Dhubri district

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This article is about the district. For its eponymous headquarters, see Dhubri.
Dhubri district
ধুবুৰী জিলা
District
Dhuburi collage
(Clockwise from top) Netai Dhubunir Ghat, Historical Panbari Mosque, Chilarai statue at Dhubri town, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Gurdwara, and Bhola Nath College
[[File:Matherjhar Aitihasik mathh mandir Matherjher Dhubri Assam. dhepdhepi Kali mandir, Balajan kali mandir,|100px|border|Flag of Dhubri district]]
Flag
Dhubri district's location in Assam
Dhubri district's location in Assam
Country India
State Assam
Headquarters Dhubri
Area
 • Total 2,838 km2 (1,096 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,948,632
 • Density 690/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-AS-DB
Website http://dhubri.gov.in/

Dhubri District (Pron:ˈdʊbri) (Assamese: ধুবুৰী) is an administrative district in the state of Assam in India. The district headquarters are located at Dhubri town which is situated at ~290 km from Guwahati, the state capital. This was also the headquarters of erstwhile undivided Goalpara district which was created in 1876 by the British government. In 1983, Goalpara district was divided into four districts and Dhubri is one among those. The Dhubri district is one among the many Muslim Majority districts of Assam. About 75% of population is Muslim in Dhubri.

As of 2011 it is the second most populous district of Assam (out of 27), after Nagaon.[1]

Etymology[edit]

The name Dhubri comes from the tale of Chand Sadagar, where the main character of the story Netai Dhubuni used to wash her clothes on the surface of a big stone at bank of the river Brahmaputra . This particular place had a name called "Netai Dhubunir Ghat".

History[edit]

In the past, the gateway of western Assam was a meeting place of different racial groups which mingled together and formed a unique cultural heritage and historical background. The growth of blended culture in this region, particularly in the areas of language, art and religion is due to the continuous process of assimilation of various races, castes, and creeds of local people, invaders, and migrated people.

Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib at Dhubri
Chilarai statue at Dhubri Town

In 1669 AD Raja Ram Singh, Raja Ram Singh of Amber was deputed by Emperor Aurangzeb to crush a rebellion by the Ahom king Chakradhwaj Singha. But Assam was a difficult country for such an operation and Raja Ram Singh requested Guru Teg Bahadur (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਗ਼ ਬਹਾਦੁਰ, Hindi: गुरू तेग़ बहादुर) to accompany him. Guru's role was proved to be much more crucial than his mere presence. This operation was actually a punishment for Ram Singh because it was from his custody that Shivaji and his son had escaped, a few years earlier.

On arrival to Kamrup early in February 1669 AD, Guru Teg Bahadur camped at Dhubri while Raja Ram Singh with his army camped at Rangamati Fort. Though the Imperial Army was confident but still not sure whether the holy man with them would be able to destroy the evil effects of magic and witchcraft of the Assamese. Just across the river the Assamese were unnerved by the superior numbers of the Imperial Army but they were confident that the supernatural powers of their magicians would keep the attackers at bay.

The Assamese women magicians with their tantric paraphernalia began reciting mantras of destruction in their encampment directly across the river of the camp of Guru Teg Bahadur. But all their magical effects failed to harm the Guru. The magicians were overconfident about their ability to destroy any human being. From across the river they hurled a 26-foot-long stone, which came arcing across the sky like a missile and struck the ground, near Guru's camp, so hard that nearly half of its length was embedded in the ground. It can still be seen in the same position. A historical brass tablet was placed by the British when they tried to dismantle the tilted stone in the heart of the city.

When their missile of stone failed to harm the Guru, the magician next flung a tree, which fell very close to the Guru's camp without causing injury to any one. Then, as Guru Teg Bahadur took his bow and aimed an arrow at the altar of magic, all of their magic and sorcery came to a sudden end. The magicians realized that superior powers had completely deprived them of their magical strengths and blocked their willpower. Then they crossed the river to the Guru's camp and begged forgiveness for having offended him. They told him that they were fighting only to repel the foreigners who had come to enslave them.

