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A Brief Introduction to Assam | North East India Info

Assam, the gateway to the Northeast India located in the north-eastern part of the country and is bounded to the north by the kingdom of Bhutan and the state of Arunachal Pradesh, to the east by the states of Nagaland and Manipur, to the south by the states of Mizoram and Tripura, and to the west by Bangladesh and the states of Meghalaya and West Bengal.

The name Assam is derived from the word ‘Asama’ meaning peerless or unequal. The modern name Assam is a recent one. It is linked to the Shan invaders, who entered the Brahmaputra valley in the 13th Century AD, better known as Ahoms.

Assam Ahom Place

Geography of Assam

Assam extending from 89° 42′ E to 96° E longitude and 24° 8′ N to 28° 2′ N latitude, it has an area of 78,438 km2, similar to that of Scotland.

The state of Assam is about 700 miles in length and ranges from 60 to 80 miles in breadth.

Assam ranks sixteen among the states of the Indian Republic in terms of area. It occupies about 2.38present of the country’s total area.

The whole Assam can be classified into 2 regions namely The Brahmaputra Valley and the Barak Valley depending on the names of the two rivers Brahmaputra and Barak respectively and Hilly area made up of North Cachar and Karbi Anglong districts.

The Brahmaputra Valley is divided by the Brahmaputra River into two distinct zones that is the North and the south banks lying abreast of the Brahmaputra.

The biggest river island of the world, ' Majuli' and recently got the status of a district of Assam.

Population of Assam

Assam tops the list in the North-East Region in terms of total population and density of population.

According to 31st March 2011 census report, Assam has a total population of 31, 169,272 out of which male comprise of 15,954,927 and female comprise of 15,954,927 which accounts only 2.58% of India’s population.

Assam ranks 14th position amongst all the states of India in terms of density of population.

The Sex-ratio per thousand male in the state is 954 compared to all India 940 which has increased dramatically to 7%, earlier it is 933 in the 2001 census.

The density of the population of Assam has increased to 398 persons in 2011 from 340 persons in the 2001 Census or on an average, 58 more people inhabit every square kilometer in the State as compared a decade ago.

Economy of Assam

Assam is predominantly an agrarian economy where the majority of the rural labor force is engaged in agriculture and allied activities directly or indirectly.

Between 2011-12 and 2020-21, Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) expanded at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.36 percent to Rs 4.09 lakh crore (US$ 58.47 billion). Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) expanded at a CAGR of 11.48 percent to US$ 33.20 billion between 2011-12 and 2016-17.

Classification of the population by economic activity according to the result of Population Census, 2011 reveal that out of the total population of 31,205,576 in the State, 11,969,690 (38 percent) were total workers. Out of the total workers, 8687123(72 percent) were main workers and 3282567 (27 percent) were marginal workers.

Among the total male workers 82 percent were main workers, 18 percent were marginal workers and among females workers, 48 percent were main workers and 52 percent were marginal workers.

Out of the total 11969690 workers in Assam, 3,138,554(26 percent) were Cultivators, 903,294(8.0 percent) were Agricultural laborers, 242,071(2.0 percent) were engaged in Household Industries and 4,403,204(37.0 percent) were Other Workers. (Economic Survey of Assam 2017 – 18)

People of Assam

The Assamese is a mixture of Mongolian-Tibetan, Aryan and Barman ethnic origins. About 2/3 of the Assamese are Hindus and about a quarter are Muslim. The people of Assam mostly speak 'Assamese' language is also known as ‘Asomiya’ which is an Indo-Aryan language with its root in the Sanskrit. Bengali speaking people are large in Barak Valley where Bengali is the official language. 

The tribals have their own language. A number of tribal communities are an integral part of Assam. These tribals include Mishing, Tiwa, Lalung, Karbi, Kachari, Dimasa, Rabha, etc. Thus the people of Assam can be broadly divided into two groups – tribal and non-tribal. Read More

District wise Map of Assam

Climate of Assam

The peculiarity of the climate of Assam is that, due to the presence of expansive water surface bordered by forest-clad hill terrains, extensive precipitation takes place. Enormous humidity and heaviest rainfall are, therefore, the characteristics of the climate of Assam.

