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About Assam

Assam, one of the seven northeastern states of India, is the gateway to the northeast. Stretched along the Brahmaputra river, Assam is the hub of all cultural and commercial activities in northeast. An ancient city with the famous Kamakhya temple, the Brahmaputra river Assam tea and one horned rhinoceros, Assam is all the more beautiful for its scenic beauty, culture and tradition and its people which make Assam an incredible place.

Profile of Assam

Origin of the name 'Assam'


Assam, in ancient times was a part of a land known as Pragjyotisha or Pragjyotishpura and Kamarupa. But the present name Assam is an anglicized version of Asom or Axom. There are several opinions about the origin of the name Assam. One view ascribes its origin to the word Ha-Cham, a Bodo word meaning "low or level country". The second view ascribes it to the word Asama, meaning "unequalled" or "peerless", used mainly for the Ahoms, a Shan tribe which ruled Assam f or six centuries from 13th Century A.D.

History of Assam

The Assam sites could be dated back to 2000 BC. Mythologies say that Danava dynasty had existed in the ancient times in Assam. Mahiranga Danava is believed, according to the mythology, to be the first king who ruled in Assam.

In the beginning of ancient Assam Varman dynasty was established by Pushya Varman in the 4th century in Kamrupa Kingdom, subsequently the Mlechchha dynasty and then the Pala dynasty were formed.

Ahom king

The start of medieval Assam is marked by formation of the Khen dynasty. The Koch dynasty was formed in the 16th century by Viswa Singha which reached its heights under two great rulers Naranarayan and Chilarai. The Ahom kingdom was established by Sukaphaa in the Kamrupa kingdom in the 13 century. After the death of Ahom king Sukaphaa, Suseupha and Sudangpha succeded the throne. King Suhungmung’s reign in the history of Ahom rule is important as he adopted the Hindu name of Swarganarayan. He also made classes of ministers viz, Borgohain Buragohain and Borpatra Gohain. During this time two kingdoms the Kachari and Chutiya kingdom also rose in importance in Assam. The Jaintias had established their kingdom in and around the Jayantia hills.

Battle of Saraighat

In the meantime Mughal invasion started in Assam. In the battle of Saraighat in 1671 the Ahoms defeated the Mughals. But the Ahoms could not keep intact the glory and problems started to arise within the Ahom kingdom. In the early 19th century the Burmese invaded the state. However, they were defeated in the Anglo-Burmese War. With their defeat and with the signing of the treaty of Yandaboo the British government took over the control of Assam in 1874 AD.

During the time of the British rule all of the Northeast India had been formed as a part of the Bengal presidency. At the time of freedom struggle Assam also joined the rest of India in the fight against the British. Prominent names from Assam among the freedom strugglers included Maniram Dewan and Piyali Baruah. With the separation of Assam from the Bengal presidency Shillong was made the capital of Assam.
  
Meanwhile, the British had tried to make Bengali the medium of instruction in Assam but due to the efforts of intellectuals like Gunabhiram Baruah, Hem Chandra Baruah, and Anandaram Dhekial Phukan Assamese was reinstated as the medium of instruction.

On 15 August 1947 Assam was established as a state of India and Dispur was made its capital. Akbar Haidari was the first Governor and Gopinath Bordoloi became the first Chief Minister of Assam. In the period of 1960-70 Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur, which were earlier parts of Assam, were separated from the state and were made independent states.

Assam Agitation

Assam faced immigration problem with a large number of people immigrating to the state after Bengal was partitioned in 1905. Assamese people opposed to the immigration of people thereby triggering communal tensions and the state saw one of the worst communal violence ever in the Assam Agitation in 1979. In 1985 the Assam Accord was signed thereby ending the agitation.

The Congress Party formed government in Assam from 1947-1978. In the subsequent election BJP ruled the state. The members of Assam Agitation formed a political party namely the Assam Gana Parishad (AGP).In the Assembly elections of 1985 the AGP came to power. Prafulla Kumar Mahanta from the party became the chief minister of Assam and the youngest chief minister of the country. Since then the Congress and the AGP have been forming government at alternate terms in Assam. The Assam Legislative Council was formed in 1912 and the Assam legislative Assembly in 1913. In 1916 the Assam Chhatra Sanmilan and in 1917 the Assam Sahitya Sabha was formed.

Also Read:

History of Guwahati | Dibrugarh | Jorhat | Tinsukia | Tezpur | Silchar | Lakhimpur

The history of Assam finds traces of the culture of Indo-Aryan, Austro-Asiatic, Tibeto-Burman Dravidian, Aryan, Malaysian and Chinese. In the Mahabharata, medieval texts like the Kalika Purana and Yogini Tantra mention of the state of Assam is found. In these scriptures Assam was known as Kamrupa. Pragjyotispura was the ancient name for the present day Guwahati. There have been many events taking place in the history of Assam.

