Parts of this article (those related to districts of Assam) need to be updated.January 2019)(
Tea plantation in Sonitpur district
|• Total||2,076.70 km2 (801.82 sq mi)|
|Elevation||48−560 m (−1,789 ft)|
|• Density||930/km2 (2,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-AS|
The origin of the word is from Sanskrit, Sonit, meaning strong and pur means city. So, the name means strong city. The meaning is same for the district headquarters Tezpur.
Sonitpur district was created in 1983 when it was split from Darrang. Udalguri was also carved out for the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts. Sonitpur district has a long history starting with Kamrupa Mlechha rule, which divided into Baro-Bhuyan rule and Chutiya kingdom rule. The border between the two kingdoms was the Kameng/Jia Bhorali River. Later, the Ahoms occupied the region during the period 1505-10 AD under the rule of Dihingia raja.
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- Headquarters: Tezpur
- Number of Revenue Circles/Tehsils
- Number of Mouza: 26
- Number of Community Development(C.D.) Blocks: 17
- Number of Police Stations: 11
- No. of Anchalik Panchayats: 7
- Name of Gaon Panchayats: 158
- Number of Villages: 1615 (including 19 under BTAD)
- Number of Towns: 6
- Names of Towns: Tezpur, Dhekiajuli, Rangapara & Jamugurihat
- Number of Municipality Board: 2
- Number of Town Committees: 4
- Number of Police District: 2 (Sonitpur Police District & Biswanth Police District)
Sonitpur district lies on the plains between the foothills of the Himalayas and the valley of the Brahmaputra which forms its southern border. Sonitpur district has the second largest area of districts in Assam, after Karbi Anglong district, at 5,324 square kilometres (2,056 sq mi), comparable in size to the island of Guadalcanal. Other than the Brahmaputra, the major rivers in the district are its right tributaries and include the Jiabharali, Gabharu, Borgang and Buroi.
National protected areaEdit
Sonitpur District is home to several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. In 1998, Sonitpur district became home to Nameri National Park in the north, which has an area of 200 km2 (77.2 sq mi). It is also home to Orang National Park, which it shares with Darrang district. Orang National Park was established in 1999 and has an area of 79 km2 (30.5 sq mi).
Sonitpur is home to two wildlife sanctuaries: Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary and Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also home to the registered forests (RF) of Behali RF (140 km2), Naduar RF (69 km2), and Charduar RF (260 km2).
Sonitpur District falls in the Tropical Rainforest climate region, (Af ) in Koppen's climate classification and enjoys Hot & Wet type of climate. Summers are hot and humid; with an average temperature of 27 °C. Rainfall is heavy above 3,000 mm (9 ft) in wet months January to June which is both a boon and a bane for the people. A boon, for it, provides natural irrigation to the fields; and a bane, as it causes the rivers to overflow their banks and cause floods. All months have average precipitation of at least 60 mm and the average temperature of the cold month is above 18 °C. As anyone can expect, Tropical rainforest is the vegetation in and around the city.
Flora and faunaEdit
The forests of Sonitpur district are semi-evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests and bamboo forests, with hydrophytes in the wetlands. Species include: Aegle marmelos, Albizia procera, Alstonia scholaris, Arundo donax, Bambusa balcooa, Cynodon dactylon, Dipterocarpus macrocarpus, Duabanga grandiflora, Eichhornia crassipes, Mesua assamica, Melocanna baccifera, Mesua ferrea, Shorea assamica (mekai) and Shorea robusta.
The population of Sonitpur district is 1,924,110 as per 2011 Census. It is the third most populous district of Assam (out of 27), after Nagaon and Dhubri. The demography of Sonitpur district is not entirely homogenous as several linguistic, religious and ethnic communities and groups live in Sonitpur district.
According to the 2011 census Sonitpur district has a population of 1,925,975, roughly equal to the nation of Lesotho or the US state of West Virginia. This gives it a ranking of 245th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 365 inhabitants per square kilometre (950/sq mi) . Its population growth rate[failed verification] over the decade 2001-2011 was 15.67%. Sonitpur has a sex ratio of 946 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 69.96%.
Ethnic groups and languageEdit
According to the 2011 census, of 693,989 the population speaks Assamese, followed by Bengali at 306,564, Hindi at 333,258 and Bodo speakers at 161,447, Nepali is spoken by 135,525 people, while 15.26% of the population speak other minority languages.
There are around 500,000 people belonging to indigenous Assamese communities in Sonitpur. These are Assamese Brahmins, Koch Rajbongshis, Ahom, Karbi, Keot(Kaibarta), Mising, Nath Jogis, Bodo, Thengal Kachari, Chutia, Rabha, other indigenous Assamese communities. They are considered to be among the earliest inhabitants of the place, and the indigenous traditional Assamese culture of the place grew with them. They have become a minority in the district due to influx of immigrants like Bengalis (both Hindu and Muslim), Biharis, Marwaris etc.