Guru Teg Bahadur assured the magicians that he would work to bring peace between Raja Ram Singh and the Ahom King, for which, a change of heart was necessary on both sides. Consequently, he advised Raja Ram Singh to achieve his rulers objectives through peaceful negotiations and not to fight unless he was attacked.

The peace settlement brought about by the efforts of Guru Teg Bahadur was celebrated by a joint homage to the shrine of Guru Nanak by both the Mughal and the Ahom armies. The mound of peace of Dhubri was erected with the red earth carried by the soldiers of both the armies on their shields. This permanent monument to Guru Tegh Bahadur's a successful peace efforts stands at Dhubri to this day. Pilgrims from all over India visit Dhubri to pay homage at Gurdwara Damdama Sahib. They also visit the mound of peace constructed by Hindus an& Muslims soldiers of the two armies.

There is also Panchpeer Dargaha It is Mazar Sharif of five Sufi Saints who accompanied Mughal General Raja Ram Singh during his time of Mughal fight with the Ahom Regime of Assam

Historical Sites[edit]

Historic Panbari Mosque at Dhubri
Inside look of Historic Panbari Mosque at Dhubri
Historic Netai Dhubunir Ghat at Dhubri

The Historic Panbari Mosques[2] is situated on the National Highway 31, about 25 km east from Dhubri town, near Panbari and Rangamati, is considered to be the oldest mosque in the Indian state of Assam. It was built by an able administrator Hussain Shah in between 1493 and 1519 AD who was then the Governor of Bengal. This mosque was used as a prayer hall by the Mughal Mohmmedan Soldiers. There is also an "Idgah" and a deep well which were also probably constructed during that period. Panbari "Pahar", thus is known as the holy seat of the Muslims in Assam. The scenic beauty of the hills with its rich flora, its unique location together with the archeological importance, holds promise of becoming an important tourist spot in India. It is said that about 200 years ago, the local people of this place found this mosque in Panbari "Pahar" under the thick foliage. They cleaned this place and started to offer Namaz there. During ‘Idd’ this mosque wears a special look. Thousands of people from different parts of the country visit this mosque. Not only the people from India but also from England and Japan visit this place. But the masjid is fast losing its glory due to lack of proper maintenance.

Panchpeer Dargaha It is Mazar Sharif of five Sufi Saints who accompanied Raja Ram Singh during his time of Mughal fight with the Ahom Regime of Assam

Modern-day Dhubri district was created on 1 July 1983 when it was split from Goalpara district.[3]

Geography[edit]

Dhubri district occupies an area of 2,838 square kilometres (1,096 sq mi),[4] comparatively equivalent to Russia's Zemlya Georga.[5]

Dhubri District is bounded both by interstate and international borders: West Bengal and Bangladesh in the west; Goalpara and Bogaigoan district of Assam and Garo Hills district of Meghalaya in the east; Kokrajhar district in the north; and Bangladesh and state of Meghalaya in the south.

Economy[edit]

Dhubri District is primarily dependent on agricultural and forest products. The main source of income is paddy (both winter and autumn) with surplus production. Jute and mustard seed occupy the major share of cash crops. Wheat, maize, pulses and sugar cane are also grown moderately. From forest, mainly timber and bamboo add to the income, though boulders and sand are also available. Fish, milk, meat, and eggs have small contribution to the economy. Currently three tea gardens, whose contribution to the district economy is almost negligible, cover an area of 1362.33 hectres. Land revenue collection is minimal, whereas tax from check gates and excise duty occupy much of the government exchequer. Devoid of major industrial production, the district uses more funds for administration, development, and welfare works than it provides.

Its rich natural wealth is yet to be explored and some believe that proper utilization of natural resources could provide a boost for the struggling economy.

Some important production and earnings are given below:[6]

  • Rice Production: 15,000 Tones (Approx)
  • Forest Revenue: Rs. 40,00000.00 (Approx)
  • Excise Revenue: Rs. 1,70,80,742.00 (2000–2001)
  • Sales Tax Revenue: Rs. 10,13,36,902.00 (2000–2001)

Divisions[edit]

At present there are three sub-divisions:

1. Dhubri (Sadar)
2. Bilasipara and
3. South Salmara-Hatsingimari, Mankachar.

The district has 8 revenue circles and 7 tahsils. It has 8 police stations and 4 basic towns.

