(a) INTRODUCTORY :
(I) Origin of the name of the district
The district of United Mikir and North Cachar Hills 1 was constituted on 17th November, 1951 by combining considerable portions of the districts of Sibsagar and Nowgong, formerly known as the Mikir Hills Tracts mainly inhabited by the Karbis and the Bhoi area of the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills, with the North Cachar Hills Sub-division of the district of Cachar2. As a sub-division of Cachar district, North Cachar Hills situated in the north of that district and therefore, it was called 'North Cachar Hills'.
(II) Location, general boundaries, total area and population :
The district lies between latitudes 24'54' and 26'41'N and longitudes 92'8' and 93'53' E approximately. It is bounded on the north by the district Nowgong and Sibsagar; on the east by Sibsagar, Nagaland and Manipur; on the south by the Cachar district and the State of Nagaland and on the west by the United Khasi Jaintia Hills district. It covers an area of 15,237 square kilometres with a population of 2,79,726 according to the Census of 19613. in 1971, the population of the district increased to 4,55,357 as per census.
1. The district is bifurcated and constituted into two seperate districts of Mikir Hills and North Cachar Hills vide Notification No. AAP.134/68/22 dated 11 Feb, '70 and AAP.134/68/19 dated 30th Jan. '70 respectively but for the purpose of the Gazeeters, it is treated as united one.
2. The Assam United District of Mikir and North-Cachar Hills (administration) Regulation 1951 (Regulation No. X of1951) and vide Notification Nos.TAD/R/31/50/190dated 17.8.51;TAD/R/31/50/204 dated 3rd Nov. 1951 and TAD/R/31/50/205 dated 8th Nov. 1951.
3. Census of India 1961, Assam District Census Handbook, United Mikir & North-Cachar Hills District P.21. There has been slight discrepancy in the area figure of the district in census. In the district Census Hand Book of 1951 at page 95 it is shown as 5,883 square miles and on page (I) 'Introduction' it is shown as 5,891.7 square miles. The District Census Hand Book 1961, at page I shows it as 5,883 sq.miles or 15,237 square kilometres.
(iii) History of the district as an administrative unit :
Constitued as it was under the Assam Regulation X of 1951, the district with an area of 5,891.7 square miles or 15,237 sq. kms. Came into being on 17th November, 1951, and as such its history as an administrative unit is not even two decades old. But it is possible to trace the history of its component parts to some extent. The erstwhile Mikir Hills sub-division which now constitute the Karbi Anglong was constitued out of the Partially Excluded Areas of the district of Sibsagar and Nowgong, then known as the Mikir Hills Tracts inthose districts and the Bhoi area of the United Khasi and Jaintia Hills predominantly inhabited by the Karbis with a view to bringing the hithertho scattered Karbi people under one administration for their all- round improvement. The Karbi Anglong alone covers an area of 3.995 square miles or 10,343.05 square kilometres of which 1,707 square miles or 4,421.12 square kilometres came from Nowgong district 1,692 square miles or 1543.64 square kilometres from Khasi and Jaintia Hills District.4
In 1853, the North-Cachar Hills was formed into a seperate sub-division, and in the following year the territory which had been made over to Tularam Senapati by the British in 1832 was added to this serge. In 1867, this sub-division was abolished and the area was placed under the management of the Deputy Commisioner of the Cachar District. Nothing, however, was done until 1880, when the North-Cachar Hills was formed into seperate sub-division of the district of Cachar, and place in charge of the Assistant Superintendent of Police. Since then, it had a different administrative set-up from the rest of that district. It was known as an 'Excluded Area' and was under the district rule of the Governer. After independence, the Constitution Of India gave the status of an autonomous district to both North-Cachar Hill and the Karbi Anglong like other autonomous hill districts of Assam, and it was found expedient to unite these two autonomous districts to form one district administration, while keeping intact the autonomous status of each of these area. Thus, two autonomous districts have been brought under the administative whole having two seperate District Councils independent of each other, while there was one Deputy Commisioners establishment with headquarters at Diphu.
