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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Location of Silchar
in Assam and India
Coordinates 24°49′N 92°48′E / 24.82°N 92.8°E / 24.82; 92.8
Country  India
State Assam
District(s) Cachar
Population 144003 (2001)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)

22 m (72 ft)

Silchar (Bengali: শিলচর Shilchôr, Assamese: শিলচৰ Xilsôr, Sylheti: শিলচর Hilsôr) 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 Sylhetis, the rest being Marwaris,Bishnupriya Manipuris ,Manipuri-Meiteis and some tribal groups like Nagas. The Sylhetis settled here after migrating from Sylhet, a district of undivided India, after partition of India in 1947. Silchar is situated by the banks of the Barak River in what is popularly known as Barak Valley. Rice is the staple cereal. Fish is also available. Shuţki (the local name for dried fish), shidal chutney , "chunga-r peetha" are some of the local delicacies. Over the past few years, the city is constantly witnessing a huge influx of people from nearby smaller places 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.



Silchar is located at the southern part of Assam.[1][2] Situated on the Barak River near the Bangladesh border, it is a trade and processing centre for tea, rice and other agricultural products. There is limited industry, principally papermaking and tea-box manufacturing. The city has an airport and lies on both a rail head and national highways connecting Guwahati, Assam; Agartala, Tripura; Imphal, Manipur and Aizawl in Mizoram state. It has an average elevation of 22 metres (72 feet).


As of 2001 India census,[3] Silchar had a population of 144,003. But presently,it is considered that the population has actually crossed the 500,000 mark due to the constant increase in the city's population over the past 5 to 6 years. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Silchar has an average literacy rate of 79%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 83%, and female literacy is 76%. In Silchar, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age. Major religions followed are Hinduism and Islam.


At Silchar, the wind generally blows from the northeast in the morning and from the southeast in the afternoon. Summer is hot, humid and interspersed with rains and thunderstorms. Winter generally starts towards the end of November and lasts till February. Towards the start of the Bengali month of Baishakh (mid-April) rain clouds start covering the skyline. Silchar is inundated frequently due to excessive rainfall and flooding by the river Barak. In the last three decades, Silchar and the Barak Valley have been ravaged by three major floods—in 1986, followed by the one in 1991, and more recently in 2004.


Silchar has some of the best educational institutes in the whole of North East India. One of the 20 National Institutes of Technology (formerly known as Regional Engineering Colleges), NIT Silchar is one of the oldest engineering colleges in the North-Eastern region. REC Silchar, as it was known previously, is now an Institute of National Importance in India.

Gate of Assam University

After several years of persistent efforts, Silchar got its own university Assam University, a central university, which imparts education in both the general as well as professional streams. The university, which came in to existence in 1994, has 9 schools and 29 departments under them. The university also has 51 affiliated colleges under it.[4]

Some reputed schools in Silchar include Adhar Chand H.S. School, Holy Cross School, Silchar Collegiate School, Narsing School, Govt. Boys School, Govt. Girls school, Tiny Tots Home, Muktashree High School, Holy Child School, South Point School, Oriental High School, Maharishi Vidya Mandir, a couple of Kendriya Vidyalayas, Don Bosco School, Ramnagar, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya,Pailapool and a few convent schools amongst others. Among the colleges the best known ones are Guru Charan College, Cachar College, Ramanuj College, Hemangini Dey Memorial Jr. College, Aryan Jr. College, Radhamadhab College,Surendra Memorial Jr.College etc. Guru Charan College is one of the most respected and reputed colleges in the whole of Assam.

The city has a medical college,Silchar Medical College and Hospital, established in 1968,serving the southern regions of Assam[5]There is also a Polytechnic Institute, B.Ed colleges, two Law colleges and one Industrial Training Institute (ITI).


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.

Historical background

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.

Railway link

The Assam Bengal Railway brought Silchar into the Indian railway map in 1899. The railway line from Lumding to Silchar is hailed as one of the most exciting pristine railway tracks of India. Built by the British during the colonial rule, the Meter Gauge line stands testimony to the grandiose of what was once a highly popular city in the North-East.

Language martyrs

Silchar saw one of the uprising in favour of the Bengali language. When the Assam Government, under Chief Minister Bimala Prasad Chaliha, passed a circular to make Assamese mandatory, Bengalis of Barak Valley protested. On 19 May, 1961, Assam Police opened fire on unarmed protesters at Silchar Railway Station in which 11 agitators died. After the popular revolt, Assam Government had to withdraw the circular and Bengali was ultimately given official status in the three districts of Barak Valley.[6][7][8]



Silchar is part of Silchar (Lok Sabha constituency) and the current Member of Parliament from Silchar is Mr. Kabindra Purkayastha of Bharatiya Janata Party.[9]


External links

See also

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The District of Cachar is located in the Southernmost part of Assam is one of the oldest district of Assam. It is bounded on the North by Barali and Jayantia hill ranges, on the South by the State Mizoram, on the East by sister district Hailakandi and Karimganj. The district was created in 1830 after annexation of Kachari Kingdom by British. In 1854, North Cachar was annexed and tagged to the district. In 1951 erstwhile North Cachar Sub-Division was made a separate district and taken out of Cachar.In 1983 erstwhile Karimganj Sub-Division and in 1989, Hailakandi Sub-Division was made a separate District.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SILCHAR, a town of British India, in the Cachar district of Eastern Bengal and Assam, of which it is the headquarters. Pop. (1901) 9256. It is situated on the left bank of the river Barak, with a station on the Assam-Bengal railway, 271 m. N. of Chittagong. Silchar is the centre of an important tea industry, and the headquarters of the volunteer corps known as the Surma Valley Light Horse.

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