Assam


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Assam, a state in northeastern India, is the gateway to the land of seven-sisters bordered by the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Located south of the eastern Himalayas, Assam is a land of majestic mountains, mighty rivers, lovely woods, waterfalls, and serene silences. Apart from its breathtaking natural beauty, the area is a place of historic monuments, wildlife sanctuaries, temples and is famous for its religion, especially the mystique of trantricism.

Assam State Basic Information

Capital Dispur
Area 78,438 sq. km
Population 31,205,576
No. of District 35
Literacy Rate 72.19%
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal
Governer Banwarilal Purohit
Sex Ratio 958
Language Assamese, Bodo, Karbi, Bengali
Date of Formation 1912 (Assam Province - British India), 15 August 1947
State Animal Gor
State Bird White-winged Duck
State Flower Kopou Phool
State Tree Hollong
Official Website www.assam.gov.in

History

The political history of Assam is well-known since the first millennium AD when political institutions began to take shape like that of greater northern India. It was only in the early 20th century that British historians like Edward Gait or Assamese historians like Kanaklal Barua began to write about this political past. But the history of Assam starts from the pre-historic period of India. The state has evidence of human settlements from all the periods of the Stone Age. Its colorful ancient and mediaeval history is the story of a confluence of peoples from the east, west and north, the convergence of Austro-Asiatic, Indo-Aryan, and Tibeto-Burman races.

PRE-HISTORY AND ANCIENT PERIOD

Pre-history period is the period which is anterior to recorded history .Sources for study of this period,etc. Pre-history of Assam, is almost and uninvestigated field of study. Caves, tools and geological stratas of Paleolithic, Neolithic and chaleolithic ages discovered in the North-East region so far, in combination give an idea of human habitation in this part of the country in the hoary past. During the past few years, however, several sites and a large number of tools belonging to the Paleolithic age have been discovered in the Garo hills. Relics ofthis culture are also found in the Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh and in the excavations of a cave at Khangkhuti in the Ukhrul Sub-division of Manipur. Besides, some caves in the Khasia-Jaintia hills of Meghalaya, in the Mikir hills (present Karbi Anglong district) and North Cachar hills with traces of rudimentary paintings and carvings were discovered and some caves in the undivided district of Kamrup and at Jogighopa and Surya Pahar in the district of Goalpara are noticed. But these have not been properly studied and explored yet.

The stone tool so far, collected, in and around Assam,give an idea regarding the Neolithic culture of this part of India. John Lubbock was the first person to refer to finds of jade neolithic implements in Upper Assam. In 1872, S.E. Peal reported the find of a celt below the foundation of a tea factory in Upper Assam. In 1875, Medlicot mentioned the find of a stone hatchet in a tea-estate near Dibrugarh. Of the earlier neoliths, there is very meagre evidence. But some specimen of the later Neolithic period have been discovered and these are supposed to be made by the speakers of the Mon-khmer Speech which began some time in 2500 B.C. or a little earlier.

History of Ancient Assam :

Ancient Assam was known as Pragjyotisha in early times and as Kamarupa in later times.The geographical extent of the kingdom of Pragjyotish-Kamarupa varied from time to time. its northern and south-western limits extended much beyond the present state of Assam.ccording to the most of the Puranas,the Kingdom of Kamarupa extended upto the river Karatoya in the west. The eastern limit of the kingdom,however,cannot be definitely ascertained.

Geography

Geographically assam is located in the central part of North Eastern State of Indian sub-continent with the total area of 78,438 sq. km. Assam - the gateway to north-east India is a land of blue hills, valleys and rivers. The state has Arunachal Pradesh in the east, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Bangladesh in the west; Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan in the north and Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura in the south. The physiographic of Assam is one of the most enchanting in the country. It can be classified into two well-defined geographical 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 Karbi Hills and the North Cachar Hills those are located in the south of the Brahmaputra valley.

