Nagaon District - A Glimpse

The Central Assam District of Nagaon (spelled by the British as Nowgong) is one of the largest districts of Assam. It sprawls across almost four thousand square kilometers of fertile alluvial plains and thickly forested hills. Lakes and marshes dot the landscape of Nagaon. The mighty river Brahmaputra flows along the northern periphery of the district. Other major tributaries meandering through the district such as Kolong, Kapili and Jamuna drain into the Brahmaputra. Lying at a distance of 123 kilometers by road from Guwahati, Nagaon town constitutes a vital corridor linking the Upper Assam districts of Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Dibrugarh,Tinsukia and the North Assam districts of Sonitpur and N.Lakhimpur. The famous Kaziranga Game Sanctuary, home of the one-horned rhinoceros, stretches from the north-eastern parts of the district and spills into bordering Golaghat. The history of the district as an administrative unit can be firmly traced only from the time of the British annexation; Nagaon passed into British hands in 1826 and was declared a district in 1833. The headquarters of the district were established in Nagaon in 1839. At one time, a large chunk of the Naga Hills, the Mikir Hills and North Cachar Hills were part of the district. With the passage of time, they were sliced away to form separate tribal district with autonomous hill councils. Weather is wet and humid. The absence of a dry, hot summer and plentiful rainfall are the main characteristics. Winter stretches from December to February. It is followed by the pre-monsoon season of thunderstorms. The South-West Monsoon lasts from June to October. January the coldest month with temperatures varying from 10 degree Celsius to 24 degree Celsius. April and May are the warmest months with the mercury soaring to 35 degree Celsius at times. Nagaon is well connected by road, rail and river. The North -East Frontier railway has its Divisional headquarters in Lumding which is connected with all important centres in the district. The conversion of the meter gauge track to broad gauge from Guwahati to Lumding has eased the transportation problem of the region. While the Brahmaputra offers tremendous scope as a waterway, rivers like the Jamuna, Kolong and Kopili are frequently used for water transport. Dhing town on the Brahmaputra was a well known steamer ghat in days past. Even now, milk and agricultural products are transported from Dhing by boat. The road, rail and river network serve as the outlet for the fertile hinterland. Among the major agricultural products are rice, sugarcane, mustard, jute, coconuts, bananas and vegetables. Many rice and oil mills have come up over the years. The jute and sugar sector have made a mark. Many small scale industrial units have developed. Proper geographical exploration of the alluvial tracts may yield valuable oil-bearing tertiary formations. Among the developmental programmes already implemented are the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), the Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (JRY), the training of Rural Youth for self employment (TRYSEM), Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA), and being implemented are Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), Adult Education, National Watershed Development Programme for Rain fed Areas (NWDPRA), Oilseed Production Programme, the special Jute Development Programme and the Integrated Programme for Rice Development. One welfare organization of Nagaon that deserves special mention is the Sreemanta Sankara Mission set up in 1950. The Mission consists of an Eye Hospital, an Orphanage and a School for the blind and its activities are spread all over Assam. Among places of interest are Batadrava, birthplace of Srimanta Sankardeva, the outstanding vaishnava reformer of the sixteenth century. Dabaka, located 35 Kms away from Nagaon, is mentioned in the Allahabad inscription of Samudra Gupta and littered with ruins of ancient temples. Hojai renowned as Assams's granary, is famous for agar, an aromatic substance which is used in perfumes and is widely exported to Arab countries. The SOS village in Hojai, opened in the aftermath of the Nellie massacre in 1983, is a unique institution for orphaned children. Jugijan in southern Nagaon, boasts of the remnants of a fort, and temples decorated with bas-reliefs. Kaliabor, by the Kolong river, has been the scene of several critical battles of the Ahoms. The great peasant's uprising of 1861 took place at Phulaguri, where Lt. Singer, the Assistant Commissioner, lost his life in attempting to subdue the sentiments of an aggrieved peasantry.

History Of Nagaon

Nagaon, earlier spelt of Nowgong was carved out as a separate district administrative unit in 1832. Located in Central Assam, the eastern, western and southern segments of the newly organized district were once ruled by different small-time feudal kings or their agents. An extensive and undulating plain intersected by big and small hills and rivers- the geography of the sements determined who their masters ought to be. The residual effects of the rule of the Bara Bhuyans were imaginatively utilised and reorganised by Momai Tamuli Barphukana, an intrepid officer of the Ahom king Pratap Singha in the first half of the seventeenth century. This area, until then, was more of strategic than administrative concern. Newly organised village system-hence called "Nagaon", 'Na' means new. At the social level, a great majority of the people were the Vaishnavites. Sankardeva, the great saint of the Bhakti movement era was born at Bordowa, at a distance of fifteen kilometers from the district headquarters town. His life and work had been social exemplifiers and anyone can feel the long shadow of his influence even in the remotest part of the district. The thickly populated parts of the district were the chosen targets of violence and term during the Burmese rule. There was no leadership to organized resistance movement against the Burmese. The people heaved a sigh of relief when the British came down heavily on the Burmese and compelled them to withdraw from Assam. Following the treaty of Yandaboo in 1826, this central area of the province passed off silently into the hands of the British. It took a couple of years before the British finally settled on the present site on the bank of the Kollong River as the district headquarters. Earlier, they experimented from Puranigudam and Rangagora. The district headquarters was called Nagaon and gradually it emerged into a town. It becomes a municipality in 1893. Nagaon follows the pattern of any other district of the Lower Provinces east of the Ganga. It is basically a rural conglomerate of agricultural population. Conscious of its strategic location, the administration of the district was always entrusted to officers of extraordinary merit. A local peasant uprising at Phulaguri in 1861 against governments taxation policy was enough of an indication that the peasantry was not altogether a stolid and docile lot. The peasantry was also an active participant in the various stages of the national struggle for freedom. The national leaders, M.K Gandhi, Rajendra Prasad and Pandit Nehru were impressed by their spirit and enthusiasm. The entire credit of introduction of modern education in the district goes to the Christian Missionaries. Of them, the name of Miles Bronson, the American missionary, shines as brilliantly as ever. The apostle of the new age Anandaram Dhekia Phukan spent the best part of his life at Nagaon, His spiritual successor Gunabhiram Barua also worked in Nagaon for about two decades.