(iv) Sub-division and Thanas :
The district has two sub-divisions namely Mikir Hills Cachar Hills sub-division and North Cachar Hills sub-division. The first named sub-division is now known as Karbi Anglong. The following table shows the area and population of the sub-divisions as per the Census of 1961.5
|Name||Area in||Population .|
|North Cachar Hills||1880||4,889.91||29,087||25,232||54,319|
As per 1971 Census, male population of Karbi Anglong increased to 2,02,347 and that of femaleto 1,76,963.
Revenue Circle : The district has four revenue circles of which three are in Karbi Anglong. The whole of the North Cachar Hills comprises one revenue circle. The following table shws the area of each revenue circles.6
| Name || Name of the |
| Area in square miles sq. |
|Karbi Anglong||Diphu Circle|| 1,598 sq.miles or 4,438.81 sq. kms. |
|Phuloni Circle||1,222 sq.miles or 3,164.97 sq. kms|
|Dhonka Circle||1,174 ,sq.miles or 3,340.64 sq. kms|
| Total area ||3,994 sq. miles 10,944.42 sq.kms.|
|North CaChar Hills|| North Cachar |
|1,888 sq.miles or 4,889.91 sq.kms.|
Each revenue circle comprises two or more muzas which are composed of a number of villages. There are altogether 20 mauzas in Karbi Anglong and 19 mauzas in North Cachar Hills but the mauzas in the latter are not territorially delimited. These are constituted tribewise the larger tribes having more than one mauzas. As the different tribes live interspersed in many areas, these mauzas overlap territorially.
Thanas : There are five Police Station in the district, of which four Police Station are in the Karbi Anglong and one Police Station in the North Cachar Hills. The following table shows the area and population of each Police Station in the district as per the Census of 1961
5.On 1st January , 1972, a new Sub-division known as ‘Hamren Sub-division' comprising the whole of the Baithalangso Police Station has been created with sub-divisional Head-quarters at Hamren out of Mikir Hills sub-division ( present Karbi Anglong).
6. It may be mentioned that there is discrepancy of some sq. miles between the total area of the revenue circles and the total area of Karbi Anglong. This is due to the fact that most of the area in the Sub-division especially the hilly region, is not cadastrally surveyed.
|Name||Name of the Police Station||Area in sq.miles||Population||Total|
|Karbi Anglong||Baithalangso P.S.||1,172||33,617||30,941||64,558|
|North Cachar Hills||Haflong P.S.||1888||29,087||25,232||54,319|
Note : .386102 sqr.mile is equal to one square kilometers.
Besides, there are Police Out- Posts under some Police Stations. Police out-post at Mohendijua is under Diphu P.S. ; Borpathar and Dillai under Bokajan P.s. , Domoka under Howraghat P.s., and Donkamokam under Baithalangso P.S. There is one investigating centre at Grampani.
7. With the creation of Hamren sub-division in Karbi Anglong a new Police Station known as Hamren Police Station has been created out of Baithalangso Police Station with a sanctioned staff of 1 Sub-Inspector, 2 Assistant Sub-Inspectors and 12 Constables. Another Police Station viz Maibong Police Station with an area of 1,132 sq.kms has been created in North Cachar Hills.