The chronology of important events in the history of Assam are:





Pushya Varman establishes Varman dynasty in Kamrupa

c350

Salasthamba establishes Mlechchha dynasty in Kamrupa

655

Sukapha enters Assam

1228

Ahoms win Battle of Saraighat

1671

Cotton College established

May 27, 1901

Gauhati University established

26 January, 1948

Guwahati High Court established

1 March, 1948

Assam Agitations begin

1979

Doordarshan Kendra Guwahati commissioned

1982

Assam Accord Signed

1985

IIT Guwahati established

1994

33rd National Games in Guwahati

2007

Bhupen Hazarika dies

2011

Mamoni Roisom Goswami dies

2011

Ahom Dynasty in Assam

The Ahom dynasty (1228–1826) and its rule is a significant one in the history of Assam. The Ahom rulers ruled mostly the upper Assam part and spread their territories to the rest of Assam. The Ahom dynasty ruled Assam for nearly 600 years. Established by Sukaphaa, a Shan prince of Mong Mao, the rule of Ahom  dynasty ended with the Burmese invasion of Assam and later annexation by the British East India Company following the Treaty of Yandabo in 1826. Let us take a closer look at the important events of Ahom dynasty and rule in Assam.

Sukaphaa, Ahom Dynasty13th century (1228-1293):

  • Sukaphaa, who was the founder of Ahom kingdom, came to Assam from Mong Mao and established the Ahom kingdom. He ruled from1268 -1269.

  • Suteuphaa became the second king of Ahoms in 1269 and ruled till 1281.

  • After Seutenphaa, in the year 1281 his grandson Subinphaa took over his kingdom and during his rule the Ahoms were divided into two parts including the rulers and the ruled.

  • Later during the year of 1281, Sukhaangphaa became the king and ruled till the year 1332.


14th century (1332-1397):

  • Sukhrangpha became king in 1369 but had to face revolt led by his youngest brother Chao Pulai who was later appointed as the king of Charin.

  • After the death of Sutuphaa Tyao Khamti, the third son of king Sukhrangphaa became the king and reigned till 1387 CE.

  • Sudangphaa became the king in 1397. His reign marks the first stage in the growth of Brahmanical influence and Hinduism among the Ahom. He initiated the Singarigharutha ceremony.


15th century (1407-1497):

  • In 1407 Sudangphaa’s elder son Sujangphaa was crowned the king of Ahom dynasty.

  • In1439 Susenphaa acsended the throne. Vaishanava reformer Sankardeva was born during the reign of reign of Susenphaa. His son Suhenphaa ruled the Ahom kingdom from 1488 to 1493CE. He defeated the Nagas and the Kachari’s and in 1493 Supimphaa became king.

  • Later in the century, Suhungmung was crowned as the king in 1497. His reign broke from the early Ahom rule and established a multi-ethnic polity in his kingdom.


Coins, Ahom Dynasty16th century (1539-1603):

  • Suklenmung was the king of the Ahom kingdom from 1539 to 1552. He established his capital at Garhgaon. He was the first Ahom king to strike coins.

  • In the year 1552, Sukhaamphaa become the king and ruled till 1603 CE.


17th century (1603-1696):

  • In 1603, Susengphaa was the king of the Ahom kingdom. His reign saw an expansion of the Ahom kingdom to the west.

  • After the death of Susengphaa, Sarumphaa became the king and ruled till 1644. Sutingphaa was the king of the Ahom kingdom and reigned till 1648.  After him Sutamla was crowned the king. During his reign the Mughals invaded Assam and captured Ahom capital.

  • Supangmung became the king of the Ahom kingdom in 1663. During his reign Ahom kingdom took back Guwahati from the Mughals.

  • After the death of Supangmung, Sunyatphaa became the king of the Ahom kingdom and reigned till 1672.

  • In 1672 Suklamphaa was crowned as king and ruled till 1674.

  • In 1675, Gobar was crowned as king of the Ahom kingdom. He was the first king from Tungkhungia line. Sujinphaa was the king of the Ahom kingdom in 1675.  After him Sudoiphaa became king and reigned till 1679.

  • Later Sulikphaa became king in 1679. Prince Gadapani fought with him and Joymoti, the wife of prince Gadapani was killed by his soldiers. In 1681, Supaatpha became king of the Ahom kingdom.

  • Sukhrungphaa became king in 1696 and during his reign the Ahom kingdom reached its peak. It is said that he was the first Ahom king to have the Bihu celebrated in the courtyard of the palace and gave royal patronage of Bihu. He had dug the world’s largest man-made tank named Joysagar. He also built the Ranganath Dol and the Namdang Stone Bridge.


Ahom Dynasty Symbol

18th century (1714-1795):

  • In the year 1714, Sutanphaa became the king of the Ahom dynasty.

  • The fourth son of Rudra Singha, Suremphaa became the king of the Ahom kingdom in 1771. Being a Hindu devote, he had constructed some temples and renovated palaces in his dynasty. He also constructed the Rang Ghar and Kareng Ghar in Rangpur.

  • After the death of Suremphaa, Sunyeophaa became the 34th king of the Ahom kingdom and reigned till 1780. Then Suhitpanghphaa ascended the throne.

  • In 1795 Suklingphaa ascended the throne of the Ahom kingdom.

19th century (1811-1833):

  • In 1811, Sudingphaa became the king of the Ahom king. He was crowned as king twice during his lifetime. During his reign in 1816, 1819 and 1821, the Burmese army attacked the Ahom kingdom.

