Area : 78,438 sq km
Population : 26.6 million
Capital : Dispur
Languages spoken : Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, English.
Best Time to visit : October to May.
The largest of the North-Eastern states, Assam, consists mostly of the plains around the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers. A large part of the state is located in the narrow valley that the river has created over the ages. Assam is known for its scenic beauty, with gushing rivers on one side, snow capped mountains on the other, and lush forests in between.
Assam was dominated by the Ahom rulers for more than 600 years . until their kingdom fell to the British, in 1826. The state's population includes a startling mix of Aryans, Dravidians and Tibeto-Burmans.
Assam is the gateway to North-East India, best known for its' tea plantations which yield the strong Assam leaf tea, popular all over the world. The whole region remains overwhelmingly agricultural. Assam produces more than half of India's petroleum.
Places to visit
Kaziranga National Park
This place is best known for its' large population of the one-horned Rhinoceros, a species that once faced extinction.
Previously known as North Kamrup, Manas was declared a sanctuary in 1928. It was established as the core of the Manas Tiger Reserve with effect from April 1973, and designated a World Heritage site in December 1985. Upgrading of the sanctuary to national park status is being considered. Manas harbours by far the greatest number (21) of India's Schedule I mammals of any protected area in the country. Many are typical of South-east Asian rain forest and have their westernmost distribution here. Its' wetlands are of international importance. It is also the single most important site for the future survival of the pygmy hog and hispid hare.
This place is famous for producing golden silk thread.
This is home to the Pua-Mecca mosque, set up by an Iraqi Prince who turned preacher and travelled all the way to Assam in the 12th century. Also visit the Hayagriba Madhava Temple, reached by a long stone stairway.
It is an archaeological site where erotic sculptures and other stone carvings abound.
The capital of the mighty Ahoms, former rulers of Assam, is a fast developing urban settlement. The town, whose name means "the ocean of Lord Shiva", is strewn with the ruins of a powerful empire. The most remarkable of these is the 200 year old Sibsagar tank. On its banks are three significant temples - Shivadol, Vishnudol and Devidol. Also visit the Ahom Museum.
This is the largest tea exporting town in India. You can visit the tea gardens located in and around the town.
Near Tezpur lie the ruins of 'Da Parbatia' stone temples. Other architectural remains include those of Agnigarh, Bamuni Hills, Bhairavi and Mahabhairab temples and the twin tanks of Bar Pukhuri and Padum Pukhuri.
The Eco Camp is a unique experiment by the Assam Anglers' Association and the state's Forest Department. The Nameri National Park is nearby.
Digboi is Assam's oil city with a history going back to the early 18th century, when oil was first discovered in the area. It has a hundred year old oil-field still producing oil and the world's oldest operating oil refinery. Visit the continent's oldest oil well - the Discovery Well, completed in 1889 AD. The Dibru Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary is a safe haven for extremely rare white winged wood duck and many migratory birds. Digboi also has an 18-hole golf course.
How to reach
Air : The state has one international Airport in Guwahati. Other airports are Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, North Lakhimpur and Silchar. Air India , Indian Airlines , Sahara Airlines , Jet Airways and Deccan Air operate regular flights also operates an international weekly flight between Bangkok and Guwahati.
Road : A network of National Highways and other roads connect Assam other Indian cities. The tourist destinations in Assam are also well connected by road network.
Rail : A convenient Indian Railways network runs through out the state connecting major Indian cities with Assam.