There are seven Assam Legislative Assembly constituencies in this district: Mankachar, Salmara South, Dhubri, Gauripur, Golakganj, Bilasipara West, and Bilasipara East.[7] All seven are in the Dhubri Lok Sabha constituency.[8]

Transport[edit]

Dhubri has an airport at Rupshi which is about 23 km away from the town. It was constructed during World War II by the British Govt. mainly for military purpose. Till 1983, the Indian Airlines and some private commercial flights operated regularly between Calcutta, Guwahati and Dhubri. Now it is totally closed. However, recently the ministry of DONER, GOI, has taken some initiative to renovate and functionalise the airport. The town had a very busy river port on the bank of the Brahmaputra which was used as an international trade centre with the neighbouring countries, specially in British era. At present, this port is lying idle. The importance of the Railway station and the MG line was also decreased since 1947, when the direct line to Calcutta was snapped as it ran through erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The train service has newly started on 2010 again, and it is functioning smoothly. However the train services running from the Dhubri railway station are taking a new route from Dhubri to Kamakhya and Guwahati Junction. Trains originating from Dhubri station are, Dhubri to Silghat (Rajya Rani Express), Dhubri to New Jalpaiguri (Siliguri) (Inter City Express) and Dhubri Fakiragram passenger.

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2011 census Dhubri district has a population of 1,948,632,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Lesotho[9] or the US state of West Virginia.[10] This gives it a ranking of 240th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 1,171 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,030/sq mi) .[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 24.4%.[1] Dhubri has a sex ratio of 952 females for every 1000 males,[1] and a literacy rate of 59.36%.[1]

The largest religious group in the district are the Muslims, with 1,216,455 (74.29%)followers, while Hindus and Christians constitute 405,065 and 12,477 inhabitants respectively.[11]

The district has become one of the most densely populated district in India with a density of 584 persons per km2.(As per 2001 census report) which is second highest in Assam after Nagaon district. The literacy rate is 48.21% of which male 55.91% and female 40.04%. Goalpariya, and Bengali are the most widely spoken language in the district, although Assamese is the official language.

The district is located on the globe between 89.42 to 90.12 degree east longitude and 26.22 to 25.28 degree north latitude and situated at 30 meters above the sea level on an average. General topography of Dhubri district is plain with patches of small hillocks like Tokorabandha, Dudhnath, Chandardinga, Boukuamari, Boropahar, Chakrasila, etc. All these are situated in the north eastern part of the district. Mighty river Brahmaputra is flowing through this district from east to west with its tributaries like Champabati, Gourang, Gadadhar, Gangadhar, Tipkai, Sankosh, Silai, Jinjiram, etc. The average annual rainfall of the district is 2,916 mm.

Culture[edit]

Terracotta and pottery craft[edit]

Dhubri district of Assam have occupied a pivotal position in terracotta market of the world. The Assamese terracotta art and culture took its birth at Asharikandi, a small village near Gauripur town in Dhubri district. More than 80% families of this craft village are engaged in this ethnic based art (handicraft) and pass their life after selling these terracotta products in the national and international markets.[12]

Places of interest[edit]

The main places of interest in Dhubri district include Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib, Mahamaya Dham, Rangamati or Panbari Mosque, the oldest mosque in entire northeast region of India,[13] Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary, Florican Garden and Panchpeer Dargah.

This place is famous for the Sikh Gurdwara namely Gurdwara Damdama Sahib or Thara Sahib which was constructed in memory of visit of First Sikh Guru Nanak Dev (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ, Hindi: गुरु नानक, Urdu: گرونانک Guru Nānak) and later it was followed by visit of Ninth guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਤੇਗ਼ ਬਹਾਦੁਰ, Hindi: गुरू तेग़ बहादुर) and the Gurdwara is named as Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib. Hence, it has great importance for Sikh community.