  • After him Purandar Singha became king of the Ahom monarch. He was the last king of the Ahom kingdom. He also was crowned as king twice. His first reign ended in 1819, during the second Burmese invasion of Assam. In1821, Jogeswar Singha was crowned the king of the Ahom kingdom by the Burmese. In1833 Purandar Singha was again crowned as the king of the Ahom kingdom.

  • In 1833 the British formally annexed his kingdom, putting an end to 600 years reign of Ahom dynasty.

Lets see how well you know Assam:

Who introduced Namghar which is now an integral part of the Assamese Society?



Who is associated with the discovery of Assam tea?




Which is the state flower of Assam?




Name the architect of Modern Assam. (Clue: He founded the English Daily,
The Assam Tribune')




By which treaty in 1826 did the Burmese cede control over Assam to the British?




Who is credited with the compilation of the Assamese dictionary 'Hemkoshi'?



What was Assam formerly known as?



Name 3 indigenous Assamese silk?



In which famous battle fought in 1671, that the Ahoms defeated the mighty Mughals?




What was the first capital of the Ahom kingdom?



Geography of Assam

The state of Assam is geographically located in the north-eastern part of India surrounded by states of Arunachal Pradesh in the North, Nagaland in the east, Mizoram and Tripura in the south and West Bengal in the west. The countries of Bhutan and Bangladesh form international boundaries with Assam.

Assam is surrounded by a ring of blue hills. It is an amalgamation of plains and river valleys. Its principal geographical regions are: Brahmaputra Valley in the north; the Barak Plain in the south; and the Mikir and Cachar Hills that divide the two regions. These two largest valleys in Assam are the main lands where a large mass of human population live. Geologically, Assam lies on the easternmost projection of the Indian plate.

Also Read:

Geography of Guwahati | Jorhat | Dibrugarh | Tinsukia | Tezpur | Silchar | Lakhimpur


Climate of Assam

Assam's climate is a 'tropical monsoon rainforest climate' type. The climate of Assam is  temperate and moderate. The state experiences heavy rainfall during monsoon. The region is, however, uncomfortably humid especially during rainy season. The plains of Assam have a tropical climate with high humidity while the hills have a sub-alpine type of climate. The climate of Assam is characterised by alternate cool and warm periods with a high humidity, especially from May to November.

Assam

The summer season in Assam starts in mid May, accompanied by high humidity and rainfall. The maximum temperature reaches 35 to 38 degrees Celsius. This season is characterized by extreme humidity and frequent showers. Winter season in Assam starts from the end of October and lasts till late February. The minimum temperature during this period varies between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius. Nights and early mornings are foggy, and rain is scanty during the winters. The monsoon season starts from mid-June and continues till August. The average rainfall of Assam is around 1,500 mm per year. Thunderstorms, locally known as Bordoisila frequently occurs during the afternoons. Spring and autumn seasons in Assam (March-April and September-October) are characterized by moderate temperatures and the weather of Assam is comfortable during these times.

Distance from Guwahati to major cities

Jorhat: 303 kms
Shillong: 100 kms
Dibrugarh: 439 kms
Tinsukia: 492 kms
Tezpur: 161 kms

For distance from Guwahati click here

Distance from Jorhat to major cities

Guwahati: 303 kms
Dibrugarh: 137 kms
Shillong:m 354 kms
Tezpur: 162 kms
Sibsagar: 56 kms
Kohima: 206 kms

For distance from Jorhat click here

Distance from Silchar to major cities

Dibrugarh: 554 kms
Guwahati: 325 kms
Shillong: 226 kms
Kohima: 276 kms
Jorhat: 427 kms
Tripura: 379 kms

For distance from Silchar click here

Distance from Dibrugarh to major cities

Jorhat: 137 kms
Shillong: 493 kms
Sibsagar: 72 kms
Tinsukia: 49 kms
Tezpur: 290 kms
Guwahati: 436 kms

Distance from Tinsukia to major cities

Dibrugarh: 49 kms
Jorhat: 175 kms
Shillong: 540 kms
Guwahati: 480 kms
Tezpur: 337 kms

Distance from Lakhimpur to major cities

Dibrugarh: 488 kms
Jorhat: 258 kms
Shillong: 449 kms
Guwahati: 365 kms
Tezpur: 161 kms
Sibsagar: 362 kms

Distance from Tezpur to major cities

Dibrugarh: 290 kms
Jorhat: 162 kms
Shillong: 224 kms
Guwahati: 165 kms
Sibsagar: 217 kms


Assam is the main connecting point for all the states of the Northeast. For a visit to the other northeastern states a stop in Assam is a must. This page will give information on the distance between Assam and some of the major cities.

Maps of Assam

This section gives you the important maps of Assam. The list includes Political Map, Physical Map, Tourism, Rivers, Districts and Forest Area coverage in Assam. (Click on the individual maps for larger view)

 Poilitical Map  Physical Map
Assam Political
 Assam Physical
 Assam 

Districts  Tourism
 Assam Districts
 Assam Tourism
Assam Rivers Assam  Forest 

Area
Assam Rivers
Assam Forest Area

Assam  Rivers:
Map Source: Revenue Department Govt. of Assam, District Administration

Assam Forest Area:
Map Source: Department of Environment & Forests,  Government of Assam

PIN Codes of Assam

Guwahati: 781001
Lakhimpur: 787001
Barpeta: 781301
Dibrugarh: 786001
Sibsagar: 785640
Silchar: 788001
Jorhat: 785001
Tinsukia: 786125
Tezpur: 784001

For pincodes of other cities of Assam, click here

Resources of Assam

The northeastern state of Assam is blessed with abundance of resources including natural resources, river resources, mineral resources and forest resources. Assam has vast tracts of fertile land and has dense forest cover. The state is also rich in mineral resources. Natural gas, petroleum, coal and limestone are Assam's principal mineral resources.

