History and Geography
            Assam is situated in the north-east corner of the country between 89° 42’ E to 96° E
      longitude and 24° 8’ N to 28° 2’ N latitude. For centuries, people and communities have been
      attracted to the fertile environs of Assam and its abundant natural resources. Streams of people
      have met and mingled, cultures and customs have merged and in this process a rich and
      composite culture has been evolved.
            The state also known as a “Land of Red River and Blue Hills”, is one of the most attractive
      and beautiful states of the country. The mighty river Brahmaputra flows through it, serving as a
      lifeline for its people settled on both sides of its banks. The word ‘Assam’ is believed to have
      derived from the Sanskrit word Asoma meaning peerless or unparalleled. Another academic
      interpretation claims that the word came from the Ahoms, who ruled the land for about six
      hundred years prior to its annexation by the British. The influence of several races like Austric,
      Mongolian, Dravidian and Aryan that came to this land long long ago; have contributed to its
      rich composite culture.
            Assam was known as Pragjyotisha or the place of eastern astronomy during the epic period
      and later named as Kamrupa. The earlier epigraphic reference to the kingdom of Kamrupa is
      found in the Allahabad pillar inscription of King Samudragupta. Kamrupa is mentioned as a
      pratyanta or frontier state outside the Gupta Empire, but with friendly and subordinate relation to
      it. Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese scholar pilgrim who visited Kamrupa in about 743 AD on an
      invitation of its monarch, Kumar Bhaskar Varman, left a record of the kingdom he called
      Kamolupa. Kamrupa also figured in the writings of the Arabian historian Alberuni in the
      eleventh century. Thus, from the epic period down to the twelfth century AD, the eastern frontier
      kingdom was known as Pragjyotisha and Kamrupa and kings called themselves ‘Lords of
            The advent of the Ahoms across the eastern hills in 1228 AD was the turning point in
      Assam history. They ruled Assam nearly for six centuries. The Burmese entered through the
      eastern borders and over-ran the territory at a time when court intrigues and dissensions were
      sapping the vitality of the Ahom royalty. It became a British protectorate in 1826 when the
      Burmese ceded Assam to the British under the provision of the Treaty of Yandaboo.
            Assam covers an area of 78,438 sq. km, which represents 2.39 per cent of the total land area
      of the country. International boundaries that extend up to nearly 3,200 km, surround the state.
      Assam - the gateway to the north-eastern states is surrounded by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh
      on the north, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh on the east and Meghalaya, Tripura and
      Mizoram on the south and Bangladesh, Meghalaya and West Bengal on the west.
            A significant geographical aspect of Assam is that it contains three of six physiographic
      divisions of India—the Northern Himalayas (eastern Hills) the Northern Plains (Brahmaputra
      Plain), and Deccan Plateau (Karbi Anglong). As the Brahmaputra flows in Assam the climate
      here is cold and there is widespread rainfall. 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 25-30 miles (40-50 km) wide
      valley and enters Bangladesh with the name Surma river. The almond shaped valley is built
      mostly by aggregation work of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries. Most of the prominent towns