Asom (former name Assam) is a northeastern state of India with its capital at Dispur, a suburb of the city Guwahati. Located south of the eastern Himalayas. Asom comprises the Brahmaputra and the Barak river valleys and the Karbi Anglong and the North Cachar Hills. Asom is surrounded by the rest of the Seven Sister States: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya. Asom also shares international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh; and cultures, peoples and climate with South-East Asia – important elements in India’s “Look East” Policy. Asom along with rest of the seven sisters states became part of India in 1828 when the British invaded. It has a total area of 78,438 km² (30,285 sq mi) and its population is 26,655,528.
Dispur is the capital city of Asom. Asom is known for Asom tea, petroleum resources, Asom silk and for its rich biodiversity. It has successfully conserved the one-horned Indian rhinoceros from near extinction in Kaziranga, the tiger in Manas and provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. It is increasingly becoming a popular destination for wild-life tourism. Kaziranga and Manas are both World Heritage Sites. Its principal languages are Assamese, Bodo, Bengali (Barak Valley).
A land of high rainfall, Asom is endowed with lush greenery and the mighty river Brahmaputra. Asom is gifted with petroleum, natural gas, coal, limestone and other minor minerals such as magnetic quartzite, kaolin, sillimanites, clay and feldspar. With the tropical monsoon rainforest climate, Asom is temperate and experiences heavy rainfall and high humidity.
It is one of the richest biodiversity zones in the world and many are now protected as national parks and reserved forests. The Kaziranga, the home for the rare Indian Rhinoceros, and Manas a tiger sanctuary are two World Heritage Sites. The region is prone to natural disasters with annual floods and frequent mild earthquakes.
Asom has several attractive destinations; majority of these are National Parks, Wildlife and Bird Sanctuaries, areas with archaeological interests and areas with unique cultural heritage. Moreover, as a whole, the region is covered by beautiful natural landscapes.
Major tourist spots
• Kaziranga National Park
• Manas National Park
• Nameri National Park
• Dibru-Saikhowa National Park
• Orang National Park
• Joydihing Rainforest
• Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary
• Garampani Wildlife Sanctuary
• Chakrasila Wildlife Sanctuary
• Burasapori Wildlife Sanctuary
• Bornodi Wildlife Sanctuary
• Sonai-rupai Wildlife Sanctuary
• Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
• Nambor Wildlife Sanctuary
• Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary
• Gibon Wildlife Sanctuary
• East Karbi-Anglong Wildlife Sanctuary (Proposed)
• Karbi-Anglong Wildlife Sanctuary (Proposed)
• Podumani Bherjan Borajan Wildlife Sanctuary
• Bordoibum Beelmukh Bird Sanctuary (Proposed)
• Panidihing Bird Sanctuary
• Deepor Beel Bird Sanctuary
Facts at a glance
Time zone – IST (UTC+5:30). Area – 78,438 km² (30,285 sq mi). Capital – Dispur. Largest city – Guwahati. Districts – 27. Population – 26,655,528 (14th). Density – 340/km² (881/sq mi). Languages – Assamese, Bodo, Bengali (Barak Valley). Established – 1947-08-15. Legislature (seats) – Unicameral (126). ISO abbreviation – IN-AS.