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Northeast India

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Northeast India
Meitei: Bharatki Awang Nongpok[1]
North Eastern Region (NER)
Northeast india map.png
Coordinates: 26°N 91°E / 26°N 91°E / 26; 91Coordinates: 26°N 91°E / 26°N 91°E / 26; 91
Country India
States
Largest cityGuwahati
Major cities (2011 Census of India)[2]
Area
 • Total262,179 km2 (101,228 sq mi)
Population
 • Total45,772,188
 • Density173/km2 (450/sq mi)
Demonyms
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (Indian Standard Time)
Scheduled languages
State official languages

Northeast India (officially North Eastern Region, NER) is the easternmost region of India representing both a geographic and political administrative division of the country. It comprises eight statesArunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.[18]

The region shares an international border of 5,182 kilometres (3,220 mi) (about 99 percent of its total geographical boundary) with several neighbouring countries – 1,395 kilometres (867 mi) with Tibet in the north, 1,640 kilometres (1,020 mi) with Myanmar in the east, 1,596 kilometres (992 mi) with Bangladesh in the south-west, 97 kilometres (60 mi) with Nepal in the west, and 455 kilometres (283 mi) with Bhutan in the north-west.[19] It comprises an area of 262,230 square kilometres (101,250 sq mi), almost 8 percent of that of India.

The states of North Eastern Region are officially recognised under the North Eastern Council (NEC),[18] constituted in 1971 as the acting agency for the development of the north eastern states. Long after induction of NEC, Sikkim formed part of the North Eastern Region as the eighth state in 2002.[20][21] India's Look-East connectivity projects connect Northeast India to East Asia and ASEAN. Guwahati city in Assam is called the Gateway to the North East and is the largest metropolis in North East India.

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India

India

India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia. The nation's capital city is New Delhi.

Administrative divisions of India

Administrative divisions of India

The administrative divisions of India are subnational administrative units of India; they are composed of a nested hierarchy of administrative divisions.

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is a state in Northeastern India. It was formed from the erstwhile North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) region, and became a state on 20 February 1987. It borders the states of Assam and Nagaland to the south. It shares international borders with Bhutan in the west, Myanmar in the east, and a disputed border with China in the north at the McMahon Line. Itanagar is the state capital of Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh is the largest of the Seven Sister States of Northeast India by area. Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,129 km border with China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

Assam

Assam

Assam is a state in northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of 78,438 km2 (30,285 sq mi). The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to the north; Nagaland and Manipur to the east; Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Bangladesh to the south; and West Bengal to the west via the Siliguri Corridor, a 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide strip of land that connects the state to the rest of India. Assamese and Boro are the official languages of Assam, while Bengali is an additional official language in the Barak Valley.

Manipur

Manipur

Manipur is a state in Northeast India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. It is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west. It also borders two regions of Myanmar, Sagaing Region to the east and Chin State to the south. The state covers an area of 22,327 square kilometres (8,621 sq mi). Meitei language is the most widely spoken language and is also the official language of the state, spoken natively by the Meiteis and as a lingua franca by the Nagas, Kukis, Zomis and other smaller communities, who speak a variety of Sino-Tibetan languages. Manipur has been at the crossroads of Asian economic and cultural exchange for more than 2,500 years. It connects the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia to Southeast Asia, East Asia, Siberia, regions in the Arctic, Micronesia and Polynesia enabling migration of people, cultures and religions.

Meghalaya

Meghalaya

Meghalaya is a state in northeastern India. Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: (a) the United Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills and (b) the Garo Hills on 21 January 1972. Meghalaya was previously part of Assam, but on 21 January 1972, the districts of Khasi, Garo and Jaintia Hills became the new state of Meghalaya. The population of Meghalaya as of 2014 is estimated to be 3,211,474. Meghalaya covers an area of approximately 22,430 square kilometres, with a length-to-breadth ratio of about 3:1.

Mizoram

Mizoram

Mizoram is a state in Northeast India, with Aizawl as its seat of government and capital city. The name of the state is derived from "Mizo", the self-described name of the native inhabitants, and "Ram", which in the Mizo language means "land." Thus "Mizo-ram" means "land of the Mizos". Within India's northeast region, it is the southernmost landlocked state, sharing borders with three of the Seven Sister States, namely Tripura, Assam and Manipur. The state also shares a 722-kilometre (449 mi) border with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Myanmar

Myanmar

Myanmar, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is the largest country by area in Mainland Southeast Asia, and has a population of about 54 million as of 2017. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India to its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos and Thailand to its east and southeast, and the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal to its south and southwest. The country's capital city is Naypyidaw, and its largest city is Yangon (Rangoon).

Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 165 million people in an area of 148,460 square kilometres (57,320 sq mi). Bangladesh is among the most densely populated countries in the world, and shares land borders with India to the west, north, and east, and Myanmar to the southeast; to the south it has a coastline along the Bay of Bengal. It is narrowly separated from Bhutan and Nepal by the Siliguri Corridor; and from China by the Indian state of Sikkim in the north. Dhaka, the capital and largest city, is the nation's political, financial and cultural centre. Chittagong, the second-largest city, is the busiest port on the Bay of Bengal. The official language is Bengali, one of the easternmost branches of the Indo-European language family.

Bhutan

Bhutan

Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is situated in the Eastern Himalayas, between China in the north and India in the south. A mountainous country, Bhutan is known as "Druk Yul," or "Land of the Thunder Dragon". Nepal and Bangladesh are located near Bhutan but do not share a land border. The country has a population of over 727,145 and territory of 38,394 square kilometres (14,824 sq mi) and ranks 133rd in terms of land area and 160th in population. Bhutan is a Constitutional Democratic Monarchy with King as head of state and Prime Minister as head of government. Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism is the state religion and Je khenpo is the head of state religion.

ASEAN

ASEAN

ASEAN, officially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is a political and economic union of 10 member states in Southeast Asia, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration between its members and countries in the Asia-Pacific. The union has a total area of 4,522,518 km2 (1,746,154 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 668 million.

Guwahati

Guwahati

Guwahati is the biggest city of the Indian state of Assam and also the largest metropolis in northeastern India. Dispur, the capital of Assam, is in the circuit city region located within Guwahati and is the seat of the Government of Assam. A major riverine port city along with hills, and one of the fastest growing cities in India, Guwahati is situated on the south bank of the Brahmaputra. It is called the ''Gateway to North East India''.

History

Assam annexation to British India in 1838.
Assam annexation to British India in 1838.
Eastern Bengal and Assam in 1907
Eastern Bengal and Assam in 1907

The earliest settlers may have been Austroasiatic speakers from Southeast Asia, followed by Tibeto-Burman speakers from China, and by 500 BCE Indo-Aryan speakers from the Gangetic Plains as well as Kra–Dai speakers from southern Yunnan and Shan State.[22] Due to the biodiversity and crop diversity of the region, archaeological researchers believe that early settlers of Northeast India had domesticated several important plants.[23] Writers believe that the 100 BCE writings of Chinese explorer Zhang Qian indicate an early trade route via Northeast India.[24] The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mentions a people called Sêsatai in the region,[25] who produced malabathron, so prized in the old world.[26] Ptolemy's Geographia (2nd century CE) calls the region Kirrhadia, apparently after the Kirata population.[27]

In the early historical period (most of the first millennium CE), Kamarupa straddled most of present-day Northeast India, besides Bhutan and Sylhet in Bangladesh. Xuanzang, a travelling Chinese Buddhist monk, visited Kamarupa in the 7th century CE. He described the people as "short in stature and black-looking", whose speech differed a little from central India and who were of simple but violent disposition. He wrote that the people in Kamarupa knew of Sichuan, which lay to the kingdom's east beyond a treacherous mountain.[28]

The Kohima Stone Inscription erected by Meitei King Raja Gambhir Singh (Meitei: Chinglen Nongdrenkhomba), the Maharajah of Manipur Kingdom in 1833 CE as the testimony of Meitei Dominance in Nagaland.
The Kohima Stone Inscription erected by Meitei King Raja Gambhir Singh (Meitei: Chinglen Nongdrenkhomba), the Maharajah of Manipur Kingdom in 1833 CE as the testimony of Meitei Dominance in Nagaland.

The northeastern states were established during the British Raj of the 19th and early 20th centuries, when they became relatively isolated from traditional trading partners such as Bhutan and Myanmar.[29] Many of the peoples in present-day Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland converted to Christianity under the influence of British (Welsh) missionaries.

Formation of North Eastern states

In the early 19th century, both the Ahom and the Manipur kingdoms fell to a Burmese invasion. The ensuing First Anglo-Burmese War resulted in the entire region coming under British control. In the colonial period (1826–1947), North East India was made a part of Bengal Province from 1839 to 1873, after which Colonial Assam became its own province,[30] but which included Sylhet.

After Indian Independence from British Rule in 1947, the Northeastern region of British India consisted of Assam and the princely states of Tripura Kingdom and Manipur Kingdom. Subsequently, Nagaland in 1963, Meghalaya in 1972, Arunachal Pradesh in 1975 (capital changed to Itanagar) (formed on 20 February 1987) and Mizoram in 1987 were formed out of the large territory of Assam.[31] Manipur and Tripura remained Union Territories of India from 1956 until 1972, when they attained fully-fledged statehood. Sikkim was integrated as the eighth North Eastern Council state in 2002.[20]

The city of Shillong served as the capital of the Assam province created during British Rule. It remained the capital of undivided Assam until the formation of the state of Meghalaya in 1972.[32] The capital of Assam was shifted to Dispur, a part of Guwahati, and Shillong was designated as the capital of Meghalaya.

State Historic Name Capital(s) Statehood
Arunachal Pradesh North-East Frontier Agency Itanagar 1987 (earlier a Union Territory of India, constituted in 1971)[33]
Assam Kamarupa Shillong (till 1969), Dispur 1947
Manipur Kangleipak[34] Imphal 1971 (earlier a Union Territory of India, constituted in 1956)[33]
Meghalaya Khasi hills, Jaintia hills and Garo hills Shillong 1971[33]
Tripura Tipperah[35] Agartala 1971 (earlier a Union Territory of India, constituted in 1956)[33]
Mizoram Lushai hills Aizawl 1987 (earlier a Union Territory of India, constituted in 1971)[33][36]
Nagaland Naga Hills District Kohima 1963
Sikkim Sukhim Gangtok 1975

World War II

In 1944, the Japanese planned a daring attack on British India. Traveling through Burma, its forces were stopped at Kohima and Imphal by British and Indian troops. This marked the furthest western expansion of the Japanese Empire; its defeat in this area presaged Allied victory.

Sino-Indian War (1962)

Arunachal Pradesh, a state in the Northeastern tip of India, is claimed by China as South Tibet. Sino-Indian relations degraded, resulting in the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The cause of the escalation into war is still disputed by both Chinese and Indian sources. During the war in 1962, the PRC (China) captured much of the NEFA (North-East Frontier Agency) created by India in 1954. But on 21 November 1962, China declared a unilateral ceasefire, and withdrew its troops 20 kilometres (12 mi) behind the McMahon Line. It returned Indian prisoners of war in 1963.[37]

Seven Sister States

The Seven Sister States is a popular term for the contiguous states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura prior to inclusion of the state of Sikkim into the North Eastern Region of India. The sobriquet 'Land of the Seven Sisters' was coined to coincide with the inauguration of the new states in January 1972 by Jyoti Prasad Saikia,[38] a journalist in Tripura, in the course of a radio talk show. He later compiled a book on the interdependence and commonness of the Seven Sister States. It has been primarily because of this publication that the nickname has caught on.