(b) TOPOGRAPHY :
(i) Natural division, Elevation, Configuration etc. :
The Karbi Anglong is divided into two detached parts by a portion of the district of Nowgong jutting into it and the contiguity of it as a whole has been maqintained only by the North Cachar Hills linked up this gap between the eastern and western parts of the Karbi Anglong. The whole subdivision is covered by hills , excepting the narrow strips of flat lands on the border along the blanks of the Kopili, the Jamuna, the Dhansiri and the Barapani rivers. Apart from this natural division into hills and plains it may be of interest to know the regional division commonly prevailing amongst the Karbi, basing on their tradition. The western part of the sub-division, which is the seat of the Karbi culture is divided into three regions known as Chinthong, Ronghang and Amri, following the Khels or groups into which the Karbi people are divided, while the whole of the eastern part is called Nilip, excepting the area covered by Jamunapar Mauza, which is called Lumbajang. But for the portion connecting the North Cachar Hills sub-division on the south , the eastern part of the Karbi Anglong is covered with hills which end on the north at the plains of the Brahmaputra, and on the east and west at the plains of the Dhansiri and Jamuna valleys respectively. They rise sharply from the narrow valleys with which they are intersected and are covered with dense-tree forests, except in places where they have been cleared for the shifting cultivation by the tribal people. These hills support a scanty population who grow dry rice, vegetables, cotton, mustard and sesamum on the slopes and are seldom visited by the natives of the plains. The upper reaches of the Dhansiri and the Kaliani are covered with dense-tree forest which is almost entirely destitude of population. " A wonderful view of this forest can be obtained from one of the outer ranges of the Naga Hills. North, east , and west, as far as the eye can reach, there is nothing but a pathless wilderness of trees. In the far distance on the north the blue ranges of the Mikir Hills can be discerned from some twentyfive miles away, but on the east and west there is forest etproeterea nihil. The Mikir Hills consist of a mass of sharply serrated ridges, whose steeply sloping sides are green with creeper smothered trees and the bamboo jungle that springs up on the sites of the following jhums. The outer ranges are not more than 1,500 ft. in height, but further back there are hills whose summits are 4,000 ft. and more above the level of the sea. Dotted about amongst these forests are to be found the villages of the Mikirs, villages that sometimes consist of but one or two huge houses, each of which accommodates a family of truly patriarchal proportions."8 The western portion of the sub-division, except the narrow strips of flat lands along the Kopili and the Barapani riers is also covered by the hills belonging to United Khasi & Jaintia Hills group of hills, whose elevation varies from 500 ft. (152.40 metres) to near about 4,000ft. (1219.20 metres) above the sea level. These hills have less forest than those of the eastern part of the sub-division. The density of population of these hills being more than that of the eastern hills, most of them have already been heavily jhummed out , which having been followed by intensive grazing by the cattle of the Nepali Khuties have been rendered nothing but green pastures. The lands in between the slope of the grass covered hills have, in most places, been turned into narrow patches of paddy fields by the Karbis and the other tribal people of the area. In the higher regions, specially of Rongkhang and Duaramala, the country has very much the same appearance as that of the hills of the eastern part of Karbi Anglong.
Of the plains portion of the district, the Jamuna valley is by far the largest and the most thickly populated area in the whole district. This portion was previously covered by dense forest and thick jungle, but during the last one decade or two specially after the Independence, there is a heavy rush of immigrants, from both hills and plains coming into the area in search of land, and consequently the whole valley has practically been cleared and occupied. The next in importance and size is the Kopilli valley, including the plains of the Barapani river. This area is also flat being depleted of the jungles that surrounded it till very recently and big villages are coming up with almost equal rapidity. The Dhansiri valley is much narrower than either of the two mentioned above, but this area from Dhansiri to Borpathar has long been cleared of the forest that once covered it and settled villages are in existence here since a petty long time.
With the exception of an insignificant tract of level land in the angle formed by the junction of the Kopili and the Doiang, the whole of the North Cachar Hills Sub-division, which covers an area of 4,890 square kilometers is a hilly country. "From the Jaintia Hills to a point a little to the west of Asalu , the Barail or ‘great dyke' runs almost east and west across the district, and forms a continuous wall of mountains, gradually increasing in height towards the east." 9 At Kalangtam it enters the Cachar district and to the south east of Haflong this range takes a sharp turn towards the north and reaches its greatest height in Hampeopet. From this point it gradually starts declining in height. To the north of the Barail the whole of the country is described as a mass of hilly country with the general tendency of the hills to run north and south. The upper portions of the hills are covered with dense tree forests but lower slopes are generally are cleared for shifting cultivation by the hill-men and during the period that intervenes between each period of cultivation, hills are covered with a dense growth of high grass, jungles and bamboos. South of the Barail there is also a belt of hilly country with a general trend from north east to south west. 10
8. B.C.Allen ; Assam District Gazetteers,volume, VII, Sibsagar, Allahabad, 1906
9. B.C.Allen, Assam District Gazetteers, vol.I Cachar, Calcutta 1905. p.2.
10. Ibid, p.3,
(ii) Hills: mountain system to which they belong, main peaks etc:
Broadly, the district can be divided into three main physiographic divisions, namely The Karbi Anglong proper, The United Kopili, Jamuna and Dhansiri alleys, and the hills of the North-Cachar. The Karbi Anglong proper is a detached continuation of the "Peninsular sheild" and is the oldest land mass in the district. This group of hills is of relict type and has been subjected to extreme weathering and denudation, as a consequence of which it forms an extremely rugged and highly dissected terrain rising rather than sharply from the surrounding plains. The outer ranges of the Karbi Anglong have an average of about 450 metres (1485') above mean sea level, whereas in the central portion of the Karbi Anglong the average elevation of the range is around 1,000 metres (3,300') above mean sea level.