Assam Rivers

Brahmaputra

Assam, situated in the eastern region of the country, is gifted with extensive river systems. This is due to heavy rainfall in the Himalayan region. The major rivers of the state include Brahmaputra, the Kusiyara, the Barak and their tributaries. The Brahmaputra River has a total drainage area of about 935,500 sq. km. The Brahmaputra is an important river for irrigation. Periodic flood of the river helps in maintaining grassland and associated wildlife.

Assam Forests

Sal

Assam has a very rich forest cover. Major forests in Assam include Tropical Semi-Evergreen, Tropical Wet Evergreen, Sub Tropical Broad Leaved Hill, Tropical Moist Deciduous, Sub Tropical Pine and Littoral, Swamp Forests. Assam’s forest cover is about one-third of its total geographical area. Nearly half of the forests are reserved. Forests in Assam are rich in valuable trees like Sal, Agar, Simalu, Segun, Saral, Bamboo, Bossum, Cane and Medicinal herbs etc.There are about 74 species of timber, of which two-thirds are commercially exploited. The forests provide dwelling place to a large population of wild animals such as elephants, tigers, deer and wild pigs and so on. Assam is alo known worldwide for the production of tea. The state produces nearly 55% of the total output of tea in the country. The Kaziranga National Park in the state is one of the most famous wildlife refuges in the country. It is the dwelling place for the endangered great Indian one-horned rhinocerous.

Minerals of Assam

Digboi

Assam is a very important state in terms of its mineral resources. Oil is the topmost amongst the mineral resources found in Assam. Assam is a major producer of crude oil and natural gas in the country. Most of the oilfields of Assam are located in the Upper Assam region of the Brahmaputra Valley. The oil well of Digboi and others are major source of fuel in Assam. Coal is another important mineral found in Assam. Assam has rich reserves of coal ie about 1200 million tonnes of coal reserves. The coal found in Assam has a high sulphur content and high volatile matter content. Availability of natural gas has helped the state to become the chief supplier of LPG to the rest of the Northeastern states. Similarly the availability of coal and limestone has been instrumental for the development of cement industry in the state. Other minerals like Limestone, Iron Ore, Granite, Fire clay, Lithomarge, Fuller's Earth, Sillimanite and Glass Sand are also found in abundance in Assam.

For natural resources of Guwahati click here

Facts and Figures of AssamFacts and Figures of Assam

The capital of Assam is located in Dispur and there are 27 districts in Assam. One can visit Assam at any time of the year as it maintains beautiful climate throughout the year. The important facts and figures of the state of Assam, including geographical area, latitude, longitude, population and literacy rates are given below:
Facts of Assam

Region: Northeast India

Established: 15 August 1947

Capital: Dispur

Largest city: Guwahati

Districts: 27

Area: 79,000 km2

Population (2011):
31,169,272

Population Density: 390/km2

Literacy (2011): 73.18%

Male Literacy: 78.81%

Female Literacy: 67.27%

Literacy rate: 74.04%

Languages: Assamese, English, Bengali, Bodo

Important Animal: One-horned rhinoceros

Important Bird: White-winged Wood Duck

Important Flower: Foxtail Orchids

Important Tree:
Dipterocarpus macrocarpus

Important River: Brahmaputra

Economy of Assam

Assam is an agrarian state with almost 70 percent of the total population relying directly or indirectlyEconomy of Assam on agriculture for their livelihood. The state of Assam is dependent primarily on the agricultural sector. A majority of the population, almost 90 percent live in rural areas where their mainstay of business is farming. The farmer population is a combination of peasants and tenants who farm on the bulk of the cultivable land. The average size of operational holding is 1.17 ha. The net cultivable land in Assam is 24.90 lakh hectares.

The state has six agro climatic zones which are divided based on soil, rainfall and crop characteristics. These climatic zones are Upper Brahmaputra Valley, Central Brahmaputra Valley, Lower Brahmaputra Valley, Hill Zones, Barak Valley and North Bank Zones.

Agriculture in AssamRice is the staple and most important crop of Assam. Paddy is the main food crop grown in Assam. Assam is self sufficient in rice production. Assam produces both cash and food crops. The main food crops produced are rice, maize, potato, pulses, wheat, etc and the principal cash crops are tea, oilseeds, jute, cotton, sugarcane and tobacco. The other agricultural products of Assam include orange, pineapple, litchi, banana, papaya, turmeric, chilies, cauliflower, cabbage, lemon, brinjal and orange etc. Spice crops viz. black pepper, ginger, garlic, turmeric, onion, chilies etc. are grown extensively in the state. Tea is the most important cash crop of Assam, and Assam is known in the world over for its tea production. Tea is the pride of Assam and the state is not only the largest producer of tea in the country but accounts for about 14 per cent of the world's tea output.

