Heritage meets people here in Assam

Author: Shivani Subba
Date: 2019-12-06

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One of the vibrant states from the North East, Assam is spread across 2.39% of the Indian landmass. Assam shares its boundaries with Bangladesh, West Bengal and Bhutan. The state overlooks the Barail hill range between the two valleys of Brahmaputra and Barak. Its wide range of species in flora and fauna, immaculate tea and terraced gardens make her a nature’s delight.

Assam, also called Ahom, is the biggest and the most accessible amongst its six sisters of the Northeast (Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Assam are called the seven sisters). Assam offers spectacular views, hospitable locals, delectable - aromatic cuisines, artistic heritage and religious shrines that make up a variety of tourist places of Assam. Assam is a melting pot of varied cultures. 

Assam boasts a mix of neighbouring Bengali and Oriya culture. The people here don a special costume. The men are usually seen wearing their ‘Gamosas’, a red and white scarf around the neck, while, the womenfolk wear the ‘Mekhola Sador’, the traditional saree. As for the foodies, the Fish Tenga, a sour curry is the region’s speciality. Dispur is the capital of the state located in Guwahati.

Sip the best flavours in tea, sit back, dip your feet in the waters and relax. 
Assam is home to the country’s best variants in teas exported all across the globe. Assam is known for the Kaziranga National Park that conserves the endangered Indian one- horned rhinoceros and the Muga, golden silk which is only produced in the state. The state is also rich deposits of petroleum, minerals, coal, limestone, iron and natural gas. 

Assam was ruled by two dynasties, the Tibeto- Burmese’s  Koch and the Tai dynasty’s  Ahom. Interestingly, when the Indian subcontinent was dominated by several Western powers in the medieval times, Assam was never ruled by anyone until the British entered. The Mughals too attempted invasion into the state 17 times, but were unsuccessful.

The Brahmaputra river is the state’s lifeline and enters from Arunachal Pradesh, forming many tributaries. Assam has five national parks and 20 wildlife sanctuaries including the World Heritage Sites of Kaziranga and Manas. When in Assam don’t miss the one- horned rhinoceros. The state has a 35% forest cover which includes the tea plantations as well.

Assam tea or the Camellia Assamica is famous all over the world. The state also cultivates sweet potatoes, turmeric, potatoes, spices, rice, jute, mustard, sugarcane and a rich variety of fruits and vegetables. 

The suitable geographical location and climate are the major factors that make Assam a favourable destination to several wildlife sanctuaries and national park and thus become major shelters for endangered species. These also contribute to being the major tourist places of Assam.

The official language of the state is Assamese and Bodo. Bengali is also a part of the 45 spoken languages and dialects. A minority also speak Bishnupriya Manipuri in Barak Valley. One can also witness people speaking in Nepali in some parts of Assam. 

If you wish to travel to different places inside the city, catch the local transport managed by the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC). 

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