Discover more about History related topics

History of Assam

History of Assam

The history of Assam is the history of a confluence of people from the east, west, south and the north; the confluence of the Austroasiatic, Tibeto-Burman (Sino-Tibetan), Tai and Indo-Aryan cultures. Although invaded over the centuries, it was never a vassal or a colony to an external power until the third Burmese invasion in 1821, and, subsequently, the British ingress into Assam in 1824 during the First Anglo-Burmese War.

History of Manipur

History of Manipur

The history of Manipur is reflected by archaeological research, mythology and written history.

History of Tripura

History of Tripura

The State of Tripura has a long history. The Twipra Kingdom at its peak included the whole eastern region of Bongal from the Brahmaputra River in the north and west, the Bay of Bengal in the south and Burma to the east during the 14th and 15th centuries AD.

People of Assam

People of Assam

The People of Assam inhabit a multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic and multi-religious society. They speak languages that belong to four main language groups: Tibeto-Burman, Indo-Aryan, Tai-Kadai, and Austroasiatic. The large number of ethnic and linguistic groups, the population composition, and the peopling process in the state has led to it being called an "India in miniature".

Austroasiatic languages

Austroasiatic languages

The Austroasiatic languages, , are a large language family in Mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia. These languages are scattered throughout parts of Thailand, Laos, India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Nepal, and southern China and are the majority languages of Vietnam and Cambodia. There are around 117 million speakers of Austroasiatic languages. Of these languages, only Vietnamese, Khmer, and Mon have a long-established recorded history. Only two have official status as modern national languages: Vietnamese in Vietnam and Khmer in Cambodia. The Mon language is a recognized indigenous language in Myanmar and Thailand. In Myanmar, the Wa language is the de facto official language of Wa State. Santali is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. The rest of the languages are spoken by minority groups and have no official status.

Indo-Aryan languages

Indo-Aryan languages

The Indo-Aryan languages are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages in the Indo-European language family that are spoken natively by the Indo-Aryan peoples. As of the early 21st century, they have more than 800 million speakers, primarily concentrated in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Maldives. Moreover, apart from the Indian subcontinent, large immigrant and expatriate Indo-Aryan–speaking communities live in Northwestern Europe, Western Asia, North America, the Caribbean, Southeast Africa, Polynesia and Australia, along with several million speakers of Romani languages primarily concentrated in Southeastern Europe. There are over 200 known Indo-Aryan languages.

Kra–Dai languages

Kra–Dai languages

The Kra–Dai languages are a language family in Mainland Southeast Asia, Southern China and Northeast India. All languages in the family are tonal languages, including Thai and Lao, the national languages of Thailand and Laos respectively. Around 93 million people speak Kra–Dai languages, 60% of whom speak Thai. Ethnologue lists 95 languages in the family, with 62 of these being in the Tai branch.

Shan State

Shan State

Shan State also known by the endonyms Shanland, Muang Tai, and Tailong, is a state of Myanmar. Shan State borders China (Yunnan) to the north, Laos to the east, and Thailand to the south, and five administrative divisions of Burma (Myanmar) in the west. The largest of the 14 administrative divisions by land area, Shan State covers 155,800 km2, almost a quarter of the total area of Myanmar. The state gets its name from Burmese name for the Tai peoples: "Shan people". The Tai (Shan) constitute the majority among several ethnic groups that inhabit the area. Shanland is largely rural, with only three cities of significant size: Lashio, Kengtung, and the capital, Taunggyi. Taunggyi is 150.7 km northeast of the nation's capital Naypyitaw.

Archaeology

Archaeology

Archaeology or archeology is the scientific study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts, sites, and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered both a social science and a branch of the humanities. It is usually considered an independent academic discipline, but may also be classified as part of anthropology, history or geography.

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea

The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, also known by its Latin name as the Periplus Maris Erythraei, is a Greco-Roman periplus written in Koine Greek that describes navigation and trading opportunities from Roman Egyptian ports like Berenice Troglodytica along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along Horn of Africa, the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, including the modern-day Sindh region of Pakistan and southwestern regions of India. The text has been ascribed to different dates between the first and third centuries, but a mid-first-century date is now the most commonly accepted. While the author is unknown, it is clearly a first-hand description by someone familiar with the area and is nearly unique in providing accurate insights into what the ancient Hellenic world knew about the lands around the Indian Ocean.

Ptolemy

Ptolemy

Claudius Ptolemy was a mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and music theorist, who wrote about a dozen scientific treatises, three of which were of importance to later Byzantine, Islamic, and Western European science. The first is the astronomical treatise now known as the Almagest, although it was originally entitled the Mathēmatikē Syntaxis or Mathematical Treatise, and later known as The Greatest Treatise. The second is the Geography, which is a thorough discussion on maps and the geographic knowledge of the Greco-Roman world. The third is the astrological treatise in which he attempted to adapt horoscopic astrology to the Aristotelian natural philosophy of his day. This is sometimes known as the Apotelesmatika but more commonly known as the Tetrábiblos, from the Koine Greek meaning "Four Books", or by its Latin equivalent Quadripartite.

Kirata

Kirata

The Kirāta is a generic term in Sanskrit literature for people who had territory in the mountains, particularly in the Himalayas and Northeast India and who are believed to have been Sino-Tibetan in origin. The meaning of 'Kirata' referred by scholars as people with the lion's character, or mountain dwellers.

Geography

Brahmaputra Valley and Eastern Himalaya in Northeast India
Brahmaputra Valley and Eastern Himalaya in Northeast India

The Northeast region can be physiographically categorised into the Eastern Himalaya, the Patkai and the Brahmaputra and the Barak valley plains. Northeast India (at the confluence of Indo-Malayan, Indo-Chinese, and Indian biogeographical realms) has a predominantly humid sub-tropical climate with hot, humid summers, severe monsoons, and mild winters. Along with the west coast of India, this region has some of the Indian subcontinent's last remaining rainforests, which support diverse flora and fauna and several crop species. Reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the region are estimated to constitute a fifth of India's total potential.

The region is covered by the mighty Brahmaputra-Barak river systems and their tributaries. Geographically, apart from the Brahmaputra, Barak and Imphal valleys and some flatlands in between the hills of Meghalaya and Tripura, the remaining two-thirds of the area is hilly terrain interspersed with valleys and plains; the altitude varies from almost sea-level to over 7,000 metres (23,000 ft) above MSL. The region's high rainfall, averaging around 10,000 millimetres (390 in) and above creates problems of the ecosystem, high seismic activity, and floods. The states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim have a montane climate with cold, snowy winters and mild summers.

Topography

Highest peaks

Mt. Kanchenjunga, Sikkim
Mt. Kanchenjunga, Sikkim

Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world rising to an altitude of 8,586 m (28,169 ft), lies in-between the state Sikkim and adjacent country Nepal.

Mountains and hills by state
Peak State Range/Region Height (m) Height (ft) Coordinates
Kangchenjunga (shared with Nepal) Sikkim Eastern Himalaya 8,586 28,169 27°42′11″N 88°08′53″E / 27.703°N 88.148°E / 27.703; 88.148
Kangto (shared with China) Arunachal Pradesh Eastern Himalaya 7,090 23,261 27°51′54″N 92°31′59″E / 27.865°N 92.533°E / 27.865; 92.533
Mount Saramati (shared with Myanmar) Nagaland Naga Hills section of the Purvanchal Range 3,841 12,602 25°44′31″N 95°01′59″E / 25.742°N 95.033°E / 25.742; 95.033
Mount Tempü (also known as Mount Iso) Manipur Naga Hills section of the Purvanchal Range 2,994 9,823 25°31′52″N 94°05′06″E / 25.531°N 94.085°E / 25.531; 94.085
Phawngpui Mizoram Lushai Hills section of the Purvanchal Range 2,165 7,103 22°37′55″N 93°02′20″E / 22.632°N 93.039°E / 22.632; 93.039
Shillong Peak Meghalaya Khasi Hills section of the Shillong Plateau 1,965 6,447 25°31′55″N 91°51′04″E / 25.532°N 91.851°E / 25.532; 91.851
Unnamed peak Assam Cachar Hills section of the Karbi Anglong Plateau 1,960 6,430 25°19′16″N 93°27′11″E / 25.321°N 93.453°E / 25.321; 93.453
Betlingchhip (also known as Sibrai-khung) Tripura Jampui Hills section of the Purvanchal Range 930 3,051 23°48′36″N 92°15′40″E / 23.810°N 92.261°E / 23.810; 92.261

Brahmaputra River Basin

Brahmaputra river basin
Brahmaputra river basin
Teesta River, Sikkim
Teesta River, Sikkim

Tributaries of the Brahmaputra River in Northeast India:

Climate

Northeast India has a subtropical climate that is influenced by its relief and influences from the southwest and northeast monsoons.[39][40] The Himalayas to the north, the Meghalaya plateau to the south and the hills of Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur to the east influences the climate.[41] Since monsoon winds originating from the Bay of Bengal move northeast, these mountains force the moist winds upwards, causing them to cool adiabatically and condense into clouds, releasing heavy precipitation on these slopes.[41] It is the rainiest region in the country, with many places receiving an average annual precipitation of 2,000 mm (79 in), which is mostly concentrated in summer during the monsoon season.[41] Cherrapunji, located on the Meghalaya plateau is one of the rainiest place in the world with an annual precipitation of 11,777 mm (463.7 in).[41] Temperatures are moderate in the Brahmaputra and Barak valley river plains which decreases with altitude in the hilly areas.[41] At the highest altitudes, there is permanent snow cover.[41] In general, the region has 3 seasons: Winter, Summer, and rainy season in which the rainy season coincides with the summer months much like the rest of India.[42] Winter is from early November until mid March while summer is from mid-April to mid-October.[41]

Under the Köppen climate classification, the region is divided into 3 broad types: A (tropical climates), C (warm temperate mesothermal climates), and D (snow microthermal climates).[43][44] The tropical climates are located in parts of Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, and the Cachar plains south of 25oN and are classified as tropical wet and dry (Aw).[43] Much of Assam, Nagaland, northern parts of Meghalaya and Manipur and parts of Arunachal Pradesh fall within the warm temperature mesothermal climates (type C) where the mean temperatures in coldest months range from −3 to 18 °C (27 to 64 °F).[44][45] The entire Brahmaputra valley has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa/Cwa) with hot summers.[44][45] At altitudes between 500 to 1,500 m (1,600 to 4,900 ft) located in the eastern hills of Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, a (Cfb/CWb) climate prevails with warm summers.[44][45] Locations above 1,500 m (4,900 ft) in Meghalaya, parts of Nagaland, and northern Arunachal Pradesh have a (Cfc/Cwc) climate with short and cool summers.[45] Finally, the extreme northern parts of Arunachal Pradesh are classified as humid continental climates with mean winter temperatures below −3 °C (27 °F).[44][46]

