ASSAM
The Land of Red Rivers & Blue Hills
ASSAM
The Land of Red Rivers & Blue Hills

Located south of the eastern Himalayas, Assam (Asom, Axom) comprises the Brahmaputra Valley and the Barak river valleys along with the Karbi Anglong and the North Cachar Hills with an area of 78,438 km². Assam is surrounded by six of the other: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, and Meghalaya. Geographically Assam and these states are connected to the rest of India via a strip of land in West Bengal called the Siliguri Corridor or "Chicken's Neck". Assam shares international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh; and cultures, peoples and climate with South-East Asia. Assam became a part of the British India after the British occupied the region following the First Anglo-Burmese War of 1824–1826.

Dominated by the mighty Brahmaputra River, the state of Assam is the gateway to the northeastern part of India. This beautiful land finds its reference in the great Hindu epic Mahabharata as "Pragiyotisha" and "Kamarupa" in the first millennium. Endowed with lush greenery, Assam is also renowned for Assam tea, silk, petroleum resources and rich flora and fauna.

Assam has enjoyed a reputation for unspoiled natural beauty, substantial biodiversity, tea plantations, and friendly people. The Brahmaputra, the lifeline of the valley which shares its name, floods the nearby land with fertile silt every year to ensure a rich harvest. It is bound on either side by marshy land covered with thick jungle grass, interspersed with patches of rice fields and terraced tea gardens. There is little to interrupt the vast panorama except the occasional lone hillock. Only in the south of the valley is the even horizon broken by the hills of Karbi Anglong. Further south are the North Cachar Hills. Located here, amid orchards is Assam's only hill station, Haflong. The southern part of Assam is the Barak Valley, this region hosts untouched natural beauty. Green is the dominant colour of the state, with an impressive 35% forest cover and thousands of hectares under tea cultivation. Assam has five national parks including the World Heritage Sites of Kaziranga and Manas, and 20 Wildlife and Bird Sanctuaries. The great Indian one-horned rhinoceros is one of Assam's most noteworthy fauna.

Over the centuries, people of various ethnic, religious and linguistic backgrounds have been attracted by the fertile river valleys of Assam, and adopted them as their home. The people of Assam are mosaic of various cultures. They are from a range of racial backgrounds including Austro-Asiatic, Indo-Aryan and Tibeto-Burman.

Established: 1912 (Assam Province - British India), 15 August 1947

Population (2011): 31,169,272

Literacy: 73.18%

Official language: Assamese

Flora and Fauna

Assam 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; Many are now protected as national parks and reserved forests.

Assam has wildlife sanctuaries, the most prominent of which are two UNESCO World Heritage sites the Kaziranga National Park, on the bank of the Brahmaputra River, and the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, near the border with Bhutan. The Kaziranga is refuges for the fast-disappearing Indian one-horned rhinoceros. The state is the last refuge for numerous other endangered and threatened species including the White-winged Wood Duck or Deohanh, Bengal Florican, Black-breasted Parrotbill, Red-headed vulture, White-rumped vulture, Greater Adjutant, Jerdon's Babbler, Rufous-necked hornbill, Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, Pygmy hog, Gaur, Wild water buffalo, Indian hog deer, Hoolock gibbon, Golden Langur, Capped langur, Barasingha,Ganges river dolphin, Barca snakehead, Ganges shark, Burmese python, Brahminy river turtle, Black pond turtle, Asian forest tortoise, and Assam roofed turtle. Threatened species that are extinct in Assam include the Gharial, a critically endangered fish-eating crocodilian, and the Pink-headed duck (which may be extinct worldwide). For the State Bird, the White-winged Wood Duck, Assam is a globally important area.

Weather & Rainfall

Summer: 35-38°C and Winter: 6-8ºC

Assam experiences high rainfall and humidity - afternoon thunder showers are a common occurrence during monsoons - and early morning fog in winter is also common.

How to reach by Air:

The Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati is well connected by air to most of the metros in the country. Jet Airways, Indigo airlines, spice jet, Kingfisher red, and Jetlite airlines connect Guwahati to Delhi, Kolkata, and the major cities of India.

By Rail: A convenient Indian Railways network runs through out the state connecting major Indian cities with Assam. There are train services from Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin and Trivandrum.

By Road: A good network of National Highways and other roads connect Assam to all prime cities of India.

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