Assam Geography


Comprising of valleys, hills and the perennial River of Brahmaputra,Assam Geography presents a fact file of the locational traits of the state. Assam shares its internal boundaries with West Bengal, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, while Bangladesh and China surrounds the international contours of the state.

Area

The statistical figures state that the total Assam Area covers 78, 523 sq km. Adorned by beautiful valleys, rivers and plains, the state of Assam is set on the north-eastern front of India. The forest lands occupy a major part of Assam's area. Brahmaputra River makes the agricultural area of the state more fertile. Placed on the foothills of the majestic Himalaya, Assam is bounded by several national and international destinations. From Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram to West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Bangladesh, the Assam area is a rich reserve of natural treasures. The area of Assam is known for its wide-spread tea plantation farms. The production of fine quality tea leafs lead to the generation of highest amount of revenues for the state. Also, the people who are engaged with the numerous tea estates constitute a major share of the population of Assam. This in turn indicates the large number of employment opportunities for the local people of Assam state.

The land area of Assam available for cultivation purposes involves a large share of the total geographical space of the state. Jhum farming is the widely practiced occupation of almost all the peasants of Assam. In the recent past, due to the emergence of several industrial units within the area of Assam, signs of soil erosion have been noticed. In order to prevent the fertile lands of the state from such damage, the Soil conservation Department under the aegis of the Assam Government has started taking significant steps. As a whole, the Area of Assam, from its pre-historic periods to its present day state, provides a rich and changing geographical trait.

Climate

he specialty of Assam Climate lies in its highest levels of humidity. Since the state of Assam is known to have maximum amount of rainfall, hence the temperatures never go beyond the standard 35 degrees to 38 degrees. On the one hand, the hilly regions of Assam experience a suitable sub-alpine climatic condition, on the other hand, the plain lands of the state go through excessive humid weather. Primarily, the climate of Assam is categorized under two prime heads - rainy season and winter months. While the rainy season starts from June, the winter months begins with the onset of October. The minimum temperature which is found in the coldest of months in Assam ranges from six to eight degree Celsius.

The occurrence of rains begins with the month of June in the land of Assam. More often than not, the intensity of rainfall crosses such an extent that invariably leads to natural catastrophes like floods. Various districts of Assam, both in remote and prominent areas, experience large-scale damage of agricultural crops, loss of livestock and much other allied destruction. Earthquake is one major damage syndrome which exists in the state of Assam from a very long period. The massive earthquake of 1869 in the Barak region of Assam was one of the major geographical devastation. However, at present Assam is not under the grip of such damaging earthquakes. The agro-climactic conditions of Assam have made it possible to make agriculture as one of the significant sources of income generation. The Brahmaputra River has acted as the prime catalyst in transforming the lands of Assam into fertile zones where various cash crops are grown today. All the lands of Assam are characterized by alluvial qualities. Assam Climate is a collective representation of the various weather variations of the state.

Topography

Assam Topography shows the positional features of the state. Sharing its borders with various states like Meghalaya, Nagaland, Bhutan, Mizoram, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, Assam is located on the north-east part of India. The prime geographical characters that form the topographical features of Assam are the Barak Valley and the River of Brahmaputra. From north-eastern corners to west and further towards south, the Brahmaputra River spread its rich alluvial plains across the length and breadth of Assam.

The agricultural fields of Assam are specially blessed by the River of Brahmaputra. Being divided into several rivulets and streams, the River as a whole makes the lands of Assam suitable for agricultural production. Adding the qualities of alluvial soil, Brahmaputra indirectly helps in increasing the crop growth of Assam state. The topography of Assam is also featured through many quaint hills that existed in the land from ancient periods. In fact some of the hills of Mizoram, which is an adjoining state, act as the boundary indicators. Since the Assam topography comprises of various geographical traits hence the place is a favorite among those who love to go for excursion and trekking. While one can enjoy the climbing up to the peaks of various hillocks in the state of Assam, one can also cherish the serenity of low lying river banks. Round the year, there is a rush of tourists in different trekking corners of Assam. As a whole, Assam Topography resembles the varied landscapic characteristics of the state.

Forest

Assam Forest covers a major part of the total land available in the state. Going by a survey conducted by the Forest Department of Assam Government, in the year 2003, the state possessed a total of 26, 781.91 sq km forest land. Bamboo and timber are the two prime forest products of Assam. Assam is regarded as an economically sufficient state of India. Pre-dominantly an agricultural state, Assam also generates revenue through its vast stretches of forest area. According to a recent estimate, by selling stone, thatch, bamboo, wood, sand and cane, the state of Assam generated total revenue of Rs. 1207.77 lakhs in the year 2001-02. The entire governance and maintenance of the forests of Assam are taken care by the Forest Department of the state and district councils. Since Assam receives the highest amount of rainfall throughout the year, hence the problem of devastating floods persist in the state permanently. Also, with growing concern over the rapidly diminishing forest contours, the Government of Assam has become conscious about the imminent effects of acute soil erosion.

In order to check soil erosion and to keep fertile qualities of the land intact, the forest Department of Assam is carrying various preventive measures like social forestry and afforestation mainly near the river banks.
Apart from being a prime source of livelihood for the local people, some parts forest in Assam are reserved for wildlife sanctuaries. Habitat of many rare species, these reserved forests offer an incredible scope to the tourists to have a glimpse of such exotic animals as Indian bison, one-horned rhino, sloth bear, hog deer, wild boar, capped langur, wild dog, Himalayan bear, wood duck and many others. In the recent past, a drastic decline of the wildlife population has been noticed in the forest areas of Assam. As the wildlife sanctuaries are one of the biggest revenue generators, hence special emphasis is also given to restore and improve the near extinct species through initiatives like wildlife management. Assam Forest, if preserved properly, can prove to be a vital factor in the exceptional growth of the state's economy.

Soil Conservation

Assam Soil Conservation is a crucial phase of the total physiological qualities of the land areas of the state. Comprising of several preservation measures, the Department of Soil Conservation in Assam strives to prevent deforestation, erosion and other similar damaging factors. Soil erosion is a common characteristic of the fields of Assam. Various surveys carried out by the Soil Conservation Department of Assam Government have indicated towards the fact that Jhum cultivation is the major reason for such wide-spread soil erosion in the state. Also, due to establishment of various industrial units, the fertile lands of Assam are losing the previous productive potential. As such, the total crop production in the state is facing drastic fall in the last couple of years.

Last Updated on 10 January 2011