Temperature

Temperatures vary by altitude with the warmest places being in the Brahmaputra and Barak River plains and the coldest at the highest altitudes.[47] It is also influenced by proximity to the sea with the valleys and western areas being close to the sea, which moderates temperatures.[47] Generally, temperatures in the hilly and mountainous areas are lower than the plains which lie at a lower altitude.[48] Summer temperatures tend to be more uniform than winter temperatures due to high cloud cover and humidity.[49]

In the Brahmaputra and Barak valley river plains, mean winter temperatures vary between 16 and 17 °C (61 and 63 °F) while mean summer temperatures are around 28 °C (82 °F).[47] The highest summer temperatures occur in the West Tripura plain with Agartala, the capital of Tripura having mean maximum summer temperatures ranging between 33 and 35 °C (91 and 95 °F) in April.[50] The highest temperatures in summer occur before the arrival of monsoons and thus eastern areas have the highest temperatures in June and July where the monsoon arrives later than western areas.[50] In the Cachar Plain, located south of the Brahmaputra plain, temperatures are higher than the Brahmaputra plain although the temperature range is smaller owing to higher cloud cover and the monsoons that moderate night temperatures year round.[48][50]

In the mountainous areas of Arunachal Pradesh, the Himalayan ranges in the northern border with India and China experience the lowest temperatures with heavy snow during winter and temperatures that drop below freezing.[48] Areas with altitudes exceeding 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) receive snowfall during winters and have cool summers.[48] Below 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) above sea level, winter temperatures reach up to 15 °C (59 °F) during the day with nights dropping to zero while summers are cool, with a mean maximum of 25 °C (77 °F) and a mean minimum of 15 °C (59 °F).[48] In the hilly areas of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, winters are cold while summers are cool.[49]

The plains in Manipur has colder winter minimums than what is warranted by its elevation owing to being surrounded by hills on all sides.[51] This is due to temperature inversions during winter nights when cold air descends from the hills into the valleys below and its geographic location which prevents winds that bring hot temperatures and humidity from coming into the Manipur plain.[51] For example in Imphal, winter daytime temperatures hover around 21 °C (70 °F) but nighttime temperatures drop to 3 °C (37 °F).[51]

Rainfall

No part of Northeast India receives less than 1,000 mm (39 in) of rainfall a year.[42] Areas in the Brahmputra valley receive 2,000 mm (79 in) of rainfall a year while mountainous areas receive 2,000 to 3,000 mm (79 to 118 in) a year.[42] The southwest monsoon is responsible for bringing 90% of the annual rainfall to the region.[52] April to late October are the months where most of the rainfall in Northeast India occurs with June and July being the rainiest months.[52] In most parts of the region, the average date of onset of the monsoons is 1 June.[53] Southern areas are the first to receive the monsoon (May or June) with the Brahmaputra valley and the mountainous north receiving later (later May or June).[52] In the hilly parts of Mizoram, the closer proximity to the Bay of Bengal causes it to experience early monsoons with June being the wettest season.[52]

High-risk seismic zone

India Plate and other tectonic plates
India Plate and other tectonic plates

The North Eastern Region of India is a mega-earthquake prone zone caused by active fault planes beneath formed by the convergence of three tectonic plates viz. India Plate, Eurasian Plate and Burma Plate. Historically the region has suffered from two great earthquakes (M > 8.0) – 1897 Assam earthquake and 1950 Assam-Tibet earthquake – and about 20 large earthquakes (8.0 > M > 7.0) since 1897.[54][55] The 1950 Assam-Tibet earthquake is still the largest earthquake in India.

Discover more about Geography related topics

Brahmaputra Valley

Brahmaputra Valley

The Brahmaputra Valley is a region situated between hill ranges of the eastern and northeastern Himalayan range in Eastern India.

Physical geography

Physical geography

Physical geography is one of the three main branches of geography. Physical geography is the branch of natural science which deals with the processes and patterns in the natural environment such as the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere. This focus is in contrast with the branch of human geography, which focuses on the built environment, and technical geography, which focuses on using, studying, and creating tools to obtain,analyze, interpret, and understand spatial information. The three branches have significant overlap, however.

Patkai

Patkai

The Pat-kai (Pron:pʌtˌkaɪ) or Patkai Bum are a series of mountains in the Indo-Myanmar border falling in the north-eastern Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Upper Burma region of Myanmar. They were created by the same tectonic processes that created the Himalayas in the Mesozoic. In Tai-Ahom language, Pat means to cut and Kai means chicken.

Brahmaputra River

Brahmaputra River

The Brahmaputra, also known as the Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, the Siang/Dihang River in Arunachal Pradesh, Luit in Assamese, and Jamuna River in Bangladesh, is a trans-boundary river which flows through Tibet, India, and Bangladesh. It is the 9th largest river in the world by discharge, and the 15th longest.

Barak Valley

Barak Valley

The Barak Valley is located in the southern region of the Indian state of Assam. The region is named after the Barak river. The Barak valley consists of three administrative districts of Assam - namely Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi. The main, largest and capital city of the Valley is Silchar. Once North Cachar Hills was a part of the valley but In 1951 erstwhile Sub-Division was made a separate district and eventually curved out of Cachar. On 1 July 1983, Karimganj district was curved out from the eponymous subdivision of Cachar Valley. This was again repeated in 1989 with the creation of Hailakandi district.

Imphal

Imphal

Imphal is the capital city of the Indian state of Manipur. The metropolitan centre of the city contains the ruins of Kangla Palace, the royal seat of the former Kingdom of Manipur, surrounded by a moat. Spread over parts of the districts of Imphal West and Imphal East, the former contains the majority of the city's area and population. Imphal is part of the Smart Cities Mission under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Meghalaya

Meghalaya

Meghalaya is a state in northeastern India. Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: (a) the United Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills and (b) the Garo Hills on 21 January 1972. Meghalaya was previously part of Assam, but on 21 January 1972, the districts of Khasi, Garo and Jaintia Hills became the new state of Meghalaya. The population of Meghalaya as of 2014 is estimated to be 3,211,474. Meghalaya covers an area of approximately 22,430 square kilometres, with a length-to-breadth ratio of about 3:1.

Sea level

Sea level

Mean sea level is an average surface level of one or more among Earth's coastal bodies of water from which heights such as elevation may be measured. The global MSL is a type of vertical datum – a standardised geodetic datum – that is used, for example, as a chart datum in cartography and marine navigation, or, in aviation, as the standard sea level at which atmospheric pressure is measured to calibrate altitude and, consequently, aircraft flight levels. A common and relatively straightforward mean sea-level standard is instead the midpoint between a mean low and mean high tide at a particular location.

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is a state in Northeastern India. It was formed from the erstwhile North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) region, and became a state on 20 February 1987. It borders the states of Assam and Nagaland to the south. It shares international borders with Bhutan in the west, Myanmar in the east, and a disputed border with China in the north at the McMahon Line. Itanagar is the state capital of Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh is the largest of the Seven Sister States of Northeast India by area. Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,129 km border with China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

Gangtok

Gangtok

Gangtok is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest populated place of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The city's population of 100,000 are from different ethnicities of Sikkimese people such as Indian Gorkhas, Bhutia and Lepchas. Within the higher peaks of the Himalayas and with a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim's tourism industry.

Aizawl

Aizawl

Aizawl is the capital of the state of Mizoram in India. Aizawl was officially established on 25 February 1890. With a population of 293,416, it is the largest city in the state. It is also the centre of administration containing all the important government offices, state assembly house and civil secretariat. The population of Aizawl strongly reflects the different communities of the ethnic Mizo people.

Mizoram

Mizoram

Mizoram is a state in Northeast India, with Aizawl as its seat of government and capital city. The name of the state is derived from "Mizo", the self-described name of the native inhabitants, and "Ram", which in the Mizo language means "land." Thus "Mizo-ram" means "land of the Mizos". Within India's northeast region, it is the southernmost landlocked state, sharing borders with three of the Seven Sister States, namely Tripura, Assam and Manipur. The state also shares a 722-kilometre (449 mi) border with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Wildlife

Flora

WWF has identified the entire Eastern Himalayas as a priority Global 200 ecoregion. Conservation International has upscaled the Eastern Himalaya hotspot to include all the eight states of Northeast India, along with the neighbouring countries of Bhutan, southern China and Myanmar.

The region has been identified by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research as a center of rice germplasm. The National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), India, has highlighted the region as being rich in wild relatives of crop plants. It is the center of origin of citrus fruits. Two primitive variety of maize, Sikkim Primitive 1 and 2, have been reported from Sikkim (Dhawan, 1964). Although jhum cultivation, a traditional system of agriculture, is often cited as a reason for the loss of forest cover of the region, this primary agricultural economic activity practiced by local tribes supported the cultivation of 35 varieties of crops. The region is rich in medicinal plants and many other rare and endangered taxa. Its high endemism in both higher plants, vertebrates, and avian diversity has qualified it as a biodiversity hotspot.

The following figures highlight the biodiversity significance of the region:[56]

  • 51 forest types are found in the region, broadly classified into six major types – tropical moist deciduous forests, tropical semi-evergreen forests, tropical wet evergreen forests, subtropical forests, temperate forests, and alpine forests.
  • Out of the nine important vegetation types of India, six are found in the North Eastern Region.
  • These forests harbor 8,000 out of 15,000 species of flowering plants. In floral species richness, the highest diversity is reported from the states of Arunachal Pradesh (5000 species) and Sikkim (4500 species) amongst the North Eastern states.
  • According to the Indian Red Data Book, published by the Botanical Survey of India, 10 percent of the flowering plants in the country are endangered. Of the 1500 endangered floral species, 800 are reported from Northeast India.
  • Most of the North Eastern states have more than 60% of their area under forest cover, a minimum suggested coverage for the hill states in the country in order to protect from erosion.
  • Northeast India is a part of Indo-Burma hotspot. This hotspot is the second largest in the world, next only to the Mediterranean Basin, with an area 2,206,000 square kilometres (852,000 sq mi) among the 25 identified.

Fauna

The International Council for Bird Preservation, UK identified the Assam plains and the Eastern Himalaya as an Endemic Bird Area (EBA). The EBA has an area of 220,000 km2 following the Himalayan range in the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Myanmar and the Indian states of Sikkim, northern West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, southern Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram. Because of a southward occurrence of this mountain range in comparison to other Himalayan ranges, this region has a distinctly different climate, with warmer mean temperatures and fewer days with frost, and much higher rainfall. This has resulted in the occurrence of a rich array of restricted-range bird species. More than two critically endangered species, three endangered species, and 14 vulnerable species of birds are in this EBA. Stattersfield et al. (1998) identified 22 restricted range species, out of which 19 are confined to this region and the remaining three are present in other endemic and secondary areas. Eleven of the 22 restricted-range species found in this region are considered as threatened (Birdlife International 2001), a number greater than in any other EBA of India.

