The name “Assam” is derived from the term “Asom” which, in Sanskrit, refers to unequal or unrivalled. The uneven topography of the land, full of hills, plains and rivers might, therefore, have contributed to her name.
Indeed, Assam is a state of breath taking scenic beauty, rarest flora and fauna, lofty green hills, vast rolling plain, mighty waterways and a land of fairs and festivals.
The Mongolian Ahom dynasty which had ruled Assam for more than six hundred years might also be the cause for her name, the dynasty that ruled from the 13th to early 19th Century.
The ancient name of Assam was Pragjyotishpur. However, during the time of the Ahom conquest, Pragjyotishpur was known as Kamrup. In ancient Sanskrit literature, both the names Pragjyotishpur and Kamrup were used as a designation for ancient Assam. In 1228, the Ahoms, Shan tribe from North Thailand entered and defeated the Kamrup ruler and established a kingdom, which came to be known as Assam with its capital at Sivasagar (Sibsagar). The ancient name Kamrup, is today confined to only a district of Assam.
The Brahmaputra river that has its origins in Tibet charts its winding course through this state. This mystic land of eternal blue hills and beautiful rivers is renowned for the full- bodied flavor of its tea, rich flora and fauna, the world famous one horned rhinoceros and other rare species of wildlife on the verge of extinction. Except for Africa, there is perhaps no part of the world where such a variety of wildlife exists.
While agriculture remains as the key industry in Assam, artists, sculptors, masons and architects, and others practicing minor crafts such as weavers, spinners, potters, goldsmiths, artisans of ivory, wood, bamboo, cane and hide have found their niche and flourished in Assam.
Every household possesses a handloom used to produce silk and (or) cotton clothes of exquisite designs. The Eri, Muga and Pat are the important silk products of Assam. Spices are also a minor trade.
Assam has its boundaries at Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan in the north, Nagaland to the east, and Manipur and Mizoram to the south. In the southwest, Assam touches the borders of West Bengal and Bangladesh.
Summer months are from April to October and the winter months are from November to March.
The month of April sees the most visitors in Assam when the Assamese people hold festivals in celebration of a good harvest. This usually comes together with lots of lively dancing, music, and feasting.