Places in AssamFind More
1 Understand 1.1 History 1.2 A paradise for nature lovers 1.3 Climate and disasters 1.4 Cultural heritage 1.5 State of tourism A Golden Langur; endangered and are found in Chakrasila Sanctuary in Goalpara district Orchids are abundantly found in Assam; a variety - Bhatou Phul or Vanda coerulea, the 'Blue Vanda History The state of Assam is in a transitional region between South Asia and South-East Asia. Prior to Indian independence in 1947, Assam had been a part of British India since the British annexed the Kingdom of Assam and its tributary states in 1826 following the Treaty of Yandaboo. Assam used to be a larger state. Sylhet Division, formerly part of Assam, was allotted to Pakistan in the 1947 United Nations India Partition and subsequently became part of Bangladesh after the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, while Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya were carved out of Assam during the 1960s and 70s. With an area of 78,438 km2, Assam in its current configuration is almost equivalent to the size of Ireland or Austria. Assam was known as the Kingdom of Pragjyotisha-Kamarupa during the first millennium AD and was broken into smaller states during the beginning of the second millennium; however, later, for almost 600 years starting in the 13th century, the region was again transformed into a united sovereign country as the Kingdom of Assam under the later dynasties such as the Ahoms and Koches. Assam has been a world leader in production of tea for more than past one hundred years and produces around 25 percent of the world's tea. Traditionally it is also a producer of high-quality silk, locally called paat bred on mulberry leaves, and the only place in the world where all four major silk types are cultivated, the others being the golden silk Muga unique to Assam, the Ahimsa silk Eri bred on castor leaves, and tassar. A paradise for nature lovers Assam and surrounding regions have to be a paradise for the nature lovers and researchers. The region's unique natural settings, hydro-geomorphic environment and biodiversity have no parallel in Asia. Within an eighty to hundred kilometres of journey by land, one can travel from a flat flood plain with tropical rainforests and wet paddy fields to mountainous regions of Alpine-Himalayan climatic conditions at very high altitude. Geomorphic studies conclude that the Brahmaputra, the life-line of Assam is a paleo-river; older than the Himalayas. The river with steep gorges and rapids in Arunachal Pradesh entering Assam, becomes a braided river (at times 16 km wide) and with tributaries, creates a flood plain (Brahmaputra Valley: 80–100 km wide, 1000 km long). The hills of Karbi Anglong, North Cachar and those in and close to Guwahati (also Khasi-Garo Hills) now eroded and dissected are originally parts of the South Indian Plateau system. In the south, the Barak originating in the Barail Range (Assam-Nagaland border), flows through the Cachar district with a 40–50 km wide valley and confluences with the Brahmaputra in Bangladesh. 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. The Kaziranga, home of the rare Rhinoceros, and Manas are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Assam. Pabitora has the highest density of rhinos. The reserve forests of Joypur, Upper Dihing and Dirak are a stretch of pristine rainforests. The region is the last refuge for numerous other endangered species such as Golden Langur or Honali Bandor (Trachypithecus geei), White-winged Wood Duck or Deohanh (Cairina scutulata), Bengal Florican or Ulumora, Black-breasted Parrotbill, Pygmy Hog or Nolgahori, Greater Adjutant or Hargila, Hispid Hare or Khagorikota, Slow Loris or Lajuki Bandor, Swamp Francolin or Koira and so on. Some other endangered species with significant population in Assam are Tiger, Elephant, Hoolock Gibbon, Jerdon's Babbler and so on. Assam is also known for orchids the more well known being the foxtail or kopou and blue vanda or bhatou. Climate and disasters With the "Tropical Monsoon Rainforest Climate", Assam is temperate (Summer max. at 35-38 and winter min. at 6-8 degrees Celsius) and experiences heavy rainfall and high humidity. However, temperature is much lesser in the hilly areas in the Central Assam. The climate is characterised by heavy monsoon downpours reducing summer temperature and foggy nights and mornings in winter . Thunderstorms known as Bordoicila are frequent during the afternoons. Spring (March–April) and Autumn (September–October) are usually pleasant with moderate rainfall and temperature. The region is prone to natural disasters with annual floods (in specific areas) and frequent mild earthquakes. Floods usually occur during monsoon (mid June till late August) and many a times can create trouble by destroying roads and railway linkages at places. Strong earthquakes are rare; three of these were recorded in 1869, 1897 (8.1 on the Richter scale); and in 1950 (8.6). Cultural heritage Assam is also a region, which can be termed as a crucible of cultures. It is a true meeting place of South Asian and South East Asian cultures, where the principal language Assamese (Oxomeeya) exhibits hybridity between Indo-Iranian, Tibeto-Burman and Tai-Kadai group of languages. Apart from the hybrid Assamese population, there are several distinct ethno-cultural groups such as Bodo, Karbi, Mishing, Dimasa, Tiwa, Rabha, Hasong, Taiphake, Taikhamti, Taiaiton, Singphow, Bru, Garo, etc. with distinct languages, dialects, food habits, architecture and settlement pattern, textile design, dance, music, musical instruments, beilef, etc. A ferocious lion excavated in Madan Kamdev close to Baihata Cariali in Assam representing the powerful Kamarupa-Palas (c. 9th-10th century A.D.) Rong Ghor, a pavilion built by the king Pramatta Singha (also Sunenpha; 1744–1751) in Ahom capital Rongpur, now Sibsagar; the Rang Ghar is one of the earliest pavilions of outdoor stadia in Asia State of tourism It is important to understand that in the past 60 years, the Government of India's restrictions on the foreigners in the region such as the Restricted Area Permit System (RAP - finally abolished in Assam and neighbouring Meghalaya in the 1990s), acted as major hindrances for the foreign tourists and foreign interest groups to legally enter in to Assam and gradually pushed Assam in to isolation from the world. Assam today is a terra incognita to the new generations in the developed world; while the old generation British, other Europeans, Americans and Japanese still remember 'Assam' whatever may be the cause varying from colonial administration, to tea and oil industry or to WWII. For past 60 years, tourism promotion and development was a neglected subject. At the same time during the same time period, negligible numbers of Assamese have come out from Assam to other places; Assamese have been happy inside Assam, inside their native places and inside their houses, which recently has seen a sea-change with thousands of students and skilled labourers coming out to different cities in India. Therefore, as a not well-known place, Assam has long way to go to establish herself as a foremost tourist destination. However, Assam possesses everything that is required for developing herself as a leader of travel and tourism in the world and most importantly Assamese are one of the most hospitable people.
Planning a Trip
Assamese is the principal language and the lingua franca in the region. Assamese and Bodo are the local official languages in Assam while Bengali is used as the same in Barak Valley. There are several other local languages such as Mishing, Karbi, Dimasa, Garo, Hmar, Bru, Taiphake, Taikhamti, etc. used by the specific ethno-cultural groups in different pockets. However, most educated people speak English and Hindi with local accents. Bengali is also spoken in many parts of Assam, especially Guwahati and Silchar, where there are large Bengali communities. Moreover, there are large numbers of other Indian language and dialect speakers such as Punjabi, Marwari, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, etc., particularly in the urban centres. Usually, all official signs and documents are written in both Assamese and English, using British spelling. The Government of India establishments Indian Railways, ONGC, et al. have sign boards in three languages - Assamese, English and Hindi. Commercial and street signs are usually written in Assamese and English and in Bengali in the Barak Valley. As English has a wider base, foreigners need not to worry about not becoming fluent Assamese or any other local language, although it is an additional advantage for a tourist to a know few sentences of a local language.
By car There are highways from Indian states in the west and buses run between Siliguri (to Siliguri buses are available from Kolkata, Darjeeling and Gangtok) and Guwahati; However, travelling by bus may not be comfortable in this patch and travel time is usually longer than that of trains. Road connectivity to surrounding Seven Sister States is good, however may take different durations depending on the location of the state. Tamu in western Myanmar is connected to a reasonably good highway to Assam via Manipur; Tamu in Myanmar border is closer to Mandalay. The historic Stilwell Road between Assam-Myanmar-China from Ledo in Upper Assam to Myitkina in Myanmar and further to Kunming in China is right now not fully operationalised. There are also roads connecting Bhutan.
By plane Air travel from Guwahati to Upper Assam or Southern Assam districts can be quicker and easier. Guwahati is linked with Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tezpur and Silchar with several flights. However, it is important to book a ticket early. A flight between Guwahati and Dibrugarh takes roughly 45 minutes.