The Karbi Anglong can be divided into two district units (I) the northern range of hills having an average elevation of about 600 metres extending from Dabaka in the south-west to Bokakhat in the north-east, and (2) the higher southern range having an average elevation of about 900 metres extending from Bakuliaghat in the south-west to Borpathat in the north-east. The western spurs of Karbi Anglong rise steeply from the narrow valley of Kaliana river which separates the two divisions. The main peaks along the northern and southern ranges are Bishandori Parbat, Kud Parbat, Mokrang Parbat, Mehekongthu', Raidang Kankochan peak,Chenghetishon, Matikhala Parbat, Warekmushak, Bargarichang Parbat, Bhaluk Parbat, Cheniabirshon, Hunghi Parbat, Khunbaman Parbat and others.
The United Kopili, Jamuna and Dhansiri valleys between Lumding, Hojai and Diphu is an undulating plain having an elevation ranging From 75 to 250 metresm(246 to 821 feet). This low land is wedged in between the Karbi Anglong in the north, Barail range in the south-eat and the North-Cachar Hills in the south and south-west, Longlai, Samkher, Inglonggri and other low hills within the Lumding reserve forest north of Lumding form main watershed between the Dhansiri valley in the east, Jamuna valley in the north and the Kopili valley in the west.
The North-Cachar hills division forms a rugged hilly country constituting the eastern flanks of the Jaintia hills and northern flanks of the Barail range, the latter forming the water divide between the Dhansiri valley in the north and the Surma valley in the south. The Barail range along the Southern boundary of the District trends north-east-South-west south of Haflong and swings nearly east-west towards the west of Haflong connecting with the eastern flank of the Jaintia hills. The elevation of the Barail range varies from 1,000 to 1,200 metres above mean sea level, the high level peaks along the range being Jhingatubum, Nairakula, Hemeolawa, Mahadeo, Kaukaha, Kolombot, Sherpai and Kalangtom, Longmai Laikarang, Daojali Parbat, Sarkahading and other northeast-southeast trending low ranges flank the northern slopes of the Barail range constituting Langting-Mupa reserved forest.
The eastern flanks of the Jaintia hills consist of Saipong and Kurunming Reserved Forests hills along the eastern side of the Kopili valley, and Sunngut, Bura Ingti etc., hills on the north-west side of Kopili river. The general elevation of these hills vary from 600 to 900 metres (1980 to 3267 feet) and the chief peaks are Kalimukh, Thangnanship Tila, Merpung, Khorungina, Konglong, Sunngut, Rongkhong and Tirkim.11
(c) RIVER SYSTEMS AND RESOURCES:
(I) Main rivers and tributaries:
The drainage of the district is towards the north into the Brahmaputra. The Dhansiri river in the north-east and the Kopili, Doiang and Jamuna in the west constitute the two main drainage basins of the district. The Karbi Anglong proper shows a radical drainage pattern with the rivers and streams flowing south into the Jamuna valley, west into the Kopili valley and north into the Brahmaputra river. Apart from Jamuna river, the other important rivers in Karbi Anglong river flowing east-north east across the hills in the north eastern part of Karbi Anglong ; the Diphu nadi on the northern slopes near Bokakhat, the Deopani and the Kaipani nalas on the north western slopes of Karbi Anglong ; Langkangtang nala and tributaries of Nanai nadi on the western slopes and the Bar Dikharu, Horaghati, Chelabor nalas on the south western slopes. Following is the account of the main rivers of the district.
