Assam is a state in the North-Eastern part of India. It is part of the North eastern states of India which are also known as seven sisters, collectively of which Assam is the largest, with respect to surface area.
This state is located along the valley of Barak river and the Brahmaputra river, and is known for its famous Assam tea as well as its unique variety of silk garments and sarees. Assam was also the first site for oil drilling in all of Asia.
The area where Assam exists today is said to have evidences of human habitation from as long ago as the beginning of Stone Age.
After being ruled by various empires, Assam was colonized by the East India Company and the British Raj over a period of 150 years. The colonization began with the Goalpara region in 1765 to drawing of the McMahon Line (a demarcation line between Tibet and British India which included Assam, the Himalaya and Burma) in 1913-1914.
After India got its independence in 1947, Assam also became a constituent state of India. The Sylhet District which was previously part of Assam was given up to Pakistan, and later became what is now the country of Bangladesh.
The primary urban cities in Assam are Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Goalpara, Nagaon, Tezpur, Silchar, Jorhat, and Dhubri.
Guwahati is the capital of Assam and also the largest metropolitan area in the state.
Assam has a population of 3.60 Crore (as of 2020) of which 62% are Hindus, 35% are Muslims and around 4% are Christians and the remaining comprise of Sikhs and Buddhists. The natives of the state of Assam are known as "Asomiya" or Assamese – which is also the name of their official language.
A large number of Asomiya people belong to Kachari group - these are ethnic groups that speak Assamese and Boro-Garo languages. The people of this group are further divided into 18 major tribal groups such as Boro, Dimasa, Chutia, Sonowal, Tiwa, Garo, Rabha, Sarania Kachari, Hajong, Tripuri, Deori, Thengal Kachari, Hojai, Koch, and some others. These people co-exist in Assam’s little towns and villages.
The population of Assam is a fascinating blend of various religions, 3-4 languages and few dialects within them as well as multiple races! This includes Mongoloid, Indo-Burmese, Indo-Iranian and Aryan, which have all evolved through years.
Assam also consists of various tribes like Bodo, Kachari, Karbi, Miri, Mishimi, Rabha, etc that co-exist in its little towns and villages. The natives of the state of Assam are known as "Asomiya" or Assamese – which is also the name of their official language.
Buddhism and Hinduism are the largely followed religions here. Assam also has a couple of its own dance forms, such as Bihu (a folk-dance form) and Satriya Nritya (a classical dance form) and Jhumur (a tribal dance form).
The official language of Assam is Assamese, which is the most commonly spoken language of the state, followed by Bengali, which is spoken by a large part of the population, because of many Bengalis (from the state of West Bengal) settling here. Bengali has many similarities to Assamese, with various words meaning the same in both languages, but also having their differences. Apart from these, Bodo is another regional language spoken in some parts of Assam by people belonging to certain tribes.
Assam’s staple food ingredient is rice. Apart from this, fish and meat are largely eaten along with lot of vegetables and fruits. The dishes here use a mixture of techniques and ingredients from different regions in the state as well as some external influences. The ways of cooking these dishes have similarities to other neighbouring countries like Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and so on.
Some of the dishes of Assamese cuisine include: Khar (a dish that uses raw papaya, mustard leaves pulses and some vegetable or fish), Masor Tonga (a sour fish curry), Komolar Kheer (Orange kheer/orange-milk pudding) and different kinds of Pithas (deep fried sweet balls of flour and other ingredients).
The major modes of inter-city transportation within Assam are Trains, Flights and Buses and for inter-state and abroad travel, the state has domestic as well as international airports connecting to cities in other states and countries. For travel within cities, there are many other modes such as rickshaws, buses, and private vehicles like 2-wheelers and cars, or even walking.
Airports - Assam has some airports, which includes one international airport and the rest mostly domestic (with flights connecting to cities in other states in the country. Some of the popular airports in the state are –
Train Stations - Assam has many train terminals or stations from where trains to various cities, towns and villages within Assam or surrounding states can be boarded. Some important train stations in the city to board trains for travelling to any other part of the city are -
Bus Terminals - Assam has its own line of state-run ASTC (Assam State Transport Corporation) buses which provide the connection between all the cities and towns within the state and also neighbouring states. These buses can be boarded at ASTC stops/terminals that are available in every division and town in the state. The prominent town/city bus terminals in the state are located in almost every city and town or village in Assam - they can be easily found as these are major hubs where people usually gather to board buses, and are conveniently accessible.
Assam has many interesting and impressive attractions which visitors, especially those visiting Assam for the first time, should add to their must-see list. These include:
These are some places in Assam which are great for a short getaway during weekends or small holidays, to spend some peaceful time and do fun and interesting things –
There is more to Assam that what just meets the eye – the city not just has incredible tea plantations and other natural wonders but also offers some exciting adventure experiences for the adrenaline junkies. Some incredible and adventurous things to do in Assam include –
Assam also has some incredible places of historical significance and architectural beauty, such as –