Northeast India is very rich in faunal diversity. There are as many as 15 species of non-human primates and most important of them are hoolock gibbon, stumptied macaque, pigtailed macaque, golden langur, hanuman langur and rhesus monkey. The most important and endangered species is one-horned rhinoceros. The forests of the region are also the habitats of elephant, royal Bengal tiger, leopard, golden cat, fishing cat, marbled cat, Bengal fox etc. the Gangetic dolphin in the Brahmaputra is also an endangered species. The other endangered species are otter, mugger crocodile, tortoise and some fishes.[57]

WWF has identified the following priority ecoregions in North-East India:

Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests
Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests
Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests
Northeast India–Myanmar pine forests

National Parks

National park Location State Area (km2) Importance Vegetation
Namdapha National Park Changlang district Arunachal Pradesh 1,985 Largest protected area in Eastern Himalaya Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, montane forests
Manas National Park Baksa district Assam 950 UNESCO World Heritage Site Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
Kaziranga National Park Golaghat and Nagaon districts Assam [58] 882 UNESCO World Heritage Site Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests, Terai–Duar savanna and grasslands
Khangchendzonga National Park North Sikkim district Sikkim 850 UNESCO Mixed World Heritage Site and highest altitude wildlife protected area in India Sub-tropical to Alpine, Krummholz (stunted forest)[59]
Mouling National Park Upper Siang, West Siang and East Siang districts Arunachal Pradesh 483 Tropical to Temperate forests
Dibru-Saikhowa National Park Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts Assam 350 Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests
Balphakram National Park South Garo Hills district Meghalaya 220 Sub-tropical evergreen deciduous forests
Intangki National Park Peren district Nagaland 202 Temperate evergreen forests
Nameri National Park Sonitpur district Assam 200 Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests
Murlen National Park Champhai district Mizoram 100 Montane sub-tropical semi-evergreen forest[60]
Orang National Park Darrang and Sonitpur Assam 79 Eastern seasonal swamp forests, Eastern Himalayan moist mixed deciduous forests, eastern wet alluvial grasslands[61]
Phawngpui National Park Lawngtlai district Mizoram 50 Temperate forests[62]
Nokrek National Park West Garo Hills district Meghalaya 48 Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
Sirohi National Park Ukhrul district Manipur 41 Mizoram–Manipur–Kachin rain forests
Keibul Lamjao National Park Bishnupur district Manipur 40 World's only floating National park Phumdi (floating marshes)
Bison (Rajbari) National Park South Tripura district Tripura 32 Tropical semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests
Clouded Leopard National Park Sepahijala district Tripura 5 Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests

State Symbols

Arunachal Pradesh Assam Manipur Meghalaya
Animal Mithun (Bos frontalis) Wild Bos gaurus Upparabeeranahalli.jpg Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) Rhinoceros unicornis, Kaziranga (2006).jpg Sangai (Rucervus eldii eldii) Cervus eldii4.jpg Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) Clouded leopard.jpg
Bird Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) Great-Hornbill.jpg White-winged duck (Asarcornis scutulata) White-winged.wood.duck.arp.jpg Mrs. Hume's pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) Syrmaticus humiae.jpg Hill myna (Gracula religiosa) Gracula religiosa Deothang Bhutan 1.jpg
Flower Foxtail orchid (Rhynchostylis retusa) Rhynchostylis retusa.JPG Foxtail orchid (Rhynchostylis retusa) Rhynchostylis retusa.JPG Siroi lily (Lilium mackliniae) Siroi Lily.jpg Lady's Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum insigne) Paphiopedilum insigne Orchi 01.jpg
Tree Hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus) Dipterocarpus macrocarpus Hollong young leafIMG 1920 05.jpg Hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus) Dipterocarpus macrocarpus Hollong young leafIMG 1920 05.jpg Uningthou (Phoebe hainesiana) Phoebe hainesiana north Bengal AJTJ.JPG Gamhar (Gmelina arborea) Kamari (Nepalese- कामरी) (3394494165).jpg
Mizoram Nagaland Sikkim Tripura
Animal Himalayan serow (Capricornis thar) Himalayan Serow Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary East Sikkim Sikkim India 13.02.2016.jpg Mithun (Bos frontalis) Wild Bos gaurus Upparabeeranahalli.jpg Red panda (Ailurus fulgens) RedPandaFullBody.JPG Phayre's leaf monkey (Trachypithecus phayrei) Phayre's Langur, Trachypithecus phayrei in Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (21134240148).jpg
Bird Mrs. Hume's pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) Syrmaticus humiae.jpg Blyth's tragopan (Tragopan blythii) Tragopan blythii01.jpg Blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) Blood Pheasant.jpg Green imperial pigeon (Ducula aenea) DuculaAenea.JPG
Flower Red Vanda (Renanthera imschootiana) Renanthera imschootiana 01.jpg Tree rhododendron (Rhododendron arboreum) Manaslu-Circuit Rhododendron.jpg Noble dendrobium (Dendrobium nobile) Dendrobium nobile - flower view 01.jpg Indian rose chestnut (Mesua ferrea) Flowers of Mesua ferrea Kaziranga TR AJTJ P1010329.JPG
Tree Indian rose chestnut (Mesua ferrea) MesuaFerrea IronWood.jpg Alder (Alnus nepalensis) Alnus nepalensis.JPG Rhododendron (Rhododendron niveum) Rhododendron niveum AJT Johnsingh P1020212.JPG Agarwood (Aquilaria agallocha)

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Khangchendzonga National Park

Khangchendzonga National Park

Khangchendzonga National Park, also Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve, is a national park and a biosphere reserve located in Sikkim, India. It was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in July 2016, becoming the first "Mixed Heritage" site of India. It was included in the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. The park is named after the mountain Kangchenjunga, which is the third-highest peak in the world at 8,586 metres (28,169 ft) tall. The total area of the park is 849.5 km2 (328.0 sq mi).

Himalayas

Himalayas

The Himalayas, or Himalaya, is a mountain range in Asia, separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has some of the planet's highest peaks, including the very highest, Mount Everest in Nepal. Over 100 peaks exceeding 7,200 m (23,600 ft) in elevation lie in the Himalayas. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia is 6,961 m (22,838 ft) tall.

Global 200

Global 200

The Global 200 is the list of ecoregions identified by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the global conservation organization, as priorities for conservation. According to WWF, an ecoregion is defined as a "relatively large unit of land or water containing a characteristic set of natural communities that share a large majority of their species dynamics, and environmental conditions". For example, based on their levels of endemism, Madagascar gets multiple listings, ancient Lake Baikal gets one, and the North American Great Lakes get none.

Ecoregion

Ecoregion

An ecoregion or ecozone is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than a biogeographic realm. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species. The biodiversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems that characterise an ecoregion tends to be distinct from that of other ecoregions. In theory, biodiversity or conservation ecoregions are relatively large areas of land or water where the probability of encountering different species and communities at any given point remains relatively constant, within an acceptable range of variation.

Conservation International

Conservation International

Conservation International (CI) is an American nonprofit environmental organization headquartered in Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia.

Bhutan

Bhutan

Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is situated in the Eastern Himalayas, between China in the north and India in the south. A mountainous country, Bhutan is known as "Druk Yul," or "Land of the Thunder Dragon". Nepal and Bangladesh are located near Bhutan but do not share a land border. The country has a population of over 727,145 and territory of 38,394 square kilometres (14,824 sq mi) and ranks 133rd in terms of land area and 160th in population. Bhutan is a Constitutional Democratic Monarchy with King as head of state and Prime Minister as head of government. Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism is the state religion and Je khenpo is the head of state religion.

China

China

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, slightly ahead of India. China spans the equivalent of five time zones and borders fourteen countries by land, the most of any country in the world, tied with Russia. China also has a narrow maritime boundary with the disputed Taiwan. Covering an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third largest country by total land area. The country consists of 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two Special Administrative Regions. The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and financial center is Shanghai.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research

Indian Council of Agricultural Research

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous body responsible for co-ordinating agricultural education and research in India. It reports to the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Ministry of Agriculture. The Union Minister of Agriculture serves as its president. It is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world.

Forest cover

Forest cover

Forest cover is the amount of forest that covers a particular area of land. It may be measured as relative or absolute. Around a third of the world's surface is covered with forest, with closed-canopy forest accounting for 4 - 5 billion hectares of land. Forests provide many ecosystem services that humans and animals cannot survive without, but anthropogenic actions and climate change are threatening global forest cover in potentially irreversible ways.

Endemism

Endemism

Endemism is the state of a species being found in a single defined geographic location, such as an island, state, nation, country or other defined zone; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. For example, the Cape sugarbird is found exclusively in southwestern South Africa and is therefore said to be endemic to that particular part of the world.

Bird

Bird

Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Aves, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton. Birds live worldwide and range in size from the 5.5 cm (2.2 in) bee hummingbird to the 2.8 m ostrich. There are about ten thousand living species, more than half of which are passerine, or "perching" birds. Birds have wings whose development varies according to species; the only known groups without wings are the extinct moa and elephant birds. Wings, which are modified forelimbs, gave birds the ability to fly, although further evolution has led to the loss of flight in some birds, including ratites, penguins, and diverse endemic island species. The digestive and respiratory systems of birds are also uniquely adapted for flight. Some bird species of aquatic environments, particularly seabirds and some waterbirds, have further evolved for swimming.

Biodiversity hotspot

Biodiversity hotspot

A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographic region with significant levels of biodiversity that is threatened by human habitation.

Demographics

The total population of Northeast India is 46 million with 68 percent of that living in Assam alone. Assam also has a higher population density of 397 persons per km2 than the national average of 382 persons per km2. The literacy rates in the states of the Northeastern region, except those in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, are higher than the national average of 74 percent. As per 2011 census, Meghalaya recorded the highest population growth of 27.8 percent among all the states of the region, higher than the national average at 17.64 percent; while Nagaland recorded the lowest in the entire country with a negative 0.5 percent.[63]

State Population Males Females Sex Ratio Literacy % Rural Population Urban Population Area (km2) Density (/km2)
Arunachal Pradesh 1,383,727 713,912 669,815 938 65.38 870,087 227,881 83,743 17
Assam 31,205,576 15,939,443 15,266,133 958 72.19 23,216,288 3,439,240 78,438 397
Manipur 2,570,390 1,290,171 1,280,219 992 79.21 1,590,820 575,968 22,327 122
Meghalaya 2,966,889 1,491,832 1,475,057 989 74.43 1,864,711 454,111 22,429 132
Mizoram 1,097,206 555,339 541,867 976 91.33 447,567 441,006 21,081 52
Nagaland 1,978,502 1,024,649 953,853 931 79.55 1,647,249 342,787 16,579 119
Sikkim 610,577 323,070 287,507 890 81.42 480,981 59,870 7,096 86
Tripura 3,673,917 2,087,059 2,086,858 960 91.58 2,639,134 1,534,783 10,486 350

