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Assam: Interesting Facts About The Gateway To North-Eastern India

Indian State Assam

States and UTs

Assam: Interesting Facts About The Gateway To North-Eastern India

The state has the oldest operating oil refinery in the country.

Assam is spread over an area of 79,000 sq. km.  It shares its borders with Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya. It also shares international boundaries with Bangladesh, Burma and Bhutan. The state is the gateway to North-eastern India.

Quick Facts

  • Capital – Dispur
  • Districts – 33
  • Population – 31,205,576
  • Assembly seats – 126
  • Lok Sabha seats – 14
  • Rajya Sabha seats – 7
  • Literacy rate – 72.19%
  • Sex ratio – 958
  • Life expectancy – 63.9 years.
  • Infant mortality rate – 54

Political Background

Gopinath Bordoloi was the first chief minister of the state which was created on 15 August 1947 when India achieved Independence. The current incumbent Sarbananda Sonowal belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was sworn in as the state’s 14th Chief Minister on 24 May 2016. The state’s Governor is Prof Jagdish Mukhi. 

Historic Relevance

The state of Assam was ruled by the Ahom Dynasty for nearly 6 centuries. It was then ruled by the British till India became independent. It is interesting to note that Muslim invaders, especially Mughals made several attempts to gain control over the state, but did not succeed.

In 30 years, the state has been reduced to one-third of its original size. 4 states – Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya – have been carved out of Assam. Before it was divided, Shillong was the capital of Assam. It is now the capital of Meghalaya.`

(Read-India’s Geography: Get To Know The Country’s Distinct Regions

State Exclusives

  • Among the ‘Seven Sisters’, Assam is the only state to share its border with all the six other states.
  • Dhola-Sadiya Bridge is the longest bridge in India. It has been named after Dr. Bhupen Hazarika who was born in Sadiya. It is also known as the Bhupen Hazarika Setu.
  • Majuli island situated on the banks of Brahmaputra in Assam is the ‘World’s Largest Riverine Island’.
  • Kaziranga National Park and Manas Wildlife Sanctuary are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Kaziranga National Park has the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceroses. It is also home to many mammals, including tigers, elephants, panthers and bears, and thousands of birds.
  • Digboi has India’s oldest oil refinery.
  • Jonbeel Mela” is the only fair celebration in India which still practices barter system.

Cultural Heritage

  • O Mur Apunar Dex, meaning “O my endearing motherland”, is Assam’s state song. It was composed by Lakshminath Bezbaroa.
  • The official language is Assamese. English, Bengali and Bodo are also spoken widely.
  • Bihu dance, Khel Gopal and Tabal Chongli are the famous folk dances of the state.
  • The major festivals of the state are Bihu, Bishu, Navratras and Eid.
  • The dominant rivers flowing in the state are Brahmaputra and Barak. 

Tourism

Kamakhya Temple dedicated to Goddess Durga is one of the Shakti Peethas in the country and attracts a large number of devotees.

Assam has 18 National Parks and two Wildlife Sanctuaries. Akashi Ganga Waterfalls is a popular tourist destination.

(Read- Understanding India’s Demography, From Population to Literacy and Sex Ratio)

Trade And industry

Assam produces more than 50% of India’s tea. The Bhut Jalokia, known to be the hottest chilli in the world, is cultivated here. Jute, Cotton, Oilseeds and Rice are also grown in the state.

The state is among the largest producers of oil and natural gas in the country and has abundant reserves of limestone.

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