The Kopili : The Kopili river which rises in the Jaintia Hills (Meghalaya) flows north and north-east winding through the Jaintia Hills and North Cachar Hills. Its main tributaries in the North Cachar Hills Sub-division are the Dikisim, the Wohkhynriam, the Umphung, the Kharkor, the Umsong, the Myntang and the Amring. The river enters the North Cachar Hills at its confluence with the Wohkynriam river and forms the boundary between the North Cachar Hills Sub-division and Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya till its confluence with the Myntang river, a little above the Garampani which is known for its hot water spring. Hence upto Doiangmukh it forns a boundary between the North Cachar Hills and Karbi Anglong and thence after running entirely within the Karbi Anglong for some distance, it runs all along the boundary with Nowgong district.
After meeting the Amring river (known as Mynrian in its upper reaches) at a place near Panimur ( or Longjut i.e. the end of the rocks) it is joined by the Doiang river below the foothills and the combined channel flows in a north-westerly direction. At Jamunamukh in Nowgong district it is met by its eastern tributary the Jamuna , and flows past Raha after taking a westernly turn. Here it is joined by a branch channel with Kalang and at Jagi it finally meets the main stream of the Kalang after a course of 262 kms. The combined channel after flowing north-west finds its way into the mighty Brahmaputra near Kajalimukh in Nowgong district. The principal tributaries on the right blank are the Doiang, the lankajan and the Jamuna which is swelled by the waters of the Dimoru, the Dighalpani, the Horagati and the Buriganga streams. On the left blank , the Kopili is joined by the Kolanga, Barapani and thte Umiam (Killing ) rivers.
The river is navigable up to Panimur by boats of four tons burden during the summer. It is one of the main channel of trade and commerce. Articles like salt , dry fish , tea leaves and other necessities of the tribal people are carried by small boats even up to the Kolanga Bazar and cotton, mustard seed , lac, sesamum and other hill products from the cargo of these boats on their down journey. The Kopili and its tributary Amring also provide good sport and the rapids of Panimur to those who are interested in angling.
The Kopili basin which comprises an area of 500 sq. miles or about 1300 sq. kms may be described as a rich rice bowl Assam. Ahu, Sali and Bao paddy and jute are the major crops grown in this basin. Because of its low level, the basin is subject to damaging floods quite frequently. High floods occurred in 1931, 1934, 1946, 1948, 1949 and 1956, of which the floods in 1934 had been described as the highest in the living memory. It is still popularly remembered as the ‘Balia Pani' (mad water) of 1934. In that year the Kopili catchment produced a flood of eleven lakh cusecs whereas the discharges of other floods ranged between 30,000 and 50,000 cusecs. The following tables show the maximum and minimum discharges of the Kopili in cusecs from 1956 to 1959 and the silt content of the Kopili from 1955 to 1959.12
|Maximum discharge in cusecs.||30,882||47,063||26,604||33874||35,863|
|Minimum discharge in cusecs||1,186||1,564||838||815||1,169|
11. From the Report submitted by the Geological Survey of India, Shillong
12. Out lines of Flood Control for Assam Vol. I pp.64 and 184-85.
There are four waterfalls on the Kopili river system (i) A 20 ft. (6.09m.) falls is situated at 25 o44/3011 , 92o49/ on the Amring river , the tributary of Kopili ; (ii) a 20 ft. (6.09m.) falls is situated at 25 o44/ , 92o50/ on the river of Kopili. (iii) a 45ft. (13.71m) falls is situated at 25 o43/ , 92o50/ on the river Kopili and (iv) one 60 ft. (18.28 m.) falls is situated at the confluence of Kopili and Karkar river.
The Barapani : The Barapani rises in the Shillong Hills and enters the Karbi Anglong just below its confluence with the Umlew, thus forming the southern boundary of the Sub-division with Jowai district of Meghalaya State upto the mouth of the Umshunam. It cuts right through Block II , coming out again at Amtreng and thereafter forms the western boundary of the Sub-division with Nowgong upto the Lutumai Reserved Forests whence it enters the plains of Nowgong, ultimately joining with the Kopili near Chaparmukh. In its upper reaches, it is known as Umkhen. As the source of the river lies in a region of heavy population , it brings down a large discharge and while passing through the low lying areas it spills copiously right from the foothills. When in floods, it also holds up the Kopili flood on the up stream and greatly floods the Baithalangso area. All through its course in the Karbