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Assam is known for Assam tea and Assam silk. The first oil well in Asia was drilled here. The state has conserved the one-horned Indian rhinoceros from near extinction, along with the pygmy hog, tiger and various species of Asiatic birds. It provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. The Assamese economy is aided by wildlife tourism, centred around Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park which are World Heritage Sites. Sal tree forests are found in the state, which as a result of rainfall looks green all year round. Assam receive more rainfall compared to most part of India. This rain feeds the Brahmaputra River, whose tributaries and oxbow lakes provide the region with a hydro-geomorphic and aesthetic environment.

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Assam History speaks of the traditions and cultures of the oldest periods of human civilizations. Enriched by many Dynastic traits, the land of Assam remains one of the most enticing states of India. The notable rulers who once existed in Assam include Ahoms and Kiratas. The archaeological surveys indicate towards the fact that the earliest human communities that appeared in the land of Assam were Australoids and Mongoloids. Known as Kiratas, the Mongoloids were believed to have ruled the entire state of Assam through their capital in Pragjyotishpura. This capital later found mention in the pages of history by the name of Kamarupa.During the periods of 13th century, Assam was ruled by two prime Dynasties of Kamarupa and Ahom. Under the rule of Ahom Dynasty, Assam started a new journey towards becoming a developed land of India. It is between 13th and 19th century that several tribal communities also came into the historical forefront of Assam. Kacharis, Chutias and Koch were the prominent tribal groups that were found in the medieval times of Assam.After the Ahom dynasty, Assam came under the control of Burmese Kingdom. The rulers of Burma continued their unprecedented domination over the state of Assam till the 1800s. In the year 1826, the British emperor took charge of the state and thus begun the colonial era of Assam.However, like all other states of India, Assam was also involved in various freedom movements. With the enthusiastic participation of many courageous activists Assam, along with the entire nation, became independent in 1947.The post-colonial periods of Assam witnessed emergence of several separate states like that of Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. Depicting an immensely interesting array of events,Assam History tells the saga of a glorious bygone era.

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Indian rhinoceros

The Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), also called the greater one-horned rhinoceros and great Indian rhinoceros, is a rhinoceros native to the Indian subcontinent. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, as populations are fragmented and restricted to less than 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi). Moreover, the extent and quality of the rhino’s most important habitat, alluvial grassland and riverine forest, is considered to decline due to human and livestock encroachment.The Indian rhinoceros once ranged throughout the entire stretch of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, but excessive hunting and agricultural development reduced their range drastically to 11 sites in northern India and southern Nepal. In the early 1990s, between 1,870 and 1,895 rhinos were estimated to have been alive.In 2015, a total of 3,555 Indian rhinoceros are estimated to live in the wild.

White-winged duck

The white-winged duck or white-winged wood duck (Asarcornis scutulata) is a large species of duck, formerly placed in the genus Cairina and allied with the dabbling ducks. However, mtDNA cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 sequence analysis and the biogeographical pattern of distribution indicate that the anatomical similarity to the Muscovy duck is deceiving.Thus, this species might more appropriately be placed in a monotypic genus, as Asarcornis scutulata, which appears to be unrelated to the Muscovy duck but closer to the diving ducks.

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Rhynchostylis Retusa Beauty

Rhynchostylis retusa

Rhynchostylis retusa (also called Foxtail Orchid) is an exotic blooming orchid, belonging to the Vanda alliance. The inflorescence is a pendant raceme, consisting of more than 100 pink-spotted white flowers. The plant has a short, stout, creeping stem carrying up to 12, curved, fleshy, deeply channeled, keeled, retuse apically leaves and blooms on an axillary pendant to 60 cm (24 in) long, racemose, densely flowered, cylindrical inflorescence that occurs in the winter and early spring.

Dipterocarpus macrocarpus

Dipterocarpus macrocarpus is a common medium hardwood tree in South-East Asia and India. It is the state tree of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, India. In Assam it is locally known as Hollong tree.

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Assam State Transport Corporation or ASTC is a state owned road transport corporation of Assam, which provides bus services within Assam and adjoining states. Assam State Transport was started as a State Government Department with four buses to run between Guwahati and Nagaon. Gradually the transport network of the department expanded throughout the state of Assam. The state transport department was converted to a corporation on 30 March 1970. All buses have the registration code AS-20.