The Nepali speaking Gorkha community with a population of over 350,000 (nearly one-fifth of the district's population), is fairly dominant in the central and southern part of the district, especially in the Biswanath Chariali, Gohpur, and Jamugurihat subdivisions. Sonitpur district boasts the largest and highest concentration of Nepali speakers in Assam. Nepali speaking people are considered to be immigrated into the district starting from the early 1850s as soldiers, cultivators, etc.
Adivasi community mainly composed of Munda, Santal, Kudumi Mahato, Kurukh, Gond, Ahir Gowala, Kharia, Bhumij, Porja, Saora and dozens of motley group of tribes forms a significant portion accounting for nearly one-third of the district's population or if taken as a whole the largest community in the district with over 600,000. Their ancestors were chiefly brought from the tribal-dominated region of Central India for the purpose of employing in the tea industry by British during the late 19th century. They are now spread all over the district. However, they are mostly concentrated in the surrounding regions of Dhekiajuli, Rangapara, Balipara, Jamugurihat, Biswanath chariali, Behali, Gohpur, Helem and northern parts of the district. They use Sadri, a dialect of Hindi as their first and primary language amongst themselves and Assamese as their second or third language. Almost 100,000 of them practices Christianity.
The immigrant Bengali speaking Hindus came from erstwhile undivided Bengal and Bangladesh, as officials and clerks of the British administration and the Tea Industry; and stayed back. Later, on account of the partition of India, Hindu people from Bangladesh coming as refugees added significantly to the community. Their primary language is Bengali most of them are also fluent in Assamese too. They are mostly urbanised having a sizeable population in towns of Rangapara, Tezpur, Dhekiajuli, Biswanath Chariali, and Balipara. The population of immigrant Bengali Hindus is over 100,000 in the district. There has a sizeable population of immigrant Bengali speaking Muslims living since colonial times in the district mainly in and around char areas of Brahmaputra river and surrounding areas of Dhekiajuli, Thelamara, and Tezpur (Napam). The population of the community is now around 300,000 in the district.
There are nearly 50,000 speakers of Hindi and it's dialect Bhojpuri living in the district who are primarily immigrated into the district from Hindi-speaking regions of India particularly Bihar and Rajasthan.
All the indigenous Assamese communities use indigenous traditional Assamese culture and are a part of the indigenous Assamese community.
The major religions of the populace of Sonitpur district are – Hindu and Muslim, As per 2011 census there are approximately 1,422,821 (73.83%) Hindus and 350,675 (18.18%) Muslims in the district. There are around 138,355 (7.19%) Christians in the district. Other small population following Buddhism (0.5%), Jainism and Sikhism is also present in the district.
The town has produced notable people, including:-
- Kamalakanta Bhattacharya, essayist and poe
- Ankushita Boro, boxer
- Jamuna Boro, boxer
- Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, playback singer, poet and film-maker
- Bishnu Prasad Rabha (1909–69), promoter of Assamese culture
- Phani Sarma (1909–70), theatre and film actor, playwright and director
- Partha Pratim Bora, Youth Leader, Politician and Advocate.
- Law, Gwillim (2011-09-25). "Districts of India". Statoids. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- Dutta, Joydev (2012), "Chapter 2. Study Area" (PDF), Assessment of soil and water quality in and around the small tea gardens of Gohpur and Biswanath Chariali sub divisions of Sonitpur district Assam India, thesis, Gauhati University, hdl:10603/116399
- Saikia, Bipul (2013), "Chapter 3. Study Area" (PDF), Taxonomic diversity, utilization and market potential of wild edible plants in Sonitpur District of Assam, thesis, North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), hdl:10603/45986
- Srivastava, Dayawanti et al. (ed.) (2010). "States and Union Territories: Assam: Government". India 2010: A Reference Annual (54th ed.). New Delhi, India: Additional Director General, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India), Government of India. p. 1116. ISBN 978-81-230-1617-7.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "Island Directory Tables: Islands by Land Area". United Nations Environment Program. 1998-02-18. Retrieved 2011-10-11.
- Sarma, Nayan (9 March 2013). "An Overview of the Brahmaputra River System". In Singh, Vijay P.; Sharma, Nayan; Ojha, C. Shekhar P. (eds.). The Brahmaputra Basin Water Resources. Dordrecht: Springer Verlag. pp. 72–87, page 83. ISBN 978-94-017-0540-0.
- Indian Ministry of Forests and Environment. "Protected areas: Assam". Archived from the original on August 23, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- Mazoomdaar, Jay (20 June 2011). "Where the Forests Have No Trees". Open.
- "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01.
- "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
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- "C-16 Population By Mother Tongue - Sonitpur". censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
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