Assam (Asm)

Asm: অসম āsāma

‘Land of the Ahom’

From Asm: syam, ‘Ahom/Shan people’.

The Ahom community (who are ethically Tai/Thai) has been known here by several different but closely related names: Ahom, Asam, Aham, Shan, Syam. Spread across Asia they are known as Thai in Thailand, Shan in Myanmar/Burma, Lao/Chai in Laos and Dai/Zhuang in China.

The name itself comes from the 13thC Shan dynasty of Mong Mao (on the Burma-China border) who invaded Assam and dominated it for six centuries until they were overthrown by the Burmese.Three Burmese invasions from 1817 and 1826 unleashed a reign of terror which wiped out the entire Ahom elite class.

The British extended their control over Assam from 1824 onwards until they had annexed the whole region.

The British conquered the province and annexed it in 1826. Part of the area joined  Pakistan after Independence. Other states split off in 1962 (Nagaland) and 1972 (Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram).

Also:   (1) ‘Low or level country’. From Bod: ha-com. This was first proposed by Baden-Powell and it suggests the name pre-dates the invasion. (2) Skt: asamā, ‘unequalled’, ‘peerless’, a description of the invaders, who were presumably also (3) Tai: (a)cham. ‘(un)defeated’. (4)  ‘Uneven Land’. From Skt: asama, ‘unequal’, ‘uneven’, ‘odd’ – contrasting with the neighbouring Gangetic Plain, contradicting (1) and confirming (2) .

Under the British, Assam was one of the eight major provinces. Assam stretches from the main sources of the Brahmaputra river in the northeast Himalayas to the point where it flows into Bangladesh (and then into the Bay of Bengal).

Since Independence several states have broken away from Assam: Arunachal Pradesh Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya.

Assam should be called the ‘Teacup of India’: it produces half of India’s tea. It also accounts for 25% of its oil reserves. Assam Tourism describes it simply as : ‘Awesome Assam’

The Quest for Modern Assam

Abhayapuri (Asm)

Asm: অভয়াপুৰী  abhaẏāpuri ‘Ahhayeswari’s City’  -Town, Assam. From...

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Dergaon (Asm)

Asm: দেৰগাঁও dēragāon ‘God’s Village’  [Devagram] Town,  Assam From Asm: deor,...

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Dibrugarh (Asm)

Asm: ডিব্ৰুগড় ḍibrugaṛa ‘Fort on the River Dibru’   [Dibrumukh] ...

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Garhgaon (Asm)

Asm: গড়গাঁও gaṛhgāon ‘Fort Village’  Town,  Assam From Asm: gaṛh, fort',...

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Guwahati (Asm)

Asm: গুৱাহাটী guwāhāṭi  ‘Betel-nut Market’  [Pragjyotishpura] City/...

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Hajo (Asm)

Asm: হাজো hājō ‘Hill’   Town, Assam From Bod:  hajo/hajw, ‘hill’.  Hajo is a...

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Hatigar (Asm)

Asm: হাত্তিগড় hāttigaṛa ‘Elephant Fort’ [Gajpur] Village,  Assam From...

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Jorhat (Asm)

Asm: যোৰহাট jōrhāṭ ‘Twin Markets’  City/District, Assam From Asm: jor, ‘pair’;...

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Kaziranga (Asm)

Asm: কাজিৰঙা kājirāṅgā  ‘Kazi’s Village’  National Park, Assam From Kbi:...

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Majuli (Asm)

Asm: মাজুলী mājulī ‘Middle of the Water’   Island/District, Assam From...

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Nagaon (Asm)

Asm: নগাঁও nagām̐ō ‘New Village’  [Nowgong] Town/District,  Assam From Asm:...

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Nalbari (Asm)

Asm: নলবাৰী nalabāṛi ‘Reed Garden’  Town/District, Assam From Asm: nal, ‘(a...

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Nazira (Asm)

Asm: নাজিৰা nājirā ‘Harbour’  Town,  Assam From Asm: nāo, ‘boat’;  and jira,...

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Rangpur (Asm)

‘City of Joy’  Monument/Palace, Assam From Asm: ranga, ‘joy’, ‘pleasure’; and...

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Sadiya (Asm)

Asm: শদিয়া śadiẏā ‘City of Sathyakanarayana’  [Sadhayapuri]  Town,  Assam...

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Silchar (Asm)

Asm: শিলচর śilac(h)ara ‘Stone Bank’  City, Assam From Asm: śilā, ‘stone’;...

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Sivasagar (Asm)

Asm: শিৱসাগৰ śivasāgara ‘Shiva’s Ocean’  [Sibsagar] City/District,  Assam From...

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Tezpur (Asm)

Asm:তেজপুৰ tējapura ‘City of Blood’   City,  Assam Asm/Ben: tez/tej,...

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Tinsukia (Asm)

Asm: তিনিচুকীয়া tinasukiẏā ‘Three-cornered Tank’   [Bengmora] City/District,...

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