajo.
Economy of Assam
Tea-based industry occupies an important place in Assam’s economy. The 850-odd teagardens in the state occupy an area of about 2.31 lakh hectare.Assam is known for its rich forest wealth with varieties of flora and fauna.Coal, petroleum and natural gas, limestone and minor minerals are produced in thestate. Coal occurs in Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, North Cachar Hills, Sibsagar, and Lakhimpur districts.Assam is primarily an agriculture state, which accounts for the livelihood of about four-fifths of the state’s population. More than 70 percent of the workforce is engaged inagriculture and allied activities. Rice is the primary food crop; cash crops like jute, tea,cotton, oilseeds, sugarcane, potato, etc., are also grown in the state. Also grown on a

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