Assam – Overview, Geography, Culture, Districts and Symbols

Assam is a northeastern state of India, located south of the eastern Himalayas. It is one of the Eight Sister states of North-Eastern India. Assam is known for its rich culture, diverse population, tea plantations, and silk production. The state capital is Dispur, and its largest city is Guwahati. Assam is divided into 31 Districts.

Assam - Overview, Geography, Culture, District and Symbols

The one-horned rhinoceros is a source of great pride for the people of this state. This magnificent animal is a symbol of the state’s rich biodiversity with the majority residing in the Kaziranga National Park.

Assam is home to several ethnic groups, including the Assamese people, Bodo people, Mishing people, and Karbi people, among others. The official language of the state is Axomiya (Assamese), which is the most widely spoken official state language.

Assam’s economy largely depends on agriculture, with tea being a major cash crop. Assam alone produces 50% of total India’s tea production. The estimated annual average production of assam tea leaves is about 630- 700 million kg.

Assam has several tourist places, such as the Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Kamakhya Temple, and the Brahmaputra River.

Geography of Assam:

Assam can be divided into three main physical regions: the Brahmaputra River Valley, the Barak River Valley, and the hilly region that lies between Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Manipur. This state is located between 88.250E to 96.00E longitude and 24.50N to 28.00N latitude. 

Area

Assam has a total area of 78,438 square kilometers or 30,285 square miles. The geographical area of this state makes up approximately 2.4% of India’s total land area. The Brahmaputra basin, which spans an area of 580,000 square kilometers, has 70,634 square kilometers of land area located within Assam.

The Brahmaputra River flows a total distance of approximately 2,900 kilometers, of which 916 kilometers runs through India. (The length of the Brahmaputra River is 916 K.M.)

As per the census of 2011, area wise the largest district of this state is Karbi Anglong which spans an area of 7680 km². On the other hand, South Salmara district is the smallest district in Assam, with a total area of just 568 km².

The state is home to serve 07(seven) National parks in Assam and 17(seventeen) wildlife sanctuaries. The seven important national parks of Assam, namely Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang, Dibru Saikhowa, Raimona, and Dehing Patkai. Additionally, Assam’s 17 wildlife sanctuaries also contribute significantly to the state’s distinct floral and faunal wealth.

Read About : National Parks in Assam – Know about 7 National Parks

Boundaries

Assam is a state in northeastern India that shares borders with several other regions. It is situated to the East of Nagaland and Manipur, to the West of Bangladesh as well as the states of Meghalaya and West Bengal, to the North of Bhutan and the state of Arunachal Pradesh, and to the South of Mizoram and Tripura. 

The state shares its international borders with 2 Countries such as Bhutan and Bangladesh and Assam shares an Inter-state boundary with 7 States such as West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram.

Climate

Assam experiences a temperature range of 6°C to 38°C. Assam has an average temperature of around 36°C. The temperature is typically at its highest during August, while January experiences the lowest temperatures, which can drop to around 6°C. 

The annual rainfall of Assam ranks among the highest in India. because this state receives significant humidity from the southwest monsoons, resulting in an average annual rainfall of over 120 inches in the Brahmaputra valley and surrounding areas. 

The monsoons are a crucial source of water for Assam, sustaining a biodiversity that rivals equatorial rainforests. The warm and humid climate, combined with the region’s topography, provides an ideal environment for plant and vegetation growth. 

With 51 different forest and sub-forest types, Assam boasts a diverse range of vegetation patterns.

Read More : Assam History: Timeline of Assam History

Population

According to the Census of 2011, the total population of Assam is 31.2 million (3.12 Cr). It represents 2.58% of India’s total population. Out of the total assam population of 31,205,576, The population of males was 15,939,443 while females were 15,266,133.

With a total area of 78,438 square kilometers or 30,285 square miles, Assam has a population density of 398 people per square km. This is slightly higher than the national average population density of 382 people per square km.

According to the 2011 census, Nagaon District is the most populous district of Assam, with a population of 28.24 lakhs. In contrast, Majuli District has the smallest population among all the districts in Assam, with only 1.68 lakhs people residing there.

Based on the 2011 census study, the overall literacy rate in Assam is 72.19%. The male population has a higher literacy rate of 77.85%, while the female population has a lower literacy rate of 66.27%.

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Art & Culture of Assam : 

Peoples of Assam:

The people of Assam are known to be very friendly, charming, and open-hearted. Some of the major communities of Assam are: Assamese, Bodo, Bengali, Tea Tribes, Karbi, Mishing, Nepali, Dimasa, etc. and Bodo, Mishing, Karbi, Dimasa, Tiwa, Rabha, Sonowal Kachari, Deori, Hajong, Garo, Hmar, Kuki, Zeme Naga, Khasi-Pnar, Apatani, etc are major tribes of Assam.

