West Kameng district

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West Kameng district
District of Arunachal Pradesh
Location of West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh
Location of West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh
Country India
State Arunachal Pradesh
Headquarters Bomdila
Area
 • Total 7,422 km2 (2,866 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 87,013[1]
Demographics
 • Literacy 69.4%[1]
 • Sex ratio 755[1]
Website Official website

West Kameng (Pron:/ˈkæmɛŋ/) is a district of Arunachal Pradesh in India. It accounts for 8.86% of the total area of the state. Under Chinese sovereignty claim, West Kameng would fall under the jurisdiction of Cuona County of Shannan Prefecture of the Tibet Autonomous Region. The name is derived from the Kameng river, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, that flows through the district.

History[edit]

The area around the Kameng river has traditionally come under the control of the Mon kingdom, Bhutan, Tibet and the Ahom kingdom. Lamaism got a strong foothold among the tribal groups as early as in the 7th century, where the Kachen Lama constructed the Lhagyala Gompa in Morshing.

Whenever loose control was exerted over the area, small, feudal chiefdoms ruled by the Monpa and the Sherdukpen kings dominated control over the area. This can be evidenced in the fact that ruined fortresses like those in Bhalukpong constructed in the 10th to 12th century and the Dirang fort, which was constructed in the 17th century to defend against invasions from neighbouring chiefdoms.

Upon the arrival of the British, the entire area became what was known as the North-East Frontier Agency. It was renamed as the Balipara Frontier tract in 1919, with its headquarters based at Charduar in Assam. In 1946, the district area was carved out of the Balipara, with the name Sela Sub-Agency and its headquarters continued to be Charduar of Assam.

Following the independence of India, the Sela Sub-Agency was renamed as the Kameng Frontier Division. Its headquarters were later transferred to Bomdila in 1954. However, with the invasion of Tibet in 1950, Tibetan refugees started populating the area. Furthermore, with the invasion of the Chinese troops into this area, many historical mounments were either destroyed or defaced.

The Kameng Frontier Division was renamed as the Kameng District. The Political Officer was also redesignated as the Deputy Commissioner of Kameng. However, due to political reasons, the Kameng district was bifurcated between East Kameng and West Kameng on 1 June 1980.[2] Tawang district, which initially belonged to part of the district, was separated on 6 October 1984.[2]

Geography[edit]

West Kameng district occupies an area of 7,442 square kilometres (2,873 sq mi),[3] comparatively equivalent to Papua New Guinea's New Ireland.[4] It lies approximately between 91° 30' to 92° 40' East longitudes and 26° 54' to 28° 01' North latitudes. The district shares an international border with Tibet in the north, Bhutan in the west, Tawang District in the northwest, and East Kameng district in the east. The southern border is shared with Sonitpur district and Darrang district of Assam. The Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary is located in West Kameng.

Topography[edit]

The topography is mostly mountainous. Much of West Kameng area is covered with the Himalayas. The highest peak in the district and state is Kangte.

Climate[edit]

Like East Kameng, the West Kameng district experiences an arid tundra or a cool temperate climate in the north. Snow fall occurs from mid-November to February. Snow can be also seen in Khupi, Bomdilla, Nechiphu. Nechiphu is the highest place in the district, situated at 5690 feet above sea level.

Economy[edit]

Like most of Arunachal Pradesh, Jhum, or shifting cultivation, is practised among the tribes who live in lower elevations where there is a temperate or subtropical climate. Horticulture is practised as well.

Small industries such as textile and handicraft factories can be found.

Divisions[edit]

The district is divided into three subdivisions, Thrizino, Rupa and Bomdila, which are further divided into twelve administrative circles, namely, Dirang, Bomdila, Kalaktang, Balemu, Bhalukpong, Jameri, Sinchung, Nafra, Thrizino, Rupa, Thembang and Shergaon. The four development blocks in this district are Dirang, Kalaktang, Nafra-Buragaon, and Thrizino.

There are 4 Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly constituencies located in this district: Dirang, Kalaktang, Thrizino-Buragaon and Bomdila. All of these are part of Arunachal West Lok Sabha constituency.[5]

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2011 census West Kameng district has a population of 87,013,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Antigua and Barbuda.[6] This gives it a ranking of 618th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 12 inhabitants per square kilometre (31 /sq mi) .[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 16.64%.[1] West Kameng has a sex ratio of 755 females for every 1000 males,[1] and a literacy rate of 69.4%.[1]

West Kameng comprises five major tribes: Monpa (which makes up 78% of the district's population and includes Dirang, Bhut, Lish, and Kalaktang Monpa), Miji (Sajolang), Sherdukpen, Aka (Hrusso), and Khowa (Bugun). Minority tribes include Takpa, Lishipa, Chugpa, and Butpa.

Minority languages spoken in West Kameng include the following.

Most of the inhabitants are Buddhist, though the Aka, Khowa, and Miji have indigenous religions and those tribe members follow a mix of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Donyi-Polo (a form of Animism).

Flora and fauna[edit]

In 1989 West Kameng district became home to the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, which has an area of 217 km2 (83.8 sq mi).[7] It is also home to the Sessa Orchid Wildlife Sanctuary, which was established in 1989 and has an area of 100 km2 (38.6 sq mi).[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "District Census 2011". Census2011.co.in. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  2. ^ a b Law, Gwillim (25 September 2011). "Districts of India". Statoids. Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  3. ^ Srivastava, Dayawanti et al. (ed.) (2010). "States and Union Territories: Arunachal Pradesh: 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. 1113. ISBN 978-81-230-1617-7. 
  4. ^ "Island Directory Tables: Islands by Land Area". United Nations Environment Program. 18 February 1998. Retrieved 2014-01-07. "New Ireland 7,404km2" 
  5. ^ "Assembly Constituencies allocation w.r.t District and Parliamentary Constituencies". Chief Electoral Officer, Arunachal Pradesh website. Retrieved 21 March 2011. 
  6. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Antigua and Barbuda 87,884 July 2011 est." 
  7. ^ a b Indian Ministry of Forests and Environment. "Protected areas: Arunachal Pradesh". Retrieved 25 September 2011. 

External links[edit]