Main towns in Dhubri district are Dhubri, Gauripur, Bilasipara, Golakganj, Tamarhat, Sapatgram, Chapar, Hatsingimari, Mankachar, Agomoni, Halakura etc.

Flora and fauna[edit]

On 14 July 1994, a unique virgin forest patch of Dhubri District of Assam was declared as Wildlife Sanctuary by the gazette notification of the Assam Government. This Sanctuary has been named as "Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary". This is the youngest sanctuary of the North East India having an area of 11,260.00 acres (45.5676 km2). Chakrasila is unique because of the presence of Golden Langur (Presbytis geei) which is found nowhere else except along the Assam and Bhutan border. Besides, the virgin forest of Chakrasila Wildlife Sanctuary is endowed with rare specimens of trees, shrubs, medicinal plants, mammals, reptiles and exquisite birds and insects.

Geographical location of the Chakrasila Wildlife Sanctuary is in the latitude 26° 15' to 26° 26' N and longitude 90° 15' to 90 ° 20' E. It is in the District of Dhubri, the western most region of Assam. It is 68 km from the District headquarters Dhubri and 219 km from the Borjhar Airport of Guwahati City.

There are several small springs for quenching the thirst of the wild animals of this Hilly forest. But the two major perennial springs in the Sanctuary are howhowi Jhora and Bamuni Jhora, which flow over the rocks, sparkling and spattering throughout the year, adding to the scenic beauty of the Sanctuary.

Climatic conditions of Chakrasila Wildlife Sanctuary is like that of temperate zone with dry winter and hot summer followed by heavy rains. Annual rainfall is between 200 to 400 cm. Soil is azonal, forestlike and hilly. temperature throughout the year generally varies between 8 °C to 30 °C.

The diverse eco-systems of Chakrasila present a model habitat diversity and support various mammalian species like Tiger, leopard, Golden Langur, Leopard Cat, Gaur, Mongoose, Porcupine, Pangoline, Flying Squirrel, Civet Cat etc. Along with all these prolific gifts of the nature Chakrasila has a wide variety of avifauna.

It is to be noted that the two internationally recognized wetlands namely Dhir and Deeplai has not been yet taken inside the declared boundary of the Sanctuary. But they are very a part of the Chakrasila eco-system. It is expected that in due course they will be included within the Sanctuary. Courtesy : Nature's Beckon ( An Environmental Activist of North-East )

Education[edit]

Bhola Nath College at Dhubri

At present the district houses 15 colleges for higher education. B. N. College, Dhubri (estd. 1946) at Dhubri is one of the oldest and famous institutes in Assam. Bilasipara College situated in bilasipara town also imparts degrees (BA and BSc) and certificates (HSSLC) in the science and arts streams. Ratnapeeth College of Chapar is an another prominent college of the district. The Government Boys Higher secondary School and Govt. Girls Higher secondary school are the two important schools of Dhubri town and the oldest too.Happy Convent School is also one of the best schools affiliated by CBSE.

One Industrial Training Institute and some 30 number of private run computer institutes are there.

More than hundred high and higher secondary schools are also imparting education to the people of the district.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  2. ^ "A forgotten chapter of history – Panbari mosque". 
  3. ^ Law, Gwillim (2011-09-25). "Districts of India". Statoids. Retrieved 2011-10-11. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ "Island Directory Tables: Islands by Land Area". United Nations Environment Program. 1998-02-18. Retrieved 2011-10-11. Zemlya Georga 2,821km2 
  6. ^ "Economy". Dhubri. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  7. ^ "List of Assembly Constituencies showing their Revenue & Election District wise break - up". Chief Electoral Officer, Assam website. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "List of Assembly Constituencies showing their Parliamentary Constituencies wise break - up". Chief Electoral Officer, Assam website. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  9. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. Lesotho 1,924,886 
  10. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. West Virginia 1,852,994 
  11. ^ Indian Census
  12. ^ Asharikandi: Famous for Terracota
  13. ^ Panbari Mosque at Dhubri

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 26°02′00″N 89°58′00″E / 26.0333°N 89.9667°E / 26.0333; 89.9667