Assam has got a large population of tribal peoples; some of the tribal groups are the Bodo-Kacharis, the Deori, the Missings, the Dimassas, the Karbies, the Lalungs, the Rabhas, etc. 

Religions of Assam:

Assam is known for its diverse cultural heritage and various religions. The major religion that is practiced by the people of Assam is the Hindu, followed by Muslims and Christians. The major religions of Assam are Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Sikhism. 

According to the census of 2011, 61.5 percent of the total population of Assam was Hindu religion. and 33.22 percent were Islam, and Christianity minorities 3.7 percent are found among Scheduled castes.

Out of 31 districts of Assam, 9 are Muslim majority according to the 2011 census of India. The Districts are Dhubri, Goalpara, Barpeta, Morigaon, Nagaon, Karimganj, Hailakandi, Darrang, and Bongaigaon.

Language of Assam:

Assam is inhabited by people of diverse regions. There are many languages spoken in the state, including Assamese, Bodo, Bengali, Hindi, Nepali, and English. 

However, Assamese or Akhomiya is the main and official language of the state which is widely spoken and understood by the majority of the people of Assam. and also the English language is used for administrative purposes.

Bodo is the language of the Bodo tribe, one of the largest indigenous communities in the western part of the state.  Other native languages of Tibeto-Burman origin and related to Bodo-kachari are Deori, Mising, Karbi, Rabha, and Tiwa.

There are approximately 7 lakhs Nepali speakers spread all over the state forming about 2.2 percent of Assam’s total population. The majority of Nepali people are found in Sonitpur District. 

Bengali is spoken by the people of the Barak Valley region. and Bangali language is the official language of the state. , while Nepali is spoken by the Nepali-speaking population in the state.

There are speakers of Tai Languages in Assam. A total of six Tai- languages were spoken in Assam.

Also read: 700+ Most Important Assam History MCQ With Answer – Set 1

Traditional dresses of Assam:

The traditional dresses of the people are simple, and most of the clothes are hand-loomed. The handloom industry is a significant part of Assam’s economy and is an essential source of livelihood for many people in the state.

The traditional dress for women in Assam is the Mekhela Chador, which consists of two pieces of cloth draped around the body. The Mekhela is a cylindrical skirt, and the Chador is a cloth that is draped around the upper body, over the blouse. The Mekhela Chador is usually made of cotton or silk, and the designs and patterns on the cloth are intricately woven by hand.

For men, the traditional dress is the “Suria” or “Dhuti” and “Gamocha”, “Gamocha” is a symbol of Assamese culture and is used in several traditional ceremonies.

Here are some other traditional clothes of Assamese peoples are Mekhela, Chadar or Sador, Riha, Dhoti, Kurti, Tongali, Paghuri, Gamosa, Cheleng Sador, Ghagra/Ghuri, Eri Cloth, and Chola. 

Apart from the traditional dresses, people in Assam also wear Western clothing like shirts, pants, and skirts. However, the handloom industry is still prevalent, and many people prefer to wear hand-loomed clothes for their comfort and durability.

Folk Music of Assam

Assam has a rich heritage of folk music. The most popular folk music in Assam is Bihu.

Besides Bihu, there are many other forms of folk music in Assam such as Tokari Geet, Goalpariya Lokgeet, Ojapali, Deh Bisaror Geet, Zikir, and Borgeet. Tokari Geet, Goalpariya Lokgeet etc.

Ojapali is a traditional music form of the Satras, characterized by its fast-paced rhythms and devotional lyrics. 

Deh Bisaror Geet is sung during post-death rituals of the Karbis community, an indigenous community of Assam. 

Zikir is a form of Sufi music that is popular among the Muslim community in Assam. 

Borgeet is a devotional music form that is sung in the Satras and is characterized by its philosophical lyrics and tuneful melodies.

The diverse and rich folk music of Assam reflects its cultural richness and diversity, which is a fundamental part of its identity.

Festivals of Assam:

Assam has several festivals that are celebrated throughout the year, showcasing the region’s vibrant and colorful culture. The festival of Assam is divided into four categories. These are (1) Religious festivals, (2) Agricultural festivals, (3) Folk festivals, and (4) Other festivals. Some of the major festivals celebrated in Assam are Bihu, Ali-Ai-Ligang, The Bhatheli or suari, Maho-ho, Ambobachi, Elephant Festival, Majuli Festival, Baishagu Festival, Baikho, Tea Festival, Kaziranga Elephant festival, Dehing patkai Festival, Junbeel Mela, Rongker & Chomangkan Festival, Karan Puja, Bare sahariya Bhaona, etc. There are also seasonal festivals in Assam such as Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Lakshmi Puja, sivratri etc.

Dances of Assam:

Ojhapali, Bihu, Devdasi, and Satriya are the major dance of Assam. The major dances of Assam are Bihu Dance, Sattriya Dance, Bagurumba Dance, Jhumur Dance, Deodhani Dance, Ojapali Dance, Bardoli Dance, Mishing Dance, Tea-tribe Dance, Goalporia Dance, Bhortal Dance, Huchory Dance, Tokaamachi Dance, Apsara Dance, Chah Baganar Jumur Nach etc.