Largest cities by population

According to 2011 Census of India, the largest cities in Northeast India are

Rank City Type State Population Rank City Type State Population
1 Guwahati City Assam 968,549 9 Jorhat UA Assam 153,889
2 Agartala City Tripura 622,613 10 Nagaon UA Assam 147,496
3 Imphal UA Manipur 414,288 11 Bongaigaon UA Assam 139,650
4 Dimapur City Nagaland 379,769 12 Tinsukia UA Assam 126,389
5 Shillong UA Meghalaya 354,325 13 Tezpur UA Assam 102,505
6 Aizawl City Mizoram 291,822 14 Kohima UA Nagaland 100,000
7 Silchar UA Assam 229,136 15 Gangtok City Sikkim 98,658
8 Dibrugarh UA Assam 154,296 16 Itanagar City Arunachal Pradesh 95,650

UA: Urban Agglomeration[64]

Languages

Northeast India constitutes a single linguistic region within the Indian national context, with about 220 languages in multiple language families (Indo-European, Sino-Tibetan, Kra–Dai, Austroasiatic, as well as some creole languages) that share a number of features that set them apart from most other areas of the Indian subcontinent (such as alveolar consonants rather than the more typical dental/retroflex distinction).[65][66] Assamese, an Indo-Aryan language spoken mostly in the Brahmaputra Valley, developed as a lingua franca for many speech communities. Assamese-based pidgin/creoles have developed in Nagaland (Nagamese) and Arunachal (Nefamese),[67] though Nefamese has been replaced by Hindi in recent times. The Austro-Asiatic family is represented by the Khasi, Jaintia and War languages of Meghalaya. A small number of Tai–Kadai languages (Ahom, Tai Phake, Khamti, etc.) are also spoken. Sino-Tibetan is represented by a number of languages that differ significantly from each other,[68] some of which are: Boro, Rabha, Karbi, Mising, Tiwa, Deori, Biate etc. (Assam); Garo, Hajong, Biate (Meghalaya) Ao, Angami, Sema, Lotha, Konyak etc. (Nagaland); Mizo, Hmar, Paite, etc. (Mizoram); Hrusso, Tanee, Nisi, Adi, Abor, Nocte, Apatani, Misimi etc. (Arunachal). Meitei is the official language in Manipur, the dominant language of the Imphal Valley; while "Naga" languages such as Poumai, Mao, Maram, Rongmei (Kabui) and Tangkul, and Kuki-Chin languages such as Thadou-Kuki, Mizo, Paite, Simte and Hmar predominate in individual hill areas of the state.[69]

Main languages of North East India[70][71]

  Assamese (33.24%)
  Bengali (26.20%)
  Hindi (5.45%)
  Manipuri (3.79%)
  Bodo (3.14%)
  Khasi (3.12%)
  Nepali (2.73%)
  Garo (2.49%)
  Kokborok (2.21%)
  Mizo (1.80%)
  Mishing (1.38%)
  Karbi (1.15%)
  Others (13.30%)

Among other Indo-Aryan languages, Sylheti language is spoken in South Assam in the Barak Valley, where Bengali is an official language. Chakma is also an Indo-Aryan language spoken in Mizoram. Besides the Sino-Tibetan Tripuri language, Bengali is a majority language in Tripura. Nepali, an Indo-Aryan language, is dominant in Sikkim, besides the Sino-Tibetan languages Limbu, Bhutia, Lepcha, Rai, Tamang, Sherpa, etc. Bengali was made the official language of Colonial Assam for about forty years from the 1830s.

Official languages

State Official Languages[72]
Arunachal Pradesh English
Assam Assamese, Bengali (in the Barak Valley), Bodo (in Bodoland)
Manipur Meiteilon
Meghalaya Khasi, Garo, English
Mizoram Mizo, English
Nagaland English[73]
Sikkim Nepali, English
Tripura Tripuri, Bengali, English[74]

Etymology of state names

Name of state Origin Literal meaning
Arunachal Pradesh Sanskrit Land of the rising sun
Assam Native word Name derived from the Ahom people[75]
Manipur Sanskrit Land abundant with jewels, adopted in the 18th century
Meghalaya Sanskrit Abode of the clouds, coined by Shiba P. Chatterjee
Mizoram Mizo language Land of the Mizo people; Ram – means land
Nagaland English Land of the Naga people
Sikkim Limbu language New House – Derived from the word "Sukhim", "Su" meaning new and "Khim" meaning house
Tripura Kokborok Sanskrit version of native names: Tipra, Tuipura, Twipra etc. It literally means Land near the Water – Derived from the word "TWIPRA", "Twi" meaning water and "Bupra" meaning near. As Tripura is slightly near the Bay of Bengal

Endangered languages

Given the diverse population in the region with only a few widely spoken ones recognised as the official languages by both the state and central governments, a large number of languages from the North Eastern Region of India have become vulnerable. Without proper teaching and preservation efforts, the already underdeveloped literature of the endangered languages are on the verge of extinction. Additionally, the younger generation are rapidly adopting the widely spoken languages to secure employment and livelihood.

Religions

Religion in Northeast India (2011)

  Hinduism (54.02%)
  Islam (25.05%)
  Christianity (17.24%)
  Buddhism (1.37%)
  Jainism (0.07%)
  Sikhism (0.07%)
  Other religions (1.97%)
  Not Stated (0.21%)
Religious population in North Eastern Region, according to 2011 Census of India[76]
State Hinduism Islam Christianity Buddhism Jainism Sikhism Other Religions Religion Not Stated
Arunachal Pradesh 401,876 27,045 418,732 162,815 771 3,287 362,553 6,648
Assam 19,180,759 10,679,345 1,165,867 54,993 25,949 20,672 27,118 50,873
Manipur 1,181,876 239,836 1,179,043 7,084 1,692 1,527 233,767 10,969
Meghalaya 342,078 130,399 2,213,027 9,864 627 3,045 258,271 9,578
Mizoram 30,136 14,832 956,331 93,411 376 286 808 1,026
Nagaland 173,054 48,963 1,739,651 6,759 2,655 1,890 3,214 2,316
Sikkim 352,662 9,867 60,522 167,216 314 1,868 16,300 1,828
Tripura 3,063,903 316,042 159,882 125,385 860 1,070 1,514 5,261
Total 24,726,344 11,466,329 7,893,055 627,527 33,244 33,645 903,545 88,499

Ethnic groups

Northeast India has over 220 ethnic groups and an equal number of dialects in which Bodo form the largest indigenous ethnic group.[77] The hills states in the region like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland are predominantly inhabited by tribal people with a degree of diversity even within the tribal groups. The region's population results from ancient and continuous flows of migrations from Tibet, Indo-Gangetic India, the Himalayas, present Bangladesh, and Myanmar.[78]

Major communities


Mizo girls in Mizo traditional dress
Mizo girls in Mizo traditional dress
Lahoo Dance of Meghalaya
Lahoo Dance of Meghalaya

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2011 Census of India

2011 Census of India

The 2011 Census of India or the 15th Indian Census was conducted in two phases, house listing and population enumeration. The House listing phase began on 1 April 2010 and involved the collection of information about all buildings. Information for National Population Register (NPR) was also collected in the first phase, which will be used to issue a 12-digit unique identification number to all registered Indian residents by Unique Identification Authority of India. The second population enumeration phase was conducted between 9 and 28 February 2011. Census has been conducted in India since 1872 and 2011 marks the first time biometric information was collected. According to the provisional reports released on 31 March 2011, the Indian population increased to 1.21 billion with a decadal growth of 17.70%. Adult literacy rate increased to 74.04% with a decadal growth of 9.21%. The motto of the census was 'Our Census, Our future'.

Guwahati

Guwahati

Guwahati is the biggest city of the Indian state of Assam and also the largest metropolis in northeastern India. Dispur, the capital of Assam, is in the circuit city region located within Guwahati and is the seat of the Government of Assam. A major riverine port city along with hills, and one of the fastest growing cities in India, Guwahati is situated on the south bank of the Brahmaputra. It is called the ''Gateway to North East India''.

Jorhat

Jorhat

Jorhat is one of the important cities and a growing urban centre in the state of Assam in India.

Agartala

Agartala

Agartala is the capital city of the Indian state of Tripura, and is one of the largest cities in northeast India. The city is governed by the Agartala Municipal Corporation. The city is the seat of the Government of Tripura. It is located on the banks of the Haora River, near the Bangladesh border, about 90 kilometres (55 mi) east of Bangladesh's capital Dhaka and about 2,499 km (1,522 mi) from the national capital New Delhi. Agartala is being developed under the Smart Cities Mission, a flagship scheme of the Government of India. Agartala is India's third international internet gateway after the ones in Mumbai and Chennai.

Imphal

Imphal

Imphal is the capital city of the Indian state of Manipur. The metropolitan centre of the city contains the ruins of Kangla Palace, the royal seat of the former Kingdom of Manipur, surrounded by a moat. Spread over parts of the districts of Imphal West and Imphal East, the former contains the majority of the city's area and population. Imphal is part of the Smart Cities Mission under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Bongaigaon

Bongaigaon

Bongaigaon is a major city in the Indian state of Assam. Its urban area spans across Bongaigaon and Chirang district. The city also serves as the gateway of the North-East Frontier Railway Zone with its New Bongaigaon Junction railway station, the second biggest railway station in North-East India. It also acts as the district headquarters of Bongaigaon district and commercial and industrial hub of the west part of the state of Assam. Bongaigaon is one of the most populated urban agglomerations in Assam, alongside Guwahati, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Silchar.

Dimapur

Dimapur

Dimapur is the largest city in the Indian state of Nagaland. As of 2011, the municipality had a population of 122,834. The city is the main gateway and commercial centre of Nagaland. Located near the border with Assam along the banks of the Dhansiri River. Its main railway station is the second busiest station in Northeast India.

Aizawl

Aizawl

Aizawl is the capital of the state of Mizoram in India. Aizawl was officially established on 25 February 1890. With a population of 293,416, it is the largest city in the state. It is also the centre of administration containing all the important government offices, state assembly house and civil secretariat. The population of Aizawl strongly reflects the different communities of the ethnic Mizo people.

Kohima

Kohima

Kohima ), is the capital of the Northeastern Indian state of Nagaland. With a resident population of almost 100,000, it is the second largest city in the state. Originally known as Kewhira, Kohima was founded in 1878 when the British Empire established its headquarters of the then Naga Hills District of Assam Province. It officially became the capital after the state of Nagaland was inaugurated in 1963. Kohima was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. The battle is often referred to as the Stalingrad of the East. In 2013, the British National Army Museum voted the Battle of Kohima to be Britain's Greatest Battle.

Gangtok

Gangtok

Gangtok is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest populated place of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the Gangtok District. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The city's population of 100,000 are from different ethnicities of Sikkimese people such as Indian Gorkhas, Bhutia and Lepchas. Within the higher peaks of the Himalayas and with a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim's tourism industry.

Dibrugarh

Dibrugarh

Dibrugarh is an industrial city in Upper Assam with sprawling tea gardens. It is located 435 kms East from the state capital of Dispur. It serves as the headquarters of Dibrugarh district in the state of Assam in India. Dibrugarh serves as the headquarters of the Sonowal Kachari Autonomous Council, which is the governing council of the Sonowal Kachari tribe.