The climate of the hills is generally salubrious while that of the plains is comparatively warm in summer but cool in winter.

Accordingly, the climate of Assam is characterized by alternate cool and warm periods with a high humidity, Especially from May to November.

Between March and May at the time when precipitation in Northern India is at the minimum, Assam gets some amount of rainfall from the North westerns which keep the temperature low in the season of spring.

In the plains of Assam, the maximum temperature does not go beyond 90oF or 32oC and in winter the plains of Assam have a minimum temperature of about 8oC (47oF).

The climate of the plains and the sub-montane region becomes unpleasant, especially in the summer season. It happens to be so because of the extreme humidity which comes with the monsoon.

In the plains of Assam, including the district of Cachar the temperatures in summer may be only about 32oC. But the humidity may be so high that one will perspire and feel very uneasy, especially during the period between two bouts of rainfall.

Natural Resource of Assam

Assam is very rich in her natural resources compared to the other states of the Indian Union. In spite of rich natural resources, her economic upliftment is not adequate. From the point of view of her economic development, Assam is one of the most backward states. The principal mineral resources which are commercially exploited in Assam are coal, petroleum, natural gas and limestone.

Assam is a major producer of crude oil and natural gas in India. It was the second place in the world (after Titusville in the United States) where petroleum was discovered.

Asia’s first successful mechanically drilled oil well was drilled in Makum (Assam) way back in 1867. The second oldest oil well in the world still produces crude oil.

One of the biggest public sector oil companies of the country, Oil India Ltd. has its plant and headquarters at Duliajan. Assam has four oil refineries located at Guwahati, Digboi, Numaligarh and Bongaigaon with a total capacity of 7 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonnes per annum).

The State is one of the richest biodiversity zones in the world and consists of tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, riverine grasslands, bamboo orchards and numerous wetland ecosystems.

Read More about Biodiversity of Assam, Click Here

Assam has the single largest tea growing area in the world, constituting around one-seventh of the global tea production. It has its own variety Camellia assamica. The state accounts for over 50 percent in the country’s overall tea production.

Assam also accounts for fair share of India’s production of rice, rapeseed, mustard, jute, potato, sweet potato, banana, papaya, areca nut and turmeric. Assam is also a home of large varieties of citrus fruits, leaf vegetables, vegetables, useful grasses, herbs, spices, etc. which are mostly subsistence crops.

Assam Silk denotes the three major types of indigenous wild silks produced in Assam—Golden Muga Silk, White Pat and warm Eri silk. The Assam silk industry, now centered in Sualkuchi, is a labor-intensive industry. Assam enjoys a global monopoly in terms of Muga Silk production.

Some Interesting Fact about Assam

  • India’s largest Shaktipeeth “Maa Kamakhya Temple”
  • World’s Largest River Island “Majuli”
  • India’s Widest River “Brahmaputra”
  • World’s biggest weaving village “Sualkuchi”
  • Asia’s oldest amphitheater “Ranghar, Sibsagar”
  • World’s highest one-horned rhino population “Kaziranga”
  • World’s largest tea-growing region “across the state”
  • India’s largest natural zoo “Assam State Zoo”
  • Asia’s oldest refinery and birthplace of crude oil “Digboi”
  • India’s longest river bridge “Dhola–Sadiya Bridg”
  • India longest rail-cum-road bridge “Bogibeel”
  • World’s biggest weaving village “Sualkuchi”
  • Bird’s Suicidal Point “Jatinga”
  • Asia’s largest dry fish market “Jagiroad Dry Fish Market”
  • World hottest chili “Ghost pepper” or “Bhut Jolokia”

That's not the end, there are many more interesting facts about Assam. Read more about facts of Assam, Click Here

To study more about Arunachal Pradesh, some books recommendation given below. These are also used as references for this article. So, I highly recommend you go through these books. For details click the book title.

Assam A Systematic Geography

Geography of Assam

History of Assam

Asom Buranji (অসম বুৰঞ্জী)

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE ASSAM

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