Major Industries in Assam

Tea and oil are the main industries of Assam. Tourism is also another very important industry of the state.


Oil: Oil is one of the primary industries in Assam. Petroleum industry is a major industry of Assam. Assam can boast of having the oldest oil refinery in the country. Assam is the first state in the country where oil was struck at Digboi in 1889. The refinery has a refining capacity of 3 lakh tonnes of petrol, kerosene, diesel and other petroleum products. Likewise the Noonmati refinery, Bongaigaon Refinery and Numaligarh refinery are the main refineries in Assam.

For more on Guwahati Refinery click here

Tea Industry on AssamTea: The tea industry in Assam is one of the major contributors of Assam economy. Tea is grown in large quantity in the Upper Assam areas like Golaghat, Jorhat, Sibsagar, Doomdooma, Tinsukia, Naharkatiya, Tezpur, Bokakhat, Dibrugarh. Assam tea is exported in the international market which brings in huge revenue to the state.  

Natural Gas: In Assam almost all the petroleum producing areas like Naharkatia, Lakuwa Moran and Rudrasagar contains associated natural gas. Important industries built up on the basis of natural gas of Assam are Namrup Fertilizer Factory, Namrup Thermal Power Project, Production of Carbon Black, Assam Petrochemicals and Assam Gas Company which provides liquified petroleum gas for domestic use.

Assam CoalCoal: The state of Assam has large reserves of coal that is about 1200 million tonnes of coal reserves. Coal is found in Umrangshu, Koilajan, Khota-Arda in the Hills District of Assam and is mined by the Assam Mineral Development Corporation.

Mining: Mining industry also generates economy for the state. Industrial minerals of coal, limestone, sillimanite and oil are the produces of the mining industry.

Tourism: Tourism is a very important industry in Assam. There are many areas of tourist interest in Assam which witnesses numerous tourists visiting these places. The tourism and hospitality industry contributes to a handsome amount to the revenue of the state.

Also Read:

Economy of Guwahati | Jorhat | Tinsukia | Dibrugarh | Tezpur | Silchar | Lakhimpur

Small Scale Industries in Assam


silk

Cottage and small scale industries also contribute to substantial share to the economy of the state. Handloom and textile industry is very popular in Assam. The state produces about 10% of total natural silk of India. Silk products like pat or pure silk production is essentially confined to Assam. Assam also produces Muga and Eri silks, exclusive to the state.

handicraft

Other small scale industries like cane and bamboo based industries are important industries of Assam. Assam excels in the making of products of cane and bamboo like furniture, jewellery, home decorators etc. Bell-metal work is a traditional cottage industry of Assam. The products of bell-metal are cups and plates, tumblers, bowls, sarais etc. Several other industries of Assam are paper mills at Jagiroad, Panchgram and Jogighopa; sugar mills at Barua Bamun Gaon, Kampur, Chargola; cement plant at Bokajan and Badarpur and jute mill, textile and yarn mills, silk mill, etc.

Some of the other industries of the state are:

  • Fisheries
  • Forest and wood industry
  • Processing of plantation crops
  • Food processing industries
  • Agri-horticulture products
  • Herbal products
  • Biotech products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chemical and plastic based industries
  • Export oriented industries
  • Electronic and IT based industries including services sector

Assam Tea

Tea is the most significant possession of Assam. Assam is famous for tea all over the world. Assam is the world’s largest tea growing region. It is the second commercial tea production region in the world after southern China. Assam produces 51% of the tea produced in India and about 1/6th of the tea produced in the world.

tea


In Assam tea is grown both in the Brahmaputra and Barak plains. Tea gardens are mostly found in the districts of Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tinsukia, Sibsagar, Nagaon, Golaghat and Sonitpur. The Assam tea bush grows in lowland region in the valley of the River Brahmaputra. There are many tea gardens located in Assam. Tea gardens sprawl across the districts of Golaghat, Jorhat, Bokakhat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and other districts of Upper Assam. Famous tea gardens in Assam are  Gangabari Tea Estate, Rangagora Tea Estate, Udalguri Tea Estate, Kharjan Tea Estate, Chabua Tea Estate, Nalini Tea Estate, Dikom tea estate, Rajgarh tea estate, Khongea tea estate, Madhupur tea estate and Nokhry Tea Estate among others.

for Guwahati tea auction centre click here

O horu bhoniti, muga riha pindhili
lajuki khupate kopou ful gujili
dekhi morom lagi jaye..

(A famous Bihu song describing beautiful Assamese girls in mekhela chador)

Mekhla Chador - A cloth that defines the culture and tradition of Assam, an attire that has become synonymous with the state, something that is so gorgeous, beautiful and sophisticated. Yes that is Assam's very own Mekhela Chador. Mekhela chador is a part and parcel of Assamese life and culture. One cannot think of Assam without the mekhela chador. This two piece cloth is the symbol of Assamese beauty. So graceful and beautiful is the mekhela chador that one cannot get enough of it.  