Itanagar

Itanagar

Itanagar is the capital and largest town of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The seat of Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the seat of government of Arunachal Pradesh, and the seat of Gauhati High Court permanent bench at Naharlagun are all in Itanagar. Being the hub of all the major economic bases, Itanagar along with the adjacent town of Naharlagun comprising the administrative region of Itanagar Capital Complex Region stretching from the Itanagar Municipal limit at Chandranagar Town extended till Nirjuli Town, is a major junction of Cultural, economic, fashion, education and recreational activities.

Culture

Cuisines

State Staple diet Popular dishes Related article
Arunachal Pradesh Rice, fish, meat, leaf vegetables Thukpa, momo, apong (rice beer) Cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh
Assam Rice, fish, meat, leaf vegetable Assam tea, Pitha (rice cakes), Khar (alkali), Khar-Matidail, Ou-tenga-Maasor-Jul, Pura-Maas, Alu-Pitika, Pani-Tenga, Kharoli, Khorisa (bamboo shoot), Xukan Maasor Xukoti, Pointa-Bhaat, Tupula-Bhaat, Sunga-Sawul (rice cooked in bamboo), Kharikat Diya Maas, Kharikat Dia-Mangxo, Pati-Hanhor-Mangxo-Jul (duck stew), Lai-Xak-Gahori-Mangxo (pork with mustard greens), Kumol Sawul-Doi Jolpaan, Tamul (betel nut) – paan, rice beer (Judima, Rohi, Xaj Pani, Apong etc.) Assamese cuisine
Manipur Rice, fish, local vegetables Eromba, u-morok, singju, ngari (fermented fish), kangshoi Cuisine of Manipur
Meghalaya Rice, spiced meat, fish Khasi dishes – Thungtap, Dohjem, Thungrumbai, Jadoh, ki kpu, Garo dishes – kappa, brenga, so•tepa, wa•tepa, pura, minil, na•kam (dried fish), bamboo shoot Cuisine of Meghalaya
Mizoram Rice, fish, meat Bai, bekang (fermented soya beans), sa-um (fermented pork), sawhchiar
Nagaland Rice, meat, stewed or steamed vegetables fermented bamboo shoot, smoked pork and beef, axone, galho, bhut jolokia Naga cuisine
Sikkim Rice, meat, dairy products Thukpa, momo, sha Phaley, gundruk, sinki, sel roti Sikkimese cuisine
Tripura Mai (rice), Aa (fish), Muihan/Kakai (meat), Sikamuk/Kakamuk (edible snails), Sindai (oysters), local vegetables Maidul (rice ball), Awang bangwi, Awang sokrang, Chakhūi, Gudok, Mosodeng, Awandru, Mūkhūi, Hangjak, Yikjak, Wahan mosodeng, Muiya (bamboo shoot), Berma Bwtwi (fermented fish) Tripuri cuisine

Arts

The Manipuri Raas Leela dance (from Manipur) and the Sattriya (from Assam) have been included in the elite category of the "Classical Dances of India", as officially recognised by both the Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Ministry of Culture (India). Besides these, all tribes in Northeast India have their own folk dances associated with their religion and festivals. The tribal heritage in the region is rich with the practice of hunting, land cultivation and indigenous crafts. The rich culture is vibrant and visible with the traditional attires of each community.

All states in Northeast India share the handicrafts of bamboo and cane, wood carving, making traditional weapons and musical instruments, pottery and handloom weaving. Traditional tribal attires are made of thick fabrics primarily with cotton.[79] Assam silk is a famous industry in the region.

State Traditional Performing Arts Traditional Visual Arts Traditional Crafts
Arunachal Pradesh Wancho dances, Idu Mishmi dance, Digaru Mishmi Buiya dance, Khampti dance, Ponung dance, Sadinuktso[80] Cane and bamboo, cotton and wool weaving, wood carving, blacksmithy (hand tools, weapons, ornaments, dishes, sacred bells and smoking pipes)[80][81]
Assam Sattriya, Bagurumba, Bihu dance, Bhaona (For more see Music of Assam) Hastividyarnava (For more see Fine Arts of Assam) Cane and bamboo, bell metal and brass, silk, toy and mask making, pottery and terracotta, jewellery, musical instruments making, boat making, paints
Manipur Manipuri dance (Ras Lila), Kartal Cholom, Manjira Cholom, Khubak Eshei, Pung Cholom, Lai-Haraoba Cotton textile, bamboo crafts (hats, baskets), pottery[81][79]
Meghalaya Nongkrem, Shad suk, Behdienkhlam, Wangala, Lahoo dance[82][81] (For more see Music of Meghalaya) Making hand tools and weapons, musical instruments (drums), cane and bamboo work, weaving traditional attires, jewellery making (gold, coral, glass), wall engravings, wood carving[81][83]
Mizoram Cheraw, Khuallam, Chheih-Lam, Chai, Rallu-Lam, Sawlakia, Sarlamkai, Par-lam, Sakei Lu Lam[84] (For more see Music of Mizoram),Bizhu Dance Traditional hand tools, weapons and textile work, bamboo and cane handicrafts[85][81]
Nagaland Zeliang dance, war dance, Nruirolians (cock dance) (For more see Music of Nagaland) Cane and bamboo crafts, traditional hand tools, weapons and textile work, wood carving, pottery, ornaments for traditional attire, musical instruments (drum and trumpet)[81]
Sikkim Chu Faat dance, Lu Khangthamo, Gha To Kito, Rechungma, Maruni, Tamang Selo, Singhi Chaam, Yak Chaam, Khukuri dance, Rumtek Chaam (mask dance)[86][87][88] (See also Music of Sikkim) Thangka (showcasing Buddhist teachings on cotton canvas using vegetable dyes)[87] Handmade paper, carpet making, woollen textile, wood carving[87]
Tripura Tripuri dances, Goria dance, Jhum dance, Lebang dance, Mamita dance, Mosak sulmani dance, Hojagiri dance, Bizhu dance, Wangala, Hai-hak dance, Sangrai dance, Owa dance Rock curbings of different gods and goddesses Cane and bamboo, Traditional cotton textiles, weaving and handloom, moluwa /sitalpati(mat making), wood carving,[81] string and wind musical instruments

Music

Northeast is a hub of different genres of music. Each community has its own rich heritage of folk music. Talented musicians and singers are plentifully found in this part of the country. The Assamese singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika achieved national and international fame with his remarkable creations. Another famous singer from Assam, Pratima Barua Pandey is a well-known folk singer. Zubeen Garg, Papon, Anurag Saikia are some other notable singers, musicians from the state of Assam. Tangkhul Naga folk blue singer like Rewben Mashangva, who comes from Ukhrul, is an acclaimed Folk singer whose music is inspired by the like of Bob Dylan and Bob Marley. Another famous folk singing band from Nagaland popularly known as Tetseo Sisters is one to be noted for their original music genre. However, younger generation has started pursuing western music more and more nowadays. Northeast is witnessing immense rise of musical revolution in the 21st century.

Literature

Many of the Northeast Indian indigenous communities have an ancient heritage of folktales which tell the tale of their origin, rituals, beliefs and so on. These tales are transmitted from one generation to another in oral form. They are remarkable instances of tribal wisdom and imagination. However, Assam, Tripura and Manipur have some ancient written texts. These states were mentioned in the great Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Saptakanda Ramayana in Assamese by Madhava Kandali is considered the first translation of the Sanskrit Ramayana into a modern Indo-Aryan Language. Karbi Ramayana bears witness to the old heritage of written literature in Assam. Two writers from the Northeast, viz., Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya and Mamoni Raisom Goswami, have been awarded Jnanpith, the highest literary award in India.[89] Hence, Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya was the first Assamese writer and from the Northeast India to receive Jnanpith Award for his Assamese novel Mrityunjay(1979).[90] Mamoni Raisom Goswami was awarded the Jnanpith Award in the year 2000.[89] Nagen Saikia is the first writer from Assam and the Northeast India, to have been conferred the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship by the Sahitya Akademi.[91][92] The last quarter of the 20th century saw the rise of modern literature in the Northeast. Most of the writers, especially the tribal writers, are bilingual, that is, they write both in their mother-tongue and English. Some of the general features of this literature are—retrieval of folklore, celebration of folk culture, identity politics, reaction to the insurgency and counter-insurgency operations, depiction of natural beauty, changes meted out by time, etc. The major writers of Northeast Literature are--(from Assam) Lakshminath Bezbaroa, Homen Borgohain, Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya, Harekrishna Deka, Rongbong Terang, Nilmani Phukan, Indira Goswami, Hiren Bhattacharyya, Mitra Phukan, Jahnavi Barua, Dhruba Hazarika, Rita Chowdhury, D N Bezbarua, Nilim Kumar, Anupama Basumatary, Uddipana Goswami, Aruni Kashyap; (from Arunachal Pradesh) Mamang Dai; (from Manipur) Robin S Ngangom, Ratan Thiyam, Thangjam Ibopishak, Gambhini Devi, T Bijoykumar Singh; (from Meghalaya) Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih, Esther Syiem, Desmond Kharmawphlang, Paul Lyngdoh, Anjum Hassan; (from Mizoram) Mona Zote; (from Nagaland) Temsula Ao, Cherrie Chhangte, Easterine Kire; (from Sikkim) Sudha M Rai, Rajendra Bhandari (from Tripura) Chandrakanta Murasingh. Temsula Ao is the first writer from Northeast India to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award (2013) in the Indian English Literature category for her collection of short stories, Laburnum for My Head, and Padmashree (2007). Easterine Kire is the first English novelist hailed from Nagaland. She received The Hindu Literary Prize (2015) for her novel When the River Sleeps. Indira Goswami, alias Mamoni Roisom Goswami, is an acclaimed Assamese writer whose novels include Moth-Eaten Howda of the Tusker, Pages Stained with Blood, The Shadow of Kamakhya and The Blue-Necked God. Mamang Dai won the Sahitya Akademi Award (2017) for her novel The Black Hill.[93]

Festivals

Indigenous festivals in the northeast include the Ojiale festival of the Wancho people, Chhekar festival of the Sherdukpen people, Longte Yullo festival of Nishis, Solung festival of Adis, Losar festival of Monpas, Reh festival of Idu Mishmis and Dree festival of Apatani. Mamita Tripurabda(Tring festival), Buisu, Hangrai, Hojagiri, Kharchi and Garia festivals of Tripura, [94] In Manipur popular festivals include Ningol Chakouba and the Manipur boat racing festival or the Heikru Hidongba.

Discover more about Culture related topics

Indian cuisine

Indian cuisine

Indian cuisine consists of a variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to India. Given the diversity in soil, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits.

Thukpa

Thukpa

Thukpa is a Nepali and Tibetan noodle soup, which originated in the eastern part of Tibet. Amdo thukpa is a famous variant amongst the Indians, Tibetans and Nepalese. Thukpa can be prepared in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian variations; the most popular non-vegetarian variation includes chicken. There are numerous varieties of thukpa which includes:Thenthuk : Hand-pulled noodle Gyathuk : Chinese noodle Thuppa Thugpa : Hand-rolled pinched noodle Drethug

Momo (food)

Momo (food)

Momo are bite-size dumplings made with a spoonful of stuffing wrapped in dough. Momo are usually steamed, though they are sometimes fried or steam-fried. Meat or vegetables fillings becomes succulent as it produces an intensively flavored broth sealed inside the wrappers. Momo is an important dish for Tibetans and Nepalese, both in everyday cooking and for festivals. Variants of the dish developed later in Nepal after which it became popular among Asians.