Cinema of Assam:

Assamese cinema, also known as Jollywood, is the film industry in the state of Assam. The Jollywood film industry produces movies primarily in the Assamese language. 

The first Assamese film, Joymoti, was made in 1935 by Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, who is considered the father of Assamese cinema.

Assamese cinema has a rich and diverse history, with films covering a range of genres such as drama, romance, comedy, and social issues.

Some of the popular actors in Assamese cinema include Jatin Bora, Biju Phukan, Nipon Goswami, and Moloya Goswami.

The industry has produced many critically acclaimed and award-winning films such as Halodhia Choraye Baodhan Khai, Xagoroloi Bohudoor, and Firingoti.

Read More about : 100 Easy General Knowledge Questions and Answers with PDF

List of Districts of Assam : 

Before December 31st, 2022, there was 35 district in Assam, But On December 31st, 2022, the government of Assam made the decision to merge four districts with four others and alter the administrative boundaries of some district. The districts affected by the merger are Biswanath, Hojai, Bajali, and Tamulpur.

Biswanath district is merged with Sonitpur, Hojai with Nagaon, Bajali with Barpeta, and Tamulpur with Baksa. Which makes 31 Districts in the State.

The following is the list of 31 Districts with the Divisional Office of Assam. 

Serial No.Districts of AssamDivisional Office
1BaksaGuwahati
2BarpetaGuwahati
3BongaigaonGuwahati
4CacharSilchar
5CharaideoJorhat
6ChirangGuwahati
7DarrangTezpur
8DhemajiJorhat
9DhubriGuwahati
10DibrugarhJorhat
11Dima HasaoNagaon
12GoalparaGuwahati
13GolaghatJorhat
14HailakandiSilchar
15JorhatJorhat
16KamrupGuwahati
17Kamrup MetropolitanGuwahati
18Karbi AnglongNagaon
19KarimganjSilchar
20KokrajharGuwahati
21LakhimpurJorhat
22MajuliJorhat
23MorigaonNagaon
24NagaonNagaon
25NalbariGuwahati
26SivasagarJorhat
27SonitpurTezpur
28South Salmara-MankacharGuwahati
29TinsukiaJorhat
30UdalguriTezpur
31West Karbi AnglongNagaon
Source: Assam State Portal

State symbols of Assam : 

The official state symbols of Assam are chosen to represent the cultural and natural significance of the state. These symbols include the state animal, bird, flower, tree, song, dance, and many more. They are a reflection of Assam’s rich cultural and ecological diversity.

The following are the State symbols of Assam:

  1. State Animal: Gor (One-horned Rhinoceros)
  2. State Bird: Deo haah (White-winged Wood Duck)
  3. State Flower: Kopou Phul (Foxtail Orchid)
  4. State Tree: Hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus)
  5. State Song: O Mor Apunar Dex
  6. State Dance: Bihu
  7. State Game: Dhopkhel
  8. State Fish: Xihu (Scientific name: Labeo boggut)
  9. State Emblem: Rhino with Dhaleshwari river and blue hills
  10. State Seal: Lion Capital of Ashoka with an added word “Sarba” at the bottom.(Government of Assam)
Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is the capital of Assam?

Dispur.

What is the largest city in Assam?

The largest city in Assam is Guwahati.

What is the official language of Assam?

The official language of Assam is Axomiya (Assamese).

What is the major cash crop of Assam?

Tea is a major cash crop in Assam.

What is the population density of Assam?

According to the Census of 2011, Assam has a population density of 398 people per square km.

What is the overall literacy rate in Assam according to the 2011 census?

The overall literacy rate in Assam according to the 2011 census is 72.19%.

What is Deh Bisaror Geet ?

Deh Bisaror Geet is sung during post-death rituals of the Karbis community, an indigenous community of Assam.

How many districts in Assam?

There are 31 districts in Assam.

What is the religion language of Assam?

Assamese is the principal language of the state.

What is the 35 district of Assam?

On December 31st, 2022, the government of Assam merge four districts. Therefore, there is only 31 district in Assam. These are Baksa, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Cachar, Charaideo, Chirang, Darrang, Dhemaji, Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Dima Hasao, Goalpara, Golaghat, Hailakandi, Jorhat, Kamrup Metropolitan, Kamrup, Karbi Anglong, Karimganj, Kokrajhar, Lakhimpur, Majuli, Morigaon, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Sonitpur, South Salmara-Mankachar, Tinsukia, Udalguri, West Karbi Anglong.

What is Assam famous for?

Assam is famously known for its tea and Assam silk. Assam is also famous for one-horned rhinoceros.

How many national park in Assam?

There are 7 National Parks in Assam, Namely Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang, Dibru Saikhowa, Raimona, and Dehing Patkai.

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