Mega mekhela chador

Patterns and Designs


Mekhela chador comes in variations in patterns and designs. You can get Muga Silk, Pat silk, Eri silk, Kesa (Raw) silk and cotton mekhela chador. While muga mekhela chador comes in exclusive muga colour (golden colour), others like pat, eri and cotton come in variety of colours. You will also get different embroidery work sets with buta, japi, kolka, kingkhap, mayur and floral motif. Such is the popularity of the mekhela chador that finest mekhela chador designs were showcased at the London Fashion Week 2013.

mekhela chador


Mekhela Chador has with time gained immense popularity with its demand being increased outside Assam. That is because mekhala Chador has been given a contemporary look. Designers have experimented and come up with the latest designs in mekhla chador. You will get mekhela chador in zari work, embroidery, stone embellished and the contrast set (chador and mekhela in contrast colours). Though a traditional mekhela chador is always respected and liked but at the same time having a contemporary set can make you stand apart form the crowd. So, you can try contrast sets in mekhela chador.. they are very trendy and attractive sets..

Contrast mekhela

The Elegant Ones

Amongst all, the muga mekhela chador is the most elegant one. Worn in wedding, parties and Bihu, they are the most beautiful of all and the same time durable. Pat mekhela chador too is no less beautiful than muga ones. They come in variety of colours and are vibrant and scintillating. Cotton mekhela chador and eri mekhela chador are also equally beautiful.

Red mekhela

Draping a Mekhla Chador


Dont worry for draping a mekhela chador. It is very simple to drape the two piece cloth around the body. First wear the mekhela the way you wear a skirt and make pleats (normally three pleats are made) and tuck it the way you tuck a saree in petticoat. Remember that the pleats or folds are to be to the right side as opposed to the left side pleats in saree.

Next comes the draping of the chador. First make fine pleats from the chador. Now drape it around your body and later tuck it into the upper portion of the Mekhela. Pin the chador at the shoulder so that it remains firm. You can also go for a riha (a garment worn with mekhala chador. It is a piece of cloth which looks like a chador but is length and breadth is smaller than that of a chador). These days a riha is worn like a chador also. Riha forms an essential part in Assamese wedding. It is worn beneath the chador. Riha is worn in such a way that it gets covered under the chador. You normally don't get to see the riha as it is completely in pleat which is tied around the body. Riha comes in "uka" (without any design). You can get pator and muga riha. Later you can accessorize the mekhela chadr look with Asomiya gohona (Assamese jewellery) that are  easily available in markets in Guwahati.


Mekhela Chador

Hub of Mekhela Chador

You can also visit Sualkuchi, the main hub of Mekhela Chadors. Situated just 35 kilometers from Guwahati, Sualkuchi will give you one of the best experiences of mekhela chador shopping. Majority of mekhela chador is manufactured in Sualkuchi. Also known as the Manchester of Assam, Sualkuchi supplies the largest number of mekhela chador. You can select mekhela chador from the vast variety and directly order one. It takes around 1 week to 10 days to produce a mekhela chador in the handloom.

Sualkuchi


Price of Mekhela Chador


Worried about the rates of mekhela chador? Well, this splendid attire comes in different ranges. Muga mekhela chador is the costliest of all. Muga mekhela chador will cost you Rs 15000-20000 while pat muga mekhela chador costs Rs 15000-20000. Pat guna mekhela chador starts from Rs 7000 onwards and pat huta mekhela chador costs Rs 4000-6000. Kesa pat mekhela chador ranges from Rs 4000-5000 and cotton buwa mekhela chador will cost you Rs 500 onwards.


Culture of Assam

Assam is a state of varied culture. The culture of Assam is defined in terms of the food habit, art and craft, dance and music of the state which is beautiful and unique in its own way.

Also Read:

Culture of Guwahati | Dibrugarh | Jorhat | Tinsukia  | Silchar | Lakhimpur

Assamese Art and Craft

handicraft

Assamese society is known for its exquisite handicraft and handloom works. Silk, bamboo and cane works are the primary things of importance of art and craft here. The art and craft of Assam is famous for its uniqueness and beauty. The Assamese society is very fond of Muga silk, Vashnavite silk and Eri. Japi, Gamosa and Sarai are an integral part of the Assamese society.

For art galleries in Guwahati click here

Food of Assam

food

The people of Assam are very fond of the traditional Assamese cuisine. Assamese cuisine is a simple thali comprsing of rice, dal, fish, meat, pitika, pickle, khar and tenga dish. The food is served in bell metal utensils and is concluded with Tamul (betel-nut). Assamese food is simple yet unique in its own terms.

Also Read:

Food of Guwahati | Dibrugarh | Jorhat | Tinsukia | Silchar | Lakhimpur

Dance & Music of Assam

Bihu

Dance and music form an important part of the Assamese society. The most important dance from of Assamese society is Bihu dance. It is a folk dance performed by both men and women in groups. Other dance form of Assam include Sattriya dance (One of the classical dance forms of India), temple dances, Oja-Pali, Dhuliya, Deodhani, Zikirs, Mohauhau or Mahkheda and the Apsara-Sabah. Bihu Geets are an integral part of the Assamese society. Bihu Geets are Bihu songs the lyrics of which comprises of natural beauty, lover’s expression, social awareness issues and humorous tales etc. Instruments used in Bihu are Dhol, Pepa, Toka, Gagana, Xutuli and Baanhi (flute).

