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Jorhat District

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About the Jorhat district

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Brief About Jorhat District
“JORHAT” or “JOREHAUT” means two hats or mandis-“Macharhat” and “Chowkihat” which existed on the two different banks of the river Bhogdoi during the 18th Century, Jorhat was the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom. In the year 1794 the Ahom king Gaurinath shifted the capital from Sibsagar (erst-while ”Rangpur”) to Jorhat. This town was a flourishing and commercial metropolis but completely destroyed after a series of the Burmese invasions since 1817 till the arrival of the British force in the year 1824 under the Stewardship of David Scott and Captain Richard.

The British Rule, though, was not free from rebellions and revolutions, contributed to reemergence of this historical town. From the very first decade of the British rule, the great revolutionists who emerged were Gomdhar Konwar, Jeuram and Piyali, British system of administration, came into vouge in the year 1839 with an established Police Thana. During the great “Sepoy Mutiny” and Piyali Barua was sabotaged and these leader were hanged in public at this very place in 1858.

In 1885,a narrow gauge train services (Jorhat Provincial Railway)had come into operation and ultimately became instrumental in rapid growth of tea industry.

Though, the Civil Sub-division under Sibsagar district at Jorhat was formed in 1869,this great place was declared as administration head quarter of the undivided Sibsagar district in 1911 which comprised of the present Sibsagar, Jorhat and Golaghat and parts of Karbi-Anglong district with Major A. Playfare as the first Deputy Commissioner.

On the North of the district, the river Brahmaputra forms the largest riverine island of the world, MAJULI, spreading over 924.6 sq. Km. with a population of about 1.50 lakh being threatened by the constant erosion by this mighty, unstable river Majuli had been the principal place of pilgrimage of Vaishnavites since the ages of the Ahom  rules. There are several Satras resembling medieval monastries headed by Satradhikars preaching and teaching the Vaishnavism which was initiated by Sankardeva (1449-1568). Each Satra has unknown wealth of Vaishnav Scriptures and  exensive revenue free lands being cualativated by the “Bhakats” of the Satras.

At Present, the district spreading over 2851 sq. km. with a population of 8.7 lakhs(1991 census)and a density of 306 persons sq. km. The sex ratio is 913. The disrict has SC and ST population of 7.61% and 12.09% respectively  of the total population. However,the Majuli Sub-Division has a tribal population of 70% who are primarily “Misings”. Floods frequent the island every year without any exception.The mean annual railfall of the district is 2029 mm.

The healthy education and cultural life of Jorhat can be best judged from the fact that District has as many as five Daily News papers published from here. They are namely.

1.   The Janambhumi group and
2.   G.L. Publication groups

The Janambhumi Group of News papers-

The Saptahik Janambhumi, The Dainik Janambhumi and Eastern Clarion, The Spatahik Janambhumi celebrated its 50 years of circulation and in the same way the Dainik Janambhumi crossed its 25 years of existence.

The G.L. Publication publishes three News papers from Guwahati and Jorhat simultaneously. They are the Norh East Times(English) Amar Asom(Assamese)and The Purbanchal Prohori(Hindi)

There are about 135 Tea Gardens including out gardens and the predominant field crop is rice with per capita food grain production of 205 Kg per annum.

Jorhat is considered to be a good place for modern education. The Jorhat Govt. High School is the oldest school established in 1883 with special facilities for Science teaching. The Jagannath Barooah College is the oldest College in the district set up in 1930 and said to be first college and in upper Assam. Later, however many degree colleges and schools came up. The people of Jorhat can rightly be proud of being a part of its glorious heritage and culture.

The cultural environment which prevails in Jorhat is the result of untiring effort of people to preserve its culture. Jorhat has been able to produce many creative writers, historians, journalists etc. the only Assamese to win highest award of literature in India (GYANPITH) also happens to be from Joraht. Apart from it,Jorhat is the home of internationally reputed ideologist and educationist like KRISHNA KANTA HANDIQUE, former Vice Chancellor of Guwahati University.

Jorhat At A Glance :
Jorhat is located between the Brahmaputra on the north and Nagaland on the south at 26 degree 46 minute’s north latitude and 96 degree 16 minute’s longitude in the central part of Brahmaputra Valley.

Established as the new capital in the closing years of the 18th century by the decaying and declining Tunkhungia Ahom Dynasty. Jorhat as the name signifies, was just a couple(Jor) of marts (Hut). From these two parallel marts namely Chowkihut and Macharhut, which lay on the eastern and the western banks of the river Bhogdoi. Jorhat today has grown into a thriving cosmopolitan town with a strong sense of character and identity. It is the best laid out town in Upper Assam with broad roads, cutting each other at right angles. The variety of heterogeneity of the town population, specially its business community – comprising of Punjabis, Biharis, Marwaries, Bengalis and even odd South Indian is something commendable. Yet each person, irrespective of his place of origin, who has made Jorhat his home is staunchly loyal to his adopted home and fully identifies with it. Urban, polite and polished behavior is the distinguishing features of an average Jorhat man.

Earlier Jorhat was sub-division of undivided Sibsagar District. In 1983 Jorhat was curved ot of Sibsagar District. The present Jorhat District consists of three (3) Sub-divisions namely Jorhat, Majuli and Titabor. The district is devided into 6 revenue circles and 8 development blocks. The area of the district is 2852 Sq. Km. and population is 1,009,197 (as per 2001 census). The population comprises predominantly Hindus and Muslims. Jorhat is the first fully literate district in Assam.