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The history & origin of Assam dates back to countless centuries. To know more about historical significance of the Tea State of India, read on.

History of Assam

Assam has been an inseparable part of India since centuries, though details of its history & origin have lost in times. As interpreted by some scholars, the term 'Assam' is taken from the Sanskrit term 'Asoma' which means matchless or unequaled. According to the current studies, the term has been originated from the original name of the Ahoms, the people who ruled the land for about 600 years before its invasion by the British. In the times of yore, different races like Austric, Mongolian, Dravidian and Aryan have ruled the state.

Probably that's the reason behind the rich composite culture of Assam. During the epic period, this state was called 'Pragjyotisha' or the place of eastern astronomy. Later, its name was changed to 'Kamrupa'. The most primitive epigraphic reference to the Kamrupa kingdom is found in the Allahabad pillar inscription of king Samudragupta. In the inscription, Kamrupa is cited as a Pratyanta or frontier state outside the Gupta Empire though with friendly relations to it.

Hiuen Sang, the Chinese researcher pilgrim who visited Kamrupa on the invitation of Kumar Bhaskar Varman in 743 AD, had written a record of the kingdom, he called Kamolupa. Kamrupa is also figured in the text of the Arabian historian, Alberuni, in the 11th century. Consequently, from the epic period down to the 12th century AD, the eastern frontier kingdom was called Pragjyotisha and Kamrupa, while the kings called themselves 'Lords of Pragjyotisha'.

In 1228 AD, the arrival of the Ahoms across the eastern hills marked the turning point in Assam history. By the 15th century, they established their kingdom and reigned the state for about six centuries. During this period, change was observed in all the features of Assam. In the late 18th century, the Ahom Kingdom was undermined because of internal conflicts. The Burmese entered Assam via eastern borders and overran the province at the time when court machinations and disagreements were sapping the verve of the Ahom monarchs.

Assam became a British colony in 1826, when the Burmese surrendered the province under the provision of the Treaty of Yandabo. Anon the British embarked to systematize the administration, transport and communication. Along with various changes, the major development work done by the British includes the construction of railways, introduction of tea plantation, discovery of coal and oil, etc. When India got independence, Assam saw parting of several territories at different times like Arunachal Pradesh was separated in 1948, Nagaland in 1963, Meghalaya in 1977 and eventually Mizoram in 1987.