Culture

The culture of Assam is traditionally a hybrid one, developed due to cultural assimilation of different ethno-cultural groups under various politico-economic systems in different periods of history. The Assamese are noted for their mixed traditional culture because of the assimilation of various ethno-cultural groups in the past including the local elements and the local elements in Sanskritised forms can be seen. Assam is the meeting ground of diverse cultures. The people of the enchanting state of Assam is an intermixture of various racial stocks such as Mongoloid, Indo-Burmese, Indo-Iranian and Aryan. The Assamese culture is a rich and exotic tapestry of all these races evolved through a long assimilative process.

Assamese are known for their traditional crafts which includes Bell and brass metal crafts. Apart from these the Assamese are also noted for their Cane and bamboo craft, silk and cotton weaving, toy and mask making, pottery and terracotta work, wood craft, jewellery making, musical instruments making, etc. Bihu is the most popular folk dance of Assam that is performed by young boys and girls, especially during the Bihu festivities. Satriya Nritya is the classic dance form that signifies the Satriya culture of Assam. Jhumur Dance is a synthesized form of dance performed by the tea folks. Bagurumba and Deodhani are other impressive dance forms of Assam.

Tourism

Assam or 'Axom', a treasure trove of diverse history and natural beauty, is amongst the very few places that remained unconquered by the Mughal emperors. Assam is a north-eastern state of India that offers plethora of desirability. If you are looking for variety while choosing your holiday destination, Assam could be the perfect spot. Be it the natural scenery or culture of the people of Assam, you are sure to be awed by the variety and color Assam has to offer.

The state has virtually the lot to enthrall the trippers with like striking foliage, breathtaking terrains, fascinating tea garden, dense forests and affluent flora and fauna. In the kindness of the great hospitality and fascinating appeals, the heritage of Assam tourism is flourishing amazingly day by day.

Assam has four well defined seasons in a year.......summer, monsoon, winter and spring which present Assam in different moods. The state experiences high rainfall and humidity as it has bounteous forest cover almost through it's length and breadth.

Education

Assam's literacy rate in the year 2011 was around 73.18% with approximately 67.27% female literacy and 78.81% male. In Assam there are two organizations namely Directorate of Elementary Education and and the Directorate of Higher Education under the Department of Education,Govt. of Assam. The Directorate of Elementary Education is responsible for administration control, development and expansion, inspection, supervision, monitoring and evaluation of Elementary Education in Assam.The Directorate of Higher Education caters to the Universities, Government Colleges, Non-Govt. (Provincialised) colleges, Ad-hoc Colleges,AffiliatedColleges, Ad-hoc Law Colleges, Asom Publication Board, ABILAC, Literary & Voluntary Organisations, Sanskrit and Pali Prakrit Tols, Asom Sanskrit Board, State Selection Board, Asom etc.

For a state secluded in the far eastern corner of India, Assam has come a long way in the education of it's youth. The state has excellent English medium schools, Arts and Science Colleges, and Engineering and Medical Colleges. The most recent additions in the state's educational infrastructure, are the Indian Institute of Technology at Guwahati, and the Two Central Universities. These institutes are among the very best facilitated in the nation.

Economy

Assam is India's gateway to Northeast India and acts as a vital link for trade with Southeast Asian countries. The state is known for its tea, petroleum resources, muga silk and bio-diversity. It is also becoming an increasingly popular destination for wildlife tourism. At current prices, the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Assam was US$ 30.72 billion in 2015-16 while the average annual GSDP growth rate from 2004-05 to 2015-16 was 9 per cent. The state is rich in water resources and has vast tracts of fertile land. Assam is also the third-largest producer of petroleum and natural gas in the country and has ample reserves of limestone. According to the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), cumulative FDI inflows during April 2000 to March 2016 totaled to US$ 94 million

Governance

Assam comprises of 32 administrative districts, which are further divided into sub-divisions. The head of government is the Chief Minister. The Assam Assembly is elected by universal adult suffrage for a period of five years. The Chief Minister is assisted by a Council of Ministers that he nominates, the size of which is restricted. The maximum number of members in Assam Legislative Assembly is 126 those are elected by the people of Assam.

The head of the judiciary system of Assam is Guwahati High Court that is situated in Guwahati. It was originally known as the High Court of Assam and Nagaland, but renamed as Guwahati High Court in 1971 by the North East Areas.

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