Assam is a state in Northeast India, situated south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of 78,438 km. The state is bordered by Bhutan and the state of Arunachal Pradesh to the north; Nagaland and Manipur to the east; Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Bangladesh to the south; and West Bengal to the west via the Siliguri Corridor, a 22 kilometres strip of land which connects the state to the rest of India.
Assam is known for Assam tea and Assam silk. The first oil well in Asia was drilled in Assam. The state has conserved the one-horned Indian rhinoceros from near extinction, along with the wild water buffalo, pygmy hog, tiger and various species of Asiatic birds, and provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. The Assamese economy is aided by wildlife tourism to Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park, which are World Heritage Sites. Sal tree forests are found in the state which, as a result of abundant rainfall, look green all year round. Assam receives more rainfall than most parts of India; this rain feeds the Brahmaputra River, whose tributaries and oxbow lakes provide the region with a hydro-geomorphic environment.
The history of Assam is the history of a confluence of people from the east, west and the north; the confluence of the Tibeto-Burman (Sino-Tibetan), Indo-Aryan and Austroasiatic cultures. Although invaded over the centuries, it was never a vassal or a colony to an external power until the third Burmese invasion in 1821, and, subsequently, the British ingress into Assam in 1824 during the First Anglo-Burmese War.
The Assamese history has been derived from multiple sources. The Ahom kingdom of medieval Assam maintained chronicles, called Buranjis, written in the Ahom and the Assamese languages. History of ancient Assam comes from a corpus of Kamarupa inscriptions on rock, copper plates, clay; royal grants, etc. that the Kamarupa kings issued during their reign. Protohistory has been reconstructed from folklore: epics like Mahabharata, and two medieval texts compiled in the Assam region?the Kalika Purana and the Yogini Tantra.
The history of Assam can be divided into four eras. The ancient era began in the 4th century with the mention of Kamarupa in Samudragupta's inscriptions on the Allahabad pillar and the establishment of the Kamarupa kingdom. The medieval era began with the attacks from the Bengal Sultanate, the first of which took place in 1206 by Bakhtiyar Khilji as mentioned in the Kanai-boroxiboa rock inscription, after the breakup of the ancient kingdom and the sprouting of medieval kingdoms and chieftain-ships in its place. The colonial era began with the establishment of British control after the Treaty of Yandaboo in 1826, and the post-colonial era began in 1947 after the Independence of India.
Language And Culture
Assamese and Bodo are the major indigenous and official languages while Bengali holds official status in the three districts in the Barak Valley and is the second most widely spoken language of the state.The language spoken is actually called Asamiya and the word 'Assamese' is an anglicized form of it. Assamese belong to the family of Indo-Aryan language. It gradually evolved from the Sanskrit language about the 7th century AD. Assamese literature is recognized as one of the richest in India. The Indian constitution has declared Assamese among the major languages of Republic of India.
Assamese culture is traditionally a hybrid one developed due to assimilation of ethno-cultural groups of Austric, Tibeto-Burman and Tai origin in the past. Therefore, both local elements or the local elements in Sanskritised forms are distinctly found.
The modern culture was influenced by events in the British and the Post-British Era. The language was standardised by the American Baptist Missionaries such as Nathan Brown, Dr. Miles Bronson and local pundits such as Hemchandra Barua with the form available in the Sibsagar (Sivasagar) District (the ex-nerve centre of the Ahom Kingdom).
There are diversified important traditional festivals in Assam. Bihu is the most important and common and celebrated all over Assam. It is the Assamese new year celebrated in April of the Gregorian calendar. Durga Puja is another festival celebrated with great enthusiasm. Muslims celebrate two Eids (Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha) with much eagerness all over Assam.
State animal: Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)
State bird: White-winged duck (Asarcornis scutulata)
State flower: Foxtail orchid (Rhynchostylis retusa)
State tree: Hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus)
How to Reach
Assam is well connected with Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and other major cities of India via national carrier and private airlines. Guwahati?s Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is the nearest airport which is only 25 km away from the city.
You can get into Assam by train quite easily from any major city in India. There are direct train services from Calcutta, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin and Trivandrum to Guwahati, the rail hub of Assam.
You can easily reach Assam via road.Assam is very well connected to West Bengal, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.Assam pretty hard in the months from June to September due to monsoon rains