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Cachar district
—  District  —
View from an airplane
Bird's eye view of Silchar.
Cachar district's location in Assam
State Assam
Country India
Seat Silchar
 • Total 3,786 km2 (1,462 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,736,391
 • Density 460/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-AS-CA

Cachar (Bengali: কাছাড় Kachhaŗ) is an administrative district in the state of Assam in India.


The name "Cachar" has derived from the words 'kacha' & 'har'.The district headquarters are located at Silchar. The name Cachar traces its origin to the Kachari kingdom.


Cachar was a part of the greater Kachari kingdom which also included the adjoining Hailakandi and Karimganj districts.

Freedom Movement[]

The later history of Cachar remains incomplete without the mention of Kamini Kumar Chanda, Arun Kumar Chanda and Abdul Matlib Mazumdar. Kamini Kumar Chanda died well before the eve of independence, but his son Arun Chanda and Abdul Matlib Mazumdar continued to fight for the cause. While Chanda was instrumental in garnering support of the Bengali Hindua, Mazumdar was one of the prominent Muslim leaders of eastern India to oppose the partition of India on communal lines. Mazumdar along with Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (who later became the 5th President of India) became the most prominent Muslim opponents of the demand for a separate Muslim state of Pakistan, especially in the eastern part of the country. To counter the rising popularity of Muslim League, he successfully organised the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind movement in Assam. Jamiat was an ally of the Congress having a mass following among the nationalist Muslims. In the very crucial 1946 General Elections just on the eve of India’s independence, he wrested the Muslim majority Hailakandi seat from the hold of Muslim League. That victory virtually sealed the hopes and aspirations of the Muslim League to include southern Assam including Cachar in Pakistan. It may be mentioned here that in that election, the bulk of the Muslim nominees of the Indian National Congress including Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (5th President of India in later years) had lost to their Muslim League rivals miserably.

Assam's Surma Valley (now partly in Bangladesh) had Muslim-majority population. On the eve of partition, hectic activities intensified by the Muslim League as well Congress with the former having an edge. A referendum had been proposed for Sylhet District (now in Bangladesh). Mazumdar along with Basanta Kumar Das (then Home Minister of Assam) travelled throughout the valley organising the Congress and addressing meetings educating the masses about the outcome of partition on the basis of religion. On 20 February 1947, Moulvi Mazumdar inaugurated a convention – Assam Nationalist Muslim's Convention at Silchar. There after another big meeting was held at Silchar on 8 June 1947.[1] Both the meetings, which were attended by a large section of Muslims paid dividend. He was also among the few who were instrumental in retaining the Barak Valley region of Assam, especially Karimganj with India.[2][3] Mazumdar was the leader of the delegation that pleaded before the Radcliffe Commission that ensured that a part of Sylhet (now in Bangladesh) remains with India despite being Muslim-majority (present Karimganj district).[4][11]. Arun Kumar Chanda did not join Bordoloi cabinet in 1946 but preferred to do social work as a legislator and also to uplift the premier educational institution, G.C. College. Unfortunately soon he died leaving a huge vacuum of an able Bengali Hindu leader with a secular bent of mind.

The entire eastern India was swept by violence just after India's partition and independence on 15 August 1947, scores of Hindus fled the newly created East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) for India, and Muslims fled Assam for East Pakistan. A large number of people lost their lives owing to violence, which resurfaced with more ferocity in 1950. Mazumdar, the only member from the undivided Cachar in the cabinet, along with his cabinet and party colleagues took up responsibility for the safety of both Hindus and Muslims in Cachar, touring affected areas and arranging camps and rehabilitation for the refugees, organizing supplies and security.

In 1960s, a prominent figure in Cachar politics came in the form of Moinul Haque Choudhury, who was a cabinet minister in Assam from 1957 to 1966. In 1971, he became the Industry minister of India under the Prime Ministership of late Indira Gandhi. Late Arun Kr. Chanda's wife Jyotsna Chanda also represented Silchar in the parliament.

1 July 1983 saw the separation of Karimganj district from Cachar.[5] This was repeated in 1989 with Hailakandi district.[5]


Cachar district occupies an area of 3,786 square kilometres (1,462 sq mi),[6] comparatively equivalent to South Georgia.[7] The Barak is the main river of the district and apart from that there are numerous small rivers which flow from Dima Hasao district, Manipur or Mizoram. The district is mostly made up of plains,but there are a number of hillocks spread throughout the district.Cachar receives an average annual rainfall of more than 3,000 mm. The climate is Tropical wet with Hot and wet summers and cool winters.


Silchar is one of the most important business centres of Assam.