Festivals of Assam

Assamese society is also very enthusiastic about festivals. Bihu is the most important cultural festival of Assam. During the Bihu festivities the whole of the Assamese society sing and dance in harmony. Bihu is celebrated all over Assam with much joy and festivity. Bihus are of three types which are celebrated at different months in the year. The three Bihus are Rongali Bihu or Bohag Bihu, which is celebrated in the month of April, Kongali Bihu or Kati Bihu, which is celebrated in middle of October and Bhogali Bihu or Magh Bihu, which is celebrated in the month of January. Other than Bihu, people also celebrate Me-dum-me-phi, Dehing Patkai festival, Majuli festival, Tea festival, Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja, Eid, Christmas with equal fanfare and gaiety.

Also Read:

Festivals of Guwahati | Festivals in Jorhat

Assam is a land of different ethnic tribal population residing together. These tribes have their own separate and unique identity, be it their festivals, costume, dance forms, dialect or their way of living. Tribes like Bodo, Kachari, Mising, Karbi, Deori, Rabha dwell in Assam. Some of the major tribes of Assam are:


Bodo


Bodo
The Bodo is an ethnic group of Assam. They are believed as the early settlers of Assam. This tribe belongs to Indo-Mongoloid family and form a very influential part of Bodo Kacheri ethnicity. According to 2011 India census, about 2 million Bodos live in Assam. The Bodos has 18 ethnic sub-groups. They practice Hinduism, Christianity and Bathouism and speaks Bodo language. Rice is their staple food. The Bodo women weaves shawls and their traditional dress Dokhna.


Mising


Mising

The Mising also called as Miri, are the second largest tribe in Assam. This tribe is mostly found in the Northern region of the River Brahmaputra. A few Mising peoples also live in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.  In nineteenth century the Misings migrated to Assam. They belong to greater Tani group in Arunachal Pradesh. They practice the Hinduism and Donyi-Polo religion. The Ali-Aye Ligang is the main festival among the tribe. Rice is the staple food of the Misings. Pork and Foul are popular meat of the tribe.


Karbi


Karbi
The Karbi or Arleng is the third largest tribe in Assam. They are listed as Mikir in the Indian Constitutional order. A huge number of this tribe is inhabited in the Karbi Anglong district. Apart from Karbi Anglong district, Karbis also resides in North Kachar Hills, Kamrup, Morigaon, Sonitpur and Nagaon regions. The tribe have its origin in the Tibeto-Burman group. The Karbis are divided into five major clans and Rongker, Chohun Puja, Chokkeroi, Chomagkan are some important festivals celebrated by the Karbis. Most of the Karbis practice animism. Their language derived from the Tibetan-Burmese group. The Karbi women’s are good weaver.


Dimasa


Dimasa
The Dimasas are a tribal group in Assam. They belong to the greater Kachari group. According to Dimasa mythology, they are the children of Bangle Raja and the great divine bird Arikhidima. Most of the Dimasa people reside in the Jatinga and North Cachar hills of Assam. A large number of Dimasa people are influenced by Hinduism and believe in rebirth. Bishu is the important festival among the Dimasa group. They also celebrate festivals like Bishu Jidap, Suren Baino, Hangseu Manaoba.  Brai-Sibrai or Lord Shiva is the supreme God in Dimasa society. The Dimasa has own tradition and traditional attire.


Deori:


Deori
The Deori are a major tribe in Assam. They are originally priests. According to the Siva Purana, Arunachal Pradesh was the homeland of the Deoris. Dibongiya, Tenaponya, Bogeenya and Patorganya are the four major groups of Deoris. The Deoris follow the animism culture and sacrifice animals. Baliya Baba is the supreme God of the tribe. They speak Deori language which belongs to the Chutaan Kingdom. History says that from 1794 AD the Deoris faced a serious crisis because of the Moamoria rebellion. They are rich in culture. Like Assamese people, the Deoris also celebrates Bihu and sing Husari.


Rabha


Rabha
The Rabha are a Scheduled Tribe group in Assam. They mostly inhabit the Goalpara and Kamrup districts of Assam. This group belongs to the Indo-Mongoloid group. Rabhas are divided into 11 sub-groups. Most of the Rabha people speak Rabha language. Rabhas mainly depends in cultivation. Rabha women are also expert in weaving. They are the follower of Hinduism.


Tiwas


Tiwas
The Tiwas are scheduled tribe group in Assam. They also reside in Meghalaya state. In past times they were called as Lalungs. There are to sub divisions of Tiwas- Hill Tiwas and Plain tiwas. Some of them claim that they came from Tibet. Cultivation is the main occupation of Tiwas.


Khamti


Khamti
Khamti also known as Tai Khamti is an ethnic tribe in Assam. In addition to Assam, they also reside in northwestern Burma and Arunachal Pradesh. They are followers of Theravada Buddhism and speak Khamti language. This tribe is expert in craftwork and agriculture. Sangken is the main festival celebrated by the Khamtis.

Hajong


Hajong
The Hajong is an ethnic group in Assam. They are mostly found in Meghalaya. They practice animism. Now-a-days they have converted to Hinduism. Hajong language is spoken by the Hajong people which is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language. Durga Puja is the mostly celebrated festival of the tribe.