Leaf vegetable

Leaf vegetable

Leaf vegetables, also called leafy greens, pot herbs, vegetable greens, or simply greens, are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender petioles and shoots. Leaf vegetables eaten raw in a salad can be called salad greens.

Assam tea

Assam tea

Assam tea is a black tea named after the region of its production, Assam, India. It is manufactured specifically from the plant Camellia sinensis var. assamica (Masters). The Assam tea plant is indigenous to Assam—initial efforts to plant the Chinese varieties in Assam soil did not succeed. Assam tea is now mostly grown at or near sea level and is known for its body, briskness, malty flavour, and strong, bright colour. Assam teas, or blends containing Assam, are often sold as "breakfast" teas. For instance, Irish breakfast tea, a maltier and stronger breakfast tea, consists of small-sized Assam tea leaves.

Pitha

Pitha

Pithas are a variety of food similar to pancakes, dumplings or fritters, originating from the Indian subcontinent, common in Bangladesh and India. Pitha can be sweet or savoury, and usually made from a dough or batter, which is then steamed, fried or griddled. Very few varieties are oven-baked or boiled, and most are unleavened and cooked on a stovetop. Some versions may have a filling, garnish, or sauce. Few may be set or shaped after cooking. They are typically eaten as a snack with chai, or as treats during special occasions.

Judima

Judima

Judima is a traditional ethnic rice wine associated with the Dimasa people of Assam. It has received a geographical indication tag in 2021. It is prepared from a starter kit, and is distinguished by the use of a wild herb local to Dima Hasao district called thembra. It is used ritualistically by the Dimasa people in events such as birth, marriage and death.

Assamese cuisine

Assamese cuisine

Assamese cuisine is the cuisine of the Indian state of Assam. It is a style of cooking that is a confluence of cooking habits of the hills that favour fermentation and drying as forms of preservation and those from the plains that provide extremely wide variety of fresh vegetables and greens, and an abundance of fish and meat. Both are centred on the main ingredient — rice. It is a mixture of different indigenous styles with considerable regional variations and some external influences. The traditional way of cooking and the cuisine of Assam is very similar to South-East Asian countries such as Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and others. The cuisine is characterized by very little use of spices, little cooking over fire, and strong flavours due mainly to the use of endemic exotic fruits and vegetables that are either fresh, dried or fermented. Fish is widely used, and birds like duck, pigeon, squab, etc. are very popular, which are often paired with a main vegetable or ingredient; beef used to be eaten before British colonialism, and some continue to do so. Preparations are rarely elaborate. The practice of bhuna, the gentle frying of spices before the addition of the main ingredients so common in Indian cooking, is absent in the cuisine of Assam. The preferred oil for cooking is the pungent mustard oil.

Eromba

Eromba

Eromba is an ethnic dish of the Meitei community of Manipur, India.

Singju

Singju

Singju is a dish from Manipur. It originated with the Meitei-culture but has been widely adopted by most of the ethnic communities of the state and in some neighbouring states of Northeast India. Often served as a spicy side dish, it is also a popular as an afternoon or evening snack.

Administration and political disputes

International borders management

Pan-states development authorities

States and sub-divisions

State Code Capital Districts Sub-division Type Number of Subdivisions
Arunachal Pradesh IN-AR Itanagar 20 Circle 149
Assam IN-AS Dispur 33 Sub-division 78
Manipur IN-MN Imphal 16 Sub-division 38
Meghalaya IN-ML Shillong 11 Community Development Block 39
Mizoram IN-MZ Aizawl 11 Community Development Block 22
Nagaland IN-NL Kohima 16 Circle 33
Sikkim IN-SK Gangtok 4 Sub-division 9
Tripura IN-TR Agartala 8 Sub-division 23
Autonomous Administrative Divisions in North Eastern States
State Autonomous Division Establishment
Assam Bodoland Territorial Area Districts February 2003
Dima Hasao district February 1970
Karbi Anglong district February 1970
Mising Autonomous Council 1995
Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council 1995
Manipur[95][96] Churachandpur Autonomous District Council 1971
Chandel Autonomous District Council 1971
Senapati Autonomous District Council 1971
Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council 1971
Tamenglong Autonomous District Council 1971
Ukhrul Autonomous District Council 1971
Meghalaya Garo Hills Autonomous District Council
Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council July 2012
Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council
Mizoram Chakma Autonomous District Council April 1972
Lai Autonomous District Council April 1972
Mara Autonomous District Council May 1971
Tripura Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council January 1982

Government

The northeastern states, having 3.8% of India's total population, are allotted 25 out of a total of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. This is 4.6% of the total number of seats.

State Chief Minister[97] Governor[98] High Court Chief Justice
Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu B. D. Mishra Guwahati High Court (Itanagar Bench) Ajai Lamba, Chief Justice
Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma Jagdish Mukhi Guwahati High Court Ajai Lamba, Chief Justice
Manipur Nongthombam Biren Singh La. Ganesan Manipur High Court Justice N. Kotiswar Singh
Meghalaya Conrad Sangma B. D. Mishra Meghalaya High Court Justice Dinesh Maheshwari
Mizoram Zoramthanga Kambhampati Hari Babu Guwahati High Court (Aizawl Bench) Shri Ajai Lamba, Chief Justice
Nagaland Neiphiu Rio Jagdish Mukhi Guwahati High Court (Kohima Bench) Ajai Lamba, Chief Justice
Sikkim Prem Singh Tamang Ganga Prasad Sikkim High Court Justice Satish K. Agnihotri
Tripura Manik Saha Satyadev Narayan Arya Tripura High Court Justice Tinlianthang Vaiphei

20th century separatist unrest

In 1947 Indian independence and partition resulted in the North East becoming a landlocked region. This exacerbated the isolation that has been recognized, but not studied. East Pakistan controlled access to the Indian Ocean.[99] The mountainous terrain has hampered the construction of road and railways connections in the region.

Several militant groups have formed an alliance to fight against the governments of India, Bhutan, and Myanmar, and now use the term "Western Southeast Asia" (WESEA) to refer to the region.[100] The separatist groups include the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak-Pro (PREPAK-Pro), Revolutionary People's Front (RPF) and United National Liberation Front (UNLF) of Manipur, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) of Meghalaya, Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO), which operates in Assam and North Bengal, National Democratic Front of Bodoland and ULFA of Assam, and the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT).[101]

Discover more about Administration and political disputes related topics

Indo-Tibetan Border Police

Indo-Tibetan Border Police

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is a border patrol organization of India deployed along its borders with Tibet Autonomous Region. It is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces, established in 1962 in the aftermath of the Sino-Indian War of 1962.

Bangladesh–India border

Bangladesh–India border

The Bangladesh–India border, known locally as the International Border (IB), is an international border running between Bangladesh and India that demarcates the eight divisions of Bangladesh and the Indian states.

Border Security Force

Border Security Force

The Border Security Force (BSF) is India's border guarding organisation on its border with Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) of India, and was raised in the wake of the 1965 war on 1 December 1965, "for ensuring the security of the borders of India and for matters connected there with".

India–Myanmar border

India–Myanmar border

The India–Myanmar border is the international border between India and Myanmar. The border is 1,643 kilometres (1,021 mi) in length and runs from the tripoint with China in the north to the tripoint with Bangladesh in the south.

Assam Rifles

Assam Rifles

The Assam Rifles (AR) is a central paramilitary force responsible for border security, counter-insurgency, and maintaining law and order in Northeast India. It guards the Indo-Myanmar border. The Assam rifles is the oldest paramilitary force of India and Its comes under the administration of the Ministry of Home Affairs, while its operational control is maintained by the Indian Army. Being a police force, its recruitment, perks, promotions, and retirement policies are governed by CAPF rules. Around 80 percent of its officers are deputed from the Indian Army and remaining from AR cadre. The AR is commanded by the Director General of the Assam Rifles who is appointed by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Indian Army

Indian Army

The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Army, and its professional head is the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who is a four-star general. Two officers have been conferred with the rank of field marshal, a five-star rank, which is a ceremonial position of great honour. The Indian Army was formed in 1895 alongside the long established presidency armies of the East India Company, which too were absorbed into it in 1903. The princely states had their own armies, which were merged into the national army after independence. The units and regiments of the Indian Army have diverse histories and have participated in several battles and campaigns around the world, earning many battle and theatre honours before and after Independence.

Bhutan–India border

Bhutan–India border

The Bhutan–India border is the open international border separating the Kingdom of Bhutan from the Republic of India. The border is 699 km long, and adjoins the Indian states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, and Sikkim.

India–Nepal relations

India–Nepal relations

India–Nepal relations are the bilateral relations between India and Nepal. Both countries initiated their relationship with the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship and accompanying secret letters that defined security relations between the two countries, and an agreement governing both bilateral trade and trade transiting Indian territory.

Administrative divisions of India

Administrative divisions of India

The administrative divisions of India are subnational administrative units of India; they are composed of a nested hierarchy of administrative divisions.

List of districts in India

List of districts in India

A district (zila) is an administrative division of an Indian state or territory. In some cases, districts are further subdivided into sub-divisions, and in others directly into tehsils or talukas. As of August 2022, there are a total of 766 districts, up from the 640 in the 2011 Census of India and the 593 recorded in the 2001 Census of India.

ISO 3166-2:IN

ISO 3166-2:IN

ISO 3166-2:IN is the entry for India in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which defines codes for the names of the principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1.

Itanagar

Itanagar

Itanagar is the capital and largest town of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The seat of Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the seat of government of Arunachal Pradesh, and the seat of Gauhati High Court permanent bench at Naharlagun are all in Itanagar. Being the hub of all the major economic bases, Itanagar along with the adjacent town of Naharlagun comprising the administrative region of Itanagar Capital Complex Region stretching from the Itanagar Municipal limit at Chandranagar Town extended till Nirjuli Town, is a major junction of Cultural, economic, fashion, education and recreational activities.

Economy

The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) is the deciding body under Government of India for socio-economic development in the region. The North Eastern Council under MDoNER serves as the regional governing body for Northeast India. The North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (NEDFi) is a Public Limited Company providing assistance to micro, small, medium and large enterprises within the northeastern region (NER). Other organizations under MDoNER include North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC), Sikkim Mining Corporation Limited (SMC) and North Eastern Handlooms and Handicrafts Development Corporation (NEHHDC).

Industries

Agriculture

The economy is agrarian. Little land is available for settled agriculture. Along with settled agriculture, jhum (slash-and-burn) cultivation is still practised by a few indigenous groups of people. The inaccessible terrain and internal disturbances has made rapid industrialisation difficult in the region.