Geography of Nagaon District

Boundary of the district

North is bounded by Sonitpur district & the Brahmaputra river, south is bounded by West Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills, East is bounded by East Karbi Anglong and Golaghat district.

Area of the district : 4435.3 Sq.Km. Extension : 250-45' to 260 -45' North Latitude 920 -33' -6" East Hills Hatimura parbat : 186.5 M Barkandali : 853 M Kamakhya parbat : 244 M Average Altitude is : 60.6 M

Major rivers

The Brahmaputra, Kalong, Sonai, Nanoi, Jamuna, Kopili and Barpani.

Beels and lakes and marshy lands

There are several beels, marshy lands and swamps are there, these are in reality old abandone channels of Kalong and Kopili rivers of Nagaon district. These are Marikalong, Potakalong,/ Haribhanga, Jongalbalahu, Samoguri beel, Urigadang and Nawbhanga. These beels are major unused resources of the district. There are nearly more than two hundred numerous marshy land exist here which should be used for development of the area. The district looks like a broken dish north is up land South is also up land west is slop other half dish is in Marigaon district, Geomorphologic ally Morigaon and Nagaon makes a perfect Geomorphological area. The general slope of the district is towards the west from any place. East, North East and South East is hilly terrain.

Climate

The climate of this district is in general Monsoon type of climate. But there are some difference from the other districts of Assam. I t divides the province in to two halves climatically, from this district to western most districts Dhubri rainfall is in increasing rate, again from here to east ward up to Tinsukia rainfall is also in increasing rate. Here the climate is in extreme type. The pattern of rainfall is such that, South is dry North is rainy area, rainfall from south to north is 1000 mm per year to 2000 mm per year. Lanka area is in semi desertic Zone. Cold season from December to February. Probability of flood from June to October. Only April to May is per Monsoon. October to November is only Post Monsoon. Average rainfall is 1750 mm (last 50 years data base). Deforestation, El-Nino effect, speedy urbanization and global warming in general changing the rainfall pattern of the district. Now 12% Vegetation cover is remained in the district which should be minimum 33%.

Geology

Sandy new alluvium

Altitude

61m from mean sea level

Rainfall

1760 mm average annual

Temperature

Winter Max. 24.80 C Min. 11.20 C Summer Max. 32.90 C Min. 25.50 C Annual Average Max. 30.40 C Min. 19.80 C

Rivers&slopes

Major river is Kalong which divided the town in to two halves Haibargaon and Nagaon. It is comparable with Poe river of Italy which divided the town in two divide lines, these divide lines are Levees of the river Kalong. Haibargaon is slope down towards west and then south west to river Sonai and Nagaon is slope down towards south east and then south to the beels and then to Kalong near Bebejia.

Nagaon At a Glance

General Information Numbers
No. of LACs 11
Sub Divisions 3
Anchalik Parishads 18
Educational Blocks 11
Rural Blocks 10
Urban Blocks 1
Development Blocks 18
Wards 94
GPs 240
Clusters 251
Tea Gardens 27
Tea Garden Divisions 40
Habitations 6749

Population

Population As per 1991 Census As per 2001 Census As per 2011 Census
Total 18,93,171 2314624 2826006
SC 1,89,693 194809 215209
ST 69,848 88860 89394
Rural 16,87,449 20,44,174 24,57,906
Urban 2,05,722 2,70,455 3,68,100

Literacy

Literacy As per 1991 Census As per 2001 Census As per 2011 Census
Average 54.39 % 60.37 % 73.78%
Male 62.49 % 66.83 % 78.19%
Female 46.30 % 53.4 % 69.21%

District Educational Institutions:

General Information Numbers
Universities 0
Medical College 1 (Homoeopathic)
Engineering College 0
Colleges 20
Junior Colleges 32
Higher Secondary Schools 55
High Schools 141
Polytechnic 1
ITI 1
B.Ed Colleges 2
Law College 1
DIET 1
BTC 1
Normal School 1
Middle Schools 815
Primary Schools 2372
TG Managed School 31
ICDS Centre 21

Other Institutions:

General Information Numbers
Police Stations 1
Police Out Posts 21
Civil Hospital 1
30 Bedded Hospitals 7
State Dispensaries 21
Primary Health Centres 11
Community Health Centres 4
Health Sub-Centres 367