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Map of Sonitpur district

Sonitpur (Assamese: শোণিতপুৰ) is an administrative district in the state of Assam in India. The district headquarters are located at Tezpur. As of 2011 it is the third most populous district of Assam (out of 27), after Nagaon and Dhubri.[1]


The name Tezpur is derived from the Sanskrit words 'Teza' (meaning blood) and 'Pura' (meaning town or city). Legend has it that the original name of this place was 'Sonitpur' ("sonit" in Sanskrit also means blood!) but when the battle between Krishna's army and Banasura's army fought for the rescue of Aniruddha (who was the grandson of Lord Krishna, according to legend) there was so much bloodshed that the whole place was stained in red. This led to the name of the place becoming Tezpur.It is the fifth largest city of Assam after Guwahati, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Silchar.


Sonitpur district was created in 1983 when it was split from Darrang.[2]


Sonitpur district occupies an area of 5,324 square kilometres (2,056 sq mi),[3] comparatively equivalent to Guadalcanal.[4]


According to the 2011 census Sonitpur district has a population of 1,925,975 ,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Lesotho[5] or the US state of West Virginia.[6] This gives it a ranking of 245th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 365 inhabitants per square kilometre (950 /sq mi) .[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 15.67 %.[1] Sonitpur has a sex ratio of 946 females for every 1000 males,[1] and a literacy rate of 69.96 %.[1]

Hindus 1,287,646, Muslims 268,078 (15.94%).


Notable personalities[]

Bishnu Rabha Smriti Udyan Tezpur is considered to be the cultural capital of Assamese culture. Being from the core Assamese cultural region, the town has produced many stalwarts such as Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Jyoti Prasad Agarwala (1903–51), Kalaguru Bishnu Prasad Rabha (1909–69), Phani Sarma (1909–70) and Ananda Chandra Agarwala (1874–1939). It is also the birth place of the former Speaker of the Indian Parliament (2004–2009), Somnath Chatterjee.

Kalaguru Bishnuprasad Rabha (1909–69): Bishnuprasad Rabha was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 31, 1909. His father Gopal Chandra Rabha was in the British Police and the family was financially sound. Bishnu Rabha spent his childhood in Dhaka and started his primary education in bengali medium there. After the primary schooling his family shifted permanatly to Tezpur, Assam. Bishnu Rabha started his high school education in Tezpur Government High School. From the same school he passed out in flying colors and went to Calcutta for higher education. He completed ISC exam successfully from St. Paul's Mission College and joined prestigious Ripon college in Calcutta for Bsc.

Bishnu Rabha was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi those in 1930. He actively participated in the freedom movement and this affected his education. He wrote many slogans and hoisted Indian tricolour falgs in many government buildings in Calcutta. This forced British police to issue non-bailable warrant against him. Bishnu Rabha fled from calcutta to Tezpur and started his activities from there. He led Assam in the freedom movement and parallelly expressing his in born artistic talents. He donated all his inherited 2500 bighas of land to the poor farmers.

On The Other Sides: Popularly known as Kala Guru ( Assamese: কলা গুৰু) he himself used to write his name as "BISHNU PRASAD RAVA". He was a multifaceted artist and revolutionary singer of Assam. A doyen of the Arts, from an early stage, he played an active role in the struggle for Indian independence. However, he never joined Indian National Congress. He believed - the Congress is a party of the bourgeoisie and so it's struggle against British imperialism is fraught with compromises. He came to be influenced by left wing ideas and came close to the Communist Party of India. However, when Germany attacked Soviet Union during second world war and the Indian communists decided to work with the British government, a section of the party favoured a different approach - to oppose British imperialism and Fascism simultaneously. So a split happened in the communist party and in 1945 he finally joined the Revolutionary Communist Party of India (RCPI]). In 1951, after the death of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, he became the president of the Assam branch of Indian Peoples' Theatre Association (IPTA), Comrade Rava was elected as a Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly from Tezpur for the term 1967-72 but untimely he passed away on the 20th June 1969.

Bishnu Rabha always worked for the upliftment of his own society. All his writings, songs, arts are just by product of that. The books wriiten by hime like His achievements like Axomiya Kristir Somu Abhax (An outline of the Assamese culture), Axomiya Kristi (The Assamese culture), and Mukti Deol (The temple of freedom) are reflections of his socialistic notions. His residence is still a cultural hub cosisting of a recording

Jyoti Prasad Agarwalla(1903–51): Known as 'Rupkonwar' (Prince of Beauty) to the Assamese, Agarwala's main artistic and political journey begins in the 1930s. He dedicated himself fully to the freedom movement. He was even jailed for 15 months and fined 500 rupees for his active involvement in the struggle for independence. Meanwhile he kept on working for the artistic and cultural upliftment of the Assamese society.

Jyoti Prasad Agarwala started writing since the age of 14 years only. At that time he wrote down the famous play 'Sonit-Konwari'. For next few years during his student days he wrote many short stories. Agarwala was focused on studying children psychology. He wrote many stories for children. Some other plays written by him are Rupalim, Karengar Ligiri, and Lobhita. Agarwala wrote more than 300 poems and set music to most of them. These songs collection is known as Jyoti Sangeet. It became a new genre of music itself in Assam in later days.

Agarwala is considered the father of Assamese film. He invested huge amount of time and his own money into it. He had a studio called 'Chitrban' set up at the Bholaguri tea estate in Tezpur in 1934. The film 'Joymati' was shot there and released in 1935, starring Phani Sarma (1909–70). In 1939 Agarwala made the second Assamese movie 'Indramalati'. He also built a cinema hall called 'Junaki' opened in Tezpur in 1937. Another contribution of Agarwala is the publication of the newspaper 'Axomiya' from 1944 and onwards. He also established an Assamese music school in Tezpur. The Assamese poet Chandra Kumar Agarwala was his uncle. While Agarwala was in the charge of Tamulbari tea estate of Dibrugarh, the same place where he was born, he suffered from cancer and died merely 48 years old on 17 June 1951. His death anniversary is calebrated as 'Jyoti Divas' in Assam on June 17 every year.

Flora and fauna[]

In 1998 Sonitpur district became home to Nameri National Park, which has an area of 200 km2 (77.2 sq mi).[7] It is also home to Orang National Park, which it shares with Darrang district. Orang was established in 1999 and has an area of 79 km2 (30.5 sq mi).[7]

Sonitpur is home to two wildlife sanctuaries: Burachapori and Sonai-Rupai.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  2. ^ Law, Gwillim (2011-09-25). "Districts of India". Statoids. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "Island Directory Tables: Islands by Land Area". United Nations Environment Program. 1998-02-18. Retrieved 2011-10-11. "Guadalcanal 5,353km2" 
  5. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Lesotho 1,924,886" 
  6. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. "West Virginia 1,852,994" 
  7. ^ a b c Indian Ministry of Forests and Environment. "Protected areas: Assam". Retrieved September 25, 2011. 

External links[]

Coordinates: 26°39′10.26″N 92°47′33.21″E / 26.65285, 92.7925583

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