Sonowal Kachari

The Sonowal Kacharis are a tribe of Assam. They can be found in Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts of Assam. It is a branch of great Kackaris. The people of Sonowal Kacharis wear colorful dresses. The womenfolk are expert in weaving. The tribe believes in animism. Bihu is the main festival among the tribe.


Mech

The Mech tribe is scheduled tribe of Assam. This tribe belongs to the great Kachari group. They speak Bodo language mainly. Mech peoples are belongs to the Patokai hills between India and Burma. They are dependent on agriculture and are also good weavers.

NGOs in Assam


A non-government organization (NGO) is a non profit organization and operates independently from any form of government. These groups tend not to get money from governments. Their money comes from voluntary and private sources. They are often more effective in getting aid directly to the people who need it most. NGOs aim to achieve their goals in four ways through empowering people, service delivery, lobbying and capacity building. There are several NGOs in the state of Assam. Listed below are the NGOs of Assam.

NGO

NGOs in Guwahati

Assam Falah Society- Guwahati
Aim: running educational institutions, orphanage and works for the poor.
Phone: 0361-260487

Assam Institute of Management Guwahati
Aim: to become a centre of excellence by carrying out teaching, training, research, consultancy and networking in the field of management.
Phone: 0361-2663181, 2660945

Aaranyak Nature Club -Guwahati
Aim: Conversation of biodiversity in north east India.
Phone: 0361-2566087

Early Birds- Guwahati
Aim: wild life protection through free veterinary services
Phone: 0361-2546353, 2550158

Farmer- Guwahati
Aim: major objectives of farmers
Phone: 0361-2461593

Also Read: NGOs in Guwahati

NGOs in Jorhat

Impact N. E.
Aim: think for nature and work for society
Phone: 03775-273290

Colours
Aim: to provide help to neglected villagers especially awareness
Phone: 0376-2300049

Also Read: NGOs in Jorhat

NGOs in Tinsukia

Assam Unnayan Mancha
Aim: to uplift the people in this region in the field of education, health and environment
Phone: 94350 38799

Centre for Human and Natural Resource Development
Aim: to serve unserved and undeserved people, to work for the conservation and development of human and natural resources.
Phone: 9435119275

Also Read: NGOs in Tinsukia

NGOs in Silchar

Chira Sabuj
Aim: it aims at the overall development of the society
Phone: 03842-220797

Also Read: NGOs in Silchar

NGOs in Golaghat

Assam Cancer Society
Aim: cancer screening and prevention programmes.
Phone: 03776-268377

Arunudoi
Aim: to upgrade the rural scenario of Assam and promote environmental protection
Phone: 0376-2911274

NGOs in Nalbari

Arohee
Aim: to work establish and promote the social services to the rural poor.
Phone: 9864212180

Dreestee
Aim:
to establish a network with various govt. and non-govt agencies for organizing more useful programmes to assist, secure, and help the proper and neglected community.
Phone:9865496688

Janakalyan Mission
Aim: social service in Assam
Phone: 9854224507

NGOs in Sonitpur

Centre for Development Action & Appropriate Technology
Aim: promote, encourage and assist development action in the implementation of projects for enhancement of rural prosperity.
Phone: 03715-222668

Chariduar Prakriti and Janakalyan Samiti
Aim: to protect the natural environment
Phone: 9854448511

Balipara Tract and Frontier Foundation   
Aim: the organization has been instituted with the mandate of facilitating and driving community level involvement and employment.
Phone: 99548 30436

NGOs in Tezpur

Centre for Disaster Management
Aim: the centre undertakes programmes addressing various issues related to disaster management in the areas of Assam which are most vulnerable to the natural calamities.
Phone: 03712-20516, 21539

NGOs in Sivasagar

Dr. Anath Bandhu Child welfare Association
Aim: to protect health, educational right and economical development
Phone: 03772-242079

NGOs in Bongaigaon

Appropriate Technology Mission Assam
Aim: to educate, create awareness among the people about the appropriate science and technology.
Phone: 0366-4237209
 
Aranya Surakshya Samiti
Aim: it focuses on awareness generation among the villagers on environment conservation and protection of bio-diversity of the region
Phone: 03664-220998

NGOs in Morigaon

Association for Development of Health and Agriculture of Rural Area
Aim: to serve rural people in the field of health, agriculture and education.
Phone: 9401020384

Guide
Aim: to provide humanitarian & nature conversation service
Phone: 03678-243056

NGOs in  Dhubri

Education & Social Welfare Society
Aim: to help poor & uneducated persons of the society
Phone: 9954765734

Dhubri District Mahila Samity
Aim: to develop the economic, social and educational programmes for women.
Phone: 03662-220783

NGOs in Udalguri

Bodo Youths Welfare Association

Aim: community development, socio-economic development of society, environment, forest, education, eradication of hunger and poverty, relief, rehabilitation, medicare, peace building etc.
Phone: 9854401905

Having such a vivid culture with its vibrant dance and music, delicious food, unique art and craft and colourful festival; with its rich history and geography, Assam possesses a profile unique in its own sense. 
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