In 2006 the Indian government named Cachar one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[8] It is one of the eleven districts in Assam currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).[8]


There are seven Assam Legislative Assembly constituencies in this district: Silchar, Sonai, Dholai, Udharbond, Lakhipur, Barkhola, and Katigorah.[9] Dholai is designated for scheduled castes.[9] The seven constituencies make up the Silchar Lok Sabha constituency.[10]


View of a runway.

Silchar Airport

Silchar is one of the 6 cities of Assam to have an airport.


According to the 2011 census Cachar district has a population of 1,736,319,[11] roughly equal to the nation of The Gambia[12] or the US state of Nebraska.[13] This gives it a ranking of 278th in India (out of a total of 640).[11] The district has a population density of 459 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,190 /sq mi) .[11] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 20.17 %.[11] Cachar has a sex ratio of 958 females for every 1000 males,[11] and a literacy rate of 80.36 %.[11]

  • Main Religions are Hindus 886,761, Muslims 522,051 (36.13%), Christians 31,306

Bengali has a status of Official Language in this district, majority of the people of the district primarily speak Bengali and Sylheti, a distinct Bengali-dialect. Apart from Bengali, there are minority communities like Manipuri, Dimasa and Rongmei-Nagas living in the district. There are also few Mizo, Kuki and Khasi people who form microscopic minority.

Flora and fauna[]

Gibbon in a tree.

Hoolock gibbon

The vegetation is mostly Tropical evergreen and there are large tracts of Rainforests in the northern and southern parts of the district, which are home to Tiger, Asian elephants, hoolock gibbon, Gaur etc.The forests of Cachar were once rich in wildlife but now vanishing due to human onslaught. Rare species found are Hoolock gibbon, Phayre's leaf monkey, Pig-tailed macaque, Stump-tailed macaque, Masked Finfoot, White-winged Wood Duck, etc., have been recorded.The Asian elephant is already extinct.[14][15] The southern part was also recommended as 'Dhaleswari' wildlife sanctuary.[16][17] Barail is the only wildlife sanctuary of the district as well as Barak valley region. It was initiated by noted naturalist Dr Anwaruddin Choudhury in early 1980s.[18] This sanctuary was ultimately notified in 2004.[19]


NIT Silchar is one of best engineering colleges in India.


  1. ^ Bhattacharjee, J. B. (1977). Cachar under British Rule in North East India. Radiant Publishers, New Delhi.
  2. ^ Barua, D. C. (1990). Moulvi Matlib Mazumdar- as I knew him. Abdul Matlib Mazumdar – birth centenary tributes, pp. 8–9.
  3. ^ Purkayashta, M. (1990). Tyagi jananeta Abdul Matlib Mazumdar. The Prantiya Samachar (in Bengali). Silchar, India.
  4. ^ Roy, S. K. (1990). Jananeta Abdul Matlib Mazumdar (in Bengali). Abdul Matlib Mazumdar – birth centenary tributes, pp. 24–27.
  5. ^ a b Law, Gwillim (2011-09-25). "Districts of India". Statoids. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  6. ^ Srivastava, Dayawanti et al. (ed.) (2010). "States and Union Territories: Assam: Government". India 2010: A Reference Annual (54th ed.). New Delhi, India: Additional Director General, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India), Government of India. pp. 1116. ISBN 978-81-230-1617-7. 
  7. ^ "Island Directory Tables: Islands by Land Area". United Nations Environment Program. 1998-02-18. Retrieved 2011-10-11. "South Georgia 3,718" 
  8. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (September 8, 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme". National Institute of Rural Development. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "List of Assembly Constituencies showing their Revenue & Election District wise break - up". Chief Electoral Officer, Assam website. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "List of Assembly Constituencies showing their Parliamentary Constituencies wise break - up". Chief Electoral Officer, Assam website. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  12. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Gambia, The 1,797,860 July 2011 est." 
  13. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. "Nebraska 1,826,341" 
  14. ^ Choudhury, A.U. (1999). Status and Conservation of the Asian elephant Elephas maximus in north-eastern India. Mammal Review 29(3): 141-173.
  15. ^ Choudhury, A.U. (2004). Vanishing habitat threatens Phayre’s leaf monkey. The Rhino Found. NE India Newsletter 6:32-33.
  16. ^ Choudhury, A.U. (1983). Plea for a new wildlife refuge in eastern India. Tigerpaper 10(4):12-15.
  17. ^ Choudhury, A.U. (1983). Plea for a new wildlife sanctuary in Assam. WWF - India Newsletter 4(4):15.
  18. ^ Choudhury, A.U. (1989). Campaign for wildlife protection:national park in the Barails. WWF-Quarterly No. 69,10(2): 4-5.
  19. ^ Choudhury, A.U. (2005). Amchang, Barail and Dihing-Patkai – Assam’s new wildlife sanctuaries. Oryx 39(2): 124-125.

External links[]

Coordinates: 25°05′N 92°55′E / 25.083, 92.917

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