ASTC operates Hi-Tech Luxury (AC/Non AC) buses for long distances and Hi-Tech semi and mini deluxe bus services for city and rural areas. There are also many private buses operating under ASTC.The ASTC City bus service of Guwahati has 23 air-conditioned and 50 non-AC buses under (JNNURM) Phase-II. These city buses ply between Jalukbari-Noonmati, Jalukbari-Beltola via Paltanbazar, ISBT-Mirza and ISBT-Jagiroad routes. As per the direction of the urban development ministry – Assam State Urban Transport Corporation, a subsidiary of the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC), was created for operating the new JNNURM buses in Guwahati.In 2013, the corporation mooted a proposal to implement a Global Positioning System-based tracking system to ensure efficient city services.

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Cuisine

Assamese cuisine is the cuisine of Assam. It is a style of cooking that is a confluence of cooking habits of the hills that favor fermentation and drying as forms of food preservation,and those from the plains that provide fresh vegetables and abundance of fish from its many rivers and ponds; both of which are centered on the main ingredient—rice. It is a mixture of different indigenous styles with considerable regional variations and some external influences. The cuisine is characterized by very little use of spices, little cooking over fire and strong flavors due mainly to the use of endemic exotic fruits and vegetables that are either fresh, dried or fermented. Fish is widely used, and birds like duck, squab etc. are very popular, which are often paired with a main vegetable or ingredient. Preparations are rarely elaborate—the practice of Bhuna, the gentle frying of spices before the addition of the main ingredients so common in Indian cooking, is absent in the cuisine of Assam.

Symbolism

Symbolism is an important part of Assamese culture. Various elements are being used to represent beliefs, feelings, pride, identity, etc. Symbolism is an ancient cultural practice in Assam, which is still very important for the people. Tamulpan, Xorai and Gamosa are three important symbolic elements in Assamese culture. Tamulpan (the areca nut and betel leaves) or guapan (gua from kwa) are considered as the offers of devotion, respect and friendship. It is an ancient tradition and is being followed since time-immemorial with roots in the aboriginal Austroasiatic culture.

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Dance

Ancient texts and temple sculptures in Assam point to a history of dancing tradition. Devadasi, Ojapali and Satriya are major styles of dancing of Assam. Satriya, developed by Sankardeva and born in the Vaishnav monasteries, has the classical tag. Like elsewhere in India, Devadasi – deva-nati or nati nas in Assamese – is a ritualistic temple dance that used to be performed by unmarried women who surrendered their lives to the presiding deity.Ojapali, a choral performance, survived the vicissitudes of time unlike Devadasi. Here the oja or lead dancer narrates a mythological story in a mix of music, dance and acting. Ojapali is of three types – biyah-gowa that generally presents Mahabharata stories with rhythmic use of feet and cymbals, sukananni associated with the worship of snake goddess Manasa, and ramayani is based on the Assamese versions of Ramayana.

Traditional crafts

Assam has maintained a rich tradition of various traditional crafts for more than two thousand years. Presently, Cane and bamboo craft, bell metal and brass craft, silk and cotton weaving, toy and mask making, pottery and terracotta work, wood craft, jewellery making, musical instruments making, etc. are remained as major traditions. Historically, Assam also excelled in making boats, traditional guns and gunpowder, colours and paints, articles of lac, traditional building materials, utilities from iron, etc. Cane and bamboo craft provide the most commonly used utilities in daily life, ranging from household utilities, weaving accessories, fishing accessories, furniture, musical instruments to building construction materials. Traditional utilities and symbolic articles made from bell metal and brass are found in every Assamese household.

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Paintings

Painting is an ancient tradition of Assam. The ancient practices can be known from the accounts of the Chinese traveller Xuanzang (7th century CE). The account mentions that Bhaskaravarma, the king of Kamarupa has gifted several items to Harshavardhana, the king of Magadha including paintings and painted objects, some of which were on Assamese silk. Many of the manuscripts available from the Middle Ages bear excellent examples of traditional paintings. The most famous of such medieval works are available in the Hastividyarnava (A Treatise on Elephants), theChitra Bhagawata and in the Gita Govinda. The medieval painters used locally manufactured painting materials such as the colours of hangool and haital. The medieval Assamese literature also refers to chitrakars and patuas.