Tourism

Living Root Bridges

Northeast India is also the home of many living root bridges. In Meghalaya, these can be found in the southern Khasi and Jaintia Hills.[102][103][104] They are still widespread in the region, though as a practice they are fading out, with many examples having been destroyed in floods or replaced by more standard structures in recent years.[105] Living root bridges have also been observed in the state of Nagaland, near the Indo-Myanmar border.[106]

Newspapers and Magazines

Northeast India has several newspapers in both English and regional languages. The largest circulated English daily in Assam is The Assam Tribune. In Meghalaya, The Shillong Times is the highest circulated newspaper. In Nagaland, Nagaland Post has the highest number of readers. G Plus is the only print and digital English weekly tabloid published from Guwahati. In Manipur, Imphal Free Press is a highly respected newspaper. In Arunachal Pradesh, The Arunachal Times is the highest circulated newspaper in Arunachal Pradesh.

Transportation

Air

Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Agartala airport (Tripura)
Maharaja Bir Bikram Manikya Agartala airport (Tripura)

States in the North Eastern Region are well connected by air-transport conducting regular flights to all major cities in the country. The states also own several small airstrips for military and private purposes which may be accessed using Pawan Hans helicopter services. The region currently has two international airports viz. Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Bir Tikendrajit International Airport Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport conducting flights to Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. While the airport in Sikkim is under-construction, Bagdogra Airport (IATA: IXB, ICAO: VEBD) remains the closest domestic airport to the state.

Public airports operational in Northeast India
State Airport City IATA Code
Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar Airport (Under construction) Itanagar
Assam Dibrugarh Airport Dibrugarh DIB
Jorhat Airport Jorhat JRH
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport Guwahati GAU
Lilabari Airport Lakhimpur IXI
Rupsi Airport Dhubri RUP
Silchar Airport Silchar IXS
Tezpur Airport Tezpur TEZ
Manipur Bir Tikendrajit International Airport Imphal IMF
Meghalaya Baljek Airport Tura VETU (ICAO)
Shillong Airport Shillong SHL
Mizoram Lengpui Airport Aizawl AJL
Nagaland Dimapur Airport Dimapur DMU
Sikkim Pakyong Airport Gangtok PYG
Tripura Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport Agartala IXA

Railway

Railway in Northeast India is delineated as Northeast Frontier Railway zone of Indian Railways. The regional network is underdeveloped. States of Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim will remain almost disconnected till March 2023 when the capital cities of Manipur Mizoram and-Nagaland are expected to get the rail links once the under construction rail projects are completed.[107]

Look East Policy

The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project will provide sea access to Northeastern states of India through Myanmar
The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project will provide sea access to Northeastern states of India through Myanmar

In the 21st century, there has been recognition among policymakers and economists of the region that the main stumbling block for economic development of the Northeastern region is the disadvantageous geographical location.[108] It was argued that globalisation propagates deterritorialisation and a borderless world which is often associated with economic integration. With 98 percent of its borders with China, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal, Northeast India appears to have a better scope for development in the era of globalisation.[109] As a result, a new policy developed among intellectuals and politicians that one direction the Northeastern region must be looking to as a new way of development lies with political integration with the rest of India and economic integration with the rest of Asia and Oceania, with North, East and Southeast Asia, Micronesia and Polynesia in particular, as the policy of economic integration with the rest of India did not yield much dividends. With the development of this new policy, the Government of India directed its Look East policy towards developing the Northeastern region. This policy is reflected in the Year End Review 2004 of the Ministry of External Affairs, which stated that: "India’s Look East Policy has now been given a new dimension by the UPA Government. India is now looking towards a partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN countries, both within BIMSTEC and the India-ASEAN Summit dialogue as integrally linked to economic and security interests, particularly for India’s East and North East region."[110]

Development and connectivity projects

The north-east (NE) region of India lags behind the rest of the country in several development indicators. Although infrastructure has developed over the years, the region has to go a long way to level up the national standard. The total road network of about 377 thousand km of NE contributes about 9.94 per cent of the total roads in the country. Road density in terms of road length per thousand square kilometers. area is very poor in hilly state of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Sikkim, while it is significantly high in Tripura and Assam. The road length per 100 km2 area in NE districts varies from as less as below 10 km (in Arunachal Pradesh) to more than 200 km (in Tripura). Other means of transport such as rail, air and water is insignificant in NE (except Assam); however, a few cities of these states having direct air connectivity in the region. The total railway network in the NE is 2,602 km (as on 2011), which is only about 4 per cent of the total rail network of the country. Constructions of roads build the road map for development and road is the only means of mass transport for the entire NE of India. Due to hilly terrain and varied altitudes, rail transport is mainly confined to Assam and water transport is almost non-existent.

India's road network has benefited greatly from the articulation of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP). The Ministry has formulated the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East (SARDP-NE) for the development/improvement of more than 10,000 km roads in the NE states. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has been paying special attention to the development of national highways in the region and has assigned 10 per cent of the total allocation of fund for the NE region.

Another major constraint of surface infrastructure projects in the NE states has to be linked up with parallel developments in the neighboring countries, particularly with Bangladesh. The restoration and extension of pre-partition land and river transit routes through Bangladesh is vital for transport infrastructure in NE states. Other international cooperation, such as, revival of Ledo road (Stilwell road) connecting Ledo in Assam to northern Myanmar and extended up to Kunming in south-eastern China, Kaladan Multimodal Transit Project and Trans-Asian Railways, could open up an eastern window for the land-locked NE states of India. Various regional initiatives, such as, the Bangladesh–China–India–Myanmar (BCIM) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway (IMTTH) project to link the markets of South and Southeast Asia, are in very initial stages.[111]

Discover more about Economy related topics

Government of India

Government of India

The Government of India, known as the Central Government but often simply as the Centre, is the national administrative authority of the Republic of India, a federal democracy located in South Asia, consisting of 28 union states and eight union territories. Under the Constitution, there are three primary branches of government: the legislative, the executive and the judiciary, whose powers are vested in a bicameral Parliament, President, aided by the Council of Ministers, and the Supreme Court respectively. Through judicial evolution, the Parliament has lost its sovereignty as its amendments to the Constitution are subject to judicial intervention. Judicial appointments in India are unique in that the executive or legislature have negligle say.

North Eastern Council

North Eastern Council

North Eastern Council (NEC) is a statutory advisory body constituted under the North Eastern Council Act 1971 and came into being on 7 November 1972 at Shillong. The eight States of Northeast India viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, are members of the council, with their respective Chief Ministers and Governors representing them. Sikkim was added to the council in the year 2002. The headquarters of the council is situated in Shillong and functions under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) of the Government of India.

Slash-and-burn

Slash-and-burn

Slash-and-burn agriculture is a farming method that involves the cutting and burning of plants in a forest or woodland to create a field called a swidden. The method begins by cutting down the trees and woody plants in an area. The downed vegetation, or "slash", is then left to dry, usually right before the rainiest part of the year. Then, the biomass is burned, resulting in a nutrient-rich layer of ash which makes the soil fertile, as well as temporarily eliminating weed and pest species. After about three to five years, the plot's productivity decreases due to depletion of nutrients along with weed and pest invasion, causing the farmers to abandon the field and move to a new area. The time it takes for a swidden to recover depends on the location and can be as little as five years to more than twenty years, after which the plot can be slashed and burned again, repeating the cycle. In Bangladesh and India, the practice is known as jhum or jhoom.

Assam tea

Assam tea

Assam tea is a black tea named after the region of its production, Assam, India. It is manufactured specifically from the plant Camellia sinensis var. assamica (Masters). The Assam tea plant is indigenous to Assam—initial efforts to plant the Chinese varieties in Assam soil did not succeed. Assam tea is now mostly grown at or near sea level and is known for its body, briskness, malty flavour, and strong, bright colour. Assam teas, or blends containing Assam, are often sold as "breakfast" teas. For instance, Irish breakfast tea, a maltier and stronger breakfast tea, consists of small-sized Assam tea leaves.

Darrang district

Darrang district

Darrang is an administrative district in the state of Assam in India. The district headquarters are located at Mangaldoi. The district occupies an area of 1585 km2.

Assam

Assam

Assam is a state in northeastern India, south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of 78,438 km2 (30,285 sq mi). The state is bordered by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh to the north; Nagaland and Manipur to the east; Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Bangladesh to the south; and West Bengal to the west via the Siliguri Corridor, a 22 kilometres (14 mi) wide strip of land that connects the state to the rest of India. Assamese and Boro are the official languages of Assam, while Bengali is an additional official language in the Barak Valley.

Manipur

Manipur

Manipur is a state in Northeast India, with the city of Imphal as its capital. It is bounded by the Indian states of Nagaland to the north, Mizoram to the south and Assam to the west. It also borders two regions of Myanmar, Sagaing Region to the east and Chin State to the south. The state covers an area of 22,327 square kilometres (8,621 sq mi). Meitei language is the most widely spoken language and is also the official language of the state, spoken natively by the Meiteis and as a lingua franca by the Nagas, Kukis, Zomis and other smaller communities, who speak a variety of Sino-Tibetan languages. Manipur has been at the crossroads of Asian economic and cultural exchange for more than 2,500 years. It connects the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia to Southeast Asia, East Asia, Siberia, regions in the Arctic, Micronesia and Polynesia enabling migration of people, cultures and religions.

Elaeis

Elaeis

Elaeis is a genus of palms containing two species, called oil palms. They are used in commercial agriculture in the production of palm oil. The African oil palm Elaeis guineensis is the principal source of palm oil. It is native to west and southwest Africa, occurring between Angola and Gambia. The American oil palm Elaeis oleifera is native to tropical Central and South America, and is used locally for oil production.

Mizoram

Mizoram

Mizoram is a state in Northeast India, with Aizawl as its seat of government and capital city. The name of the state is derived from "Mizo", the self-described name of the native inhabitants, and "Ram", which in the Mizo language means "land." Thus "Mizo-ram" means "land of the Mizos". Within India's northeast region, it is the southernmost landlocked state, sharing borders with three of the Seven Sister States, namely Tripura, Assam and Manipur. The state also shares a 722-kilometre (449 mi) border with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Nagaland

Nagaland

Nagaland is a landlocked state in the northeastern region of India. It is bordered by the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh to the north, Assam to the west, Manipur to the south and the Sagaing Region of Myanmar to the east. Its capital city is Kohima and its largest city is Dimapur. The state has an area of 16,579 square kilometres (6,401 sq mi) with a population of 1,980,602 as per the 2011 Census of India, making it one of the smallest states in India.

Tourism in India by state

Tourism in India by state

Tourism in India is economically important and ever growing. The World Travel & Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated ₹14.02 lakh crore (US$180 billion) or 9.6% of the nation's GDP in 2016 and supported 40.343 million jobs, 9.3% of its total employment. The sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6.8% to ₹28.49 lakh crore (US$360 billion) by 2027. Various states and union territories of India attract tourists from all over the world, mainly due to the cultural diversity.

Meghalaya

Meghalaya

Meghalaya is a state in northeastern India. Meghalaya was formed by carving out two districts from the state of Assam: (a) the United Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills and (b) the Garo Hills on 21 January 1972. Meghalaya was previously part of Assam, but on 21 January 1972, the districts of Khasi, Garo and Jaintia Hills became the new state of Meghalaya. The population of Meghalaya as of 2014 is estimated to be 3,211,474. Meghalaya covers an area of approximately 22,430 square kilometres, with a length-to-breadth ratio of about 3:1.

Source: "Northeast India", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_India.

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