Capital: Dispur. Area: 78,438 sq. km. Population: 2,66,55,528 (Male: 1,37,77,037 Female: 1,28,78,491). Population density: 340 per sq. km. Sex ratio: 935 females per 1000 males. Principal languages: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo/Boro. Literacy: 63.3% (Male: 71.3% Female: 54.6%). Districts: 23. Lok Sabha seats: 14. State Assembly seats: 126. Airports: Guwahati, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Silchar, North Lakhimpur. Tourist season: October to April.


UK) Introduction

Assam (Asom), a northeastern state of India with its capital at Dispur, is one of the richest biodiversity zones in the world. Assam comprises the Brahmaputra and the Barak river valleys and is one of the Seven Sister States of the country. Assam’s landscape is exquisitely beautiful and it comprises gold- green paddy fields patched with palm and bamboo groves and manicured tea estates. Assam also shares international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh.

Assam deserves praise for conserving successfully the one-horned Indian rhinoceros from near extinction and it provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. Blessed with two World Heritage Sites – Kaziranga and Manas – Assam is becoming an increasingly popular destination for wildlife tourism.


The history of Assam can be traced back to the kingdom of Kamarupa that had its capital at Pragiyotishpura. The Chinese traveller Yuan Tsang detailed in his travel account that Kamarupa under king Bhaskaravarman remained powerful. The first Burmese invasion of Assam took place in 1817. And the year 1826 saw the end of Burmese rule and the beginning of the British occupation of Assam. Though amalgamated with eastern Bengal at the time of Bengal’s partition in 1905, Assam was made a separate province again in 1912. After independence many states – Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh – were carved out of Assam.

Geography Assam is one of the richest biodiversity zones in the world. It consists of tropical rain forests, deciduous forests, riverine grasslands, bamboo orchards and numerous wetland ecosystems. Many among them are protected as national parks and reserved forests. Located in the North-Eastern part of India, Assam is surrounded by states like Arunachal Pradesh in the north, Nagaland in the east, Mizoram and Tripura in the south and West Bengal in the west. Assam shares international borders with China and Bangladesh.

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Major rivers: Brahmaputra, Barak, Sonai, Dhaleswari, Kapilli, Jamuna and Dhansiri. Climate: Pleasant sub-alpine climate prevail in the hilly regions, whereas the plains experience tropical climatic conditions making them uncomfortably humid. The maximum temperature in summer reaches 38°C, and the minimum temperature in winter drop to 6°C. The normal annual rainfall is 2850 mm.


Flora and Fauna: Bamboo, lac and valuable timber trees like sal and teak abound in the forests of Assam. The state’s forests have about 74 species of trees, of which two-thirds are commercially exploited.

Fauna: The wildlife found in Assam consists of one-horned rhinoceros, elephant, wild buffalo, wild boar, swamp deer, sambar, sloth bear, tiger, leopard, capped langur and golden langur, hoolock gibbon, jackal, and the avifauna includes goose hornbill, ibis, pelican, duck, cormorants, egret, forktail, heron, fishing eagle etc.

Festivals in Assam

Assam is a land of fairs and festivals. Most of the festivals celebrated in Assam reflect the rich culture, true spirit and lifestyle of the Assamese. Apart from the distinct festivals of the state, the people of Assam also celebrate

Holi, Durga Pooja, Diwali, Saraswati Pooja, Lakshmi Pooja, Kali Pooja, Id, Muharram, New Yearand Christmas.

Bihu: This is the most important festival of Assam celebrated with joy by all Assamese irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith and belief. Three Bihus are celebrated in a year. Me-Dum-Me-Phi: The Me-Dum-Me-Phi is observed by the Ahom community on the 31st of January. This festival helps to develop social contacts and community feelings among the Ahoms.

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Baishagu: A colourful festival with all possible merriment, Baishagu is generally celebrated by the Bodo Kacharis in mid-April. It is the most treasured festival of the Bodo tribe. Ambubachi Mela: This is the most important annual festival of the Kamakhya temple of Guwahati and is held during monsoon (mid-June). During Ambubachi, it is believed that the earth becomes impure and hence the temple is closed for three days. Ambubachi mela is held on the fourth day.

HH Tourism Spots

Hill Stations: Diphu, Umrangshu, Jatinga,

Haflong, Maibong.

Museums: Museum of Veterinary Science (Guwahati), District Museum (Mangaldai), District Museum (Sonitpur), District Museum (Barpeta), Anthropological Museum.

Pilgrim Centres: Umananda temple (Peacock Island), Navagrah temple (Chitravhal hill), Kamakya temple (Nilachal hill) and Hajo (24 km from Guwahati). Wildlife/Bird Sanctuaries: Kaziranga WLS, Manas National Park.


Guwahati is the major city in eastern India and is considered a main access point to northeast India. Guwahati is among the first 100 fastest demographically growing cities of the world and is the fifth fastest growing among Indian cities. Dispur, the capital of Assam is situated within the city. Although Guwahati is not a city of mesmerising beauty


and charm, its green landscapes, temple- topped hillocks, artificial lakes and riverbanks are worth visiting.

How to get there

By Air: The Gopinath Bordoloi Airport of Guwahati has regular flights to and from all major cities. The airport is well connected to all other air bases, like the Mohanbari Airport at Dibrugarh, Lilabari at Lakhimpur and Rowriah at Jorhat.

By Rail: The Paltan Bazaar Railway Station connects Guwahati to other cities in the state and neighbouring states. Trains from major cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Mumbai, Kochi and New Jalpaiguri pass through this station.

By Road: The Assam State Transport Corporation operates buses to many destinations within the state as well as neighbouring states like Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, etc. The corporation operates city buses in Guwahati, regular and luxury buses for the normal routes and mini buses for hilly areas.

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Places of interest Kamakhya Temple: This is a popular temple situated atop the Nilachal hill, 10 km from the railway station. Built in the 10th century by the Koch king, Naranarayan, the temple is one of the most sacred among the tantrik shrines of Shakti worship. It is a common practice here to offer animal sacrifice to appease the Goddess.

Navagraha Temple: The Navagraha temple or the ‘temple of the nine planets,’ is an ancient seat of astrology and astronomy. The central lingam is encircled by nine representing planets. The temple is situated on Chitrachal Hill, 3 km away from the railway station. The main Sivalingam seen here has a red beehive shaped dome.

Umananda Temple: Situated atop the Bhasmachala Hill, this 17th century Shiva temple of Umananda was built by an Ahom king. It has a few magnificent rock cut

figures. Boat services to the temple are available from Kachari Ghat in Guwahati. Janardhan Temple: The Janardhan temple, a unique blend of Hindu and Buddhist architecture, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is situated in the heart of the city at the Shukaleswar hillock near Shukaleswar Ghat of the Brahmaputra River. The temple consecrated in the 10th century was rebuilt in the 17th century.

Poa Mecca: Poa Mecca is a holy shrine of Muslims situated near the Hayagriva Madhava Temple at Hajo. It is believed that the foundation of the mosque consists of earth brought from Mecca.

Fancy Bazaar: Just like any other commercial centre, the Fancy Bazaar draws many people including tourists. Tourists can check their bargaining skills in this Bazaar.

Guwahati Planetarium: Located on MG Road (old Guwahati) it is one ofthe finest and most sophisticated planetariums in India. It conducts various programs connected with astronomy, meant to increase awareness about astronomy and tp stimulate interest in stargazing among children.

Tourist information

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