silchar Travel guide

Connectivity

Silchar is well connected by road, rail and air to the rest of the country.

Silchar is connected through meter gauge rail network with Lumding and Agartala and this is currently being updated to broad gauge lines. The railways station is located at Tarapur, Silchar.

There are regular bus services connecting Silchar with Guwahati, Shillong, Aizawl, Agartala and other places.

The airport is located at Kumbhirgram, about 22 km from Silchar and there are regular flights connecting Silchar with Kolkata, Guwahati, Agartala, Imphal & Aizawl. The airport is being mordernised and is considered as the second busiest in Assam in terms of passenger foot-fall and cargo, after Guwahati airport.

Silchar is the headquarters of Cachar district in the state of Assam in India. It is the economic gateway to the state of Mizoram and part of Manipur. The town of Silchar has tremendous commercial importance and is the second largest in the state of Assam. It consequently, witnesses the settlement of a sizeable population of traders from distant parts of India.

Being a very peaceful place in the otherwise disturbed North-East earned it the bon mot of "Island of Peace" from India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Approximately 90% residents of Silchar are Bengali (Sylheti), the rest being Marwaris,Bishnupriya Manipuris ,Manipuri-Meiteis and some tribal groups like Mizos and Nagas. Silchar is situated by the banks of the Barak River in what is popularly known as Barak Valley. Rice is the staple cereal.Over the past few years, the city is constantly witnessing a huge influx of people from nearby Bangladesh due to city's increasing future prospects and other developments in the field of education, medical facilities and the more recently booming real estate market and other commercial businesses, making the city quite an overcrowded one. It has now the second highest population in the state, although the difference with the highest populated city i.e., Guwahati, the capital of Assam, is quite huge.


Historical background
Early history

The Cachar district was once a part of the great Manipuri empire when Chandrkirti Maharaja defeated King Gobind of Cachari kingdom in early 17th century.One can still find a temple dedicated to Radha Krishna of (Vaisnavite) stream of Hinduism which was constructed in 17th century.Folklore is that the wood used for crafting the idol of the temple is from the same Jackfruit tree from which the Krishna idol of royal temple of manipur was crafted.After the defeat of Manipuri king at the hands of British Cachar came under the control of british and they brought with them the Bengali munshis and the tea garden workers with them from Bihar of central India.Who are settled in silchar and have become a part of the local Hoi-Polloi. Although the immigrants instead of being grateful to the original inhabitants for hosting them in their times of crisis have been aggressively trying to colour the culture and history of the place in their own way .Nihar Ranjan Roy, author of Bangalir Itihash says, "South Assam or Barak Valley is the extension of greater Meghna Valley of Bengal' in all the way from culture to geography.Which is pretty evident of how illegal emmigration of Bangladeshis has affected the valley.the original population is reduced to a minority now especially in Cachar district.
[edit] Cachar district records

"The management of the affairs of the district was entrusted after annexation, to Lieutenant Fisher, an officer of approved ability and great local experience. for some months Cachar continued to be administered from Cherrapunji, the head quarters of the Agent to the Governor General, but in consideration of practical difficulties early in 1833 Fisher had his head quarters at Dudpatil which however were soon shifted to Silchar for the sake of convenience."

In the 1850s, British tea planters re-discovered the game polo in Manipur on the Burmese border with India. The first polo club in the world was formed at Silchar. The first competitive modern form of Polo was also played out in Silchar and the plaque for this feat still stand at the back side of the District Library, Silchar. Other clubs followed and, today, the oldest in the world is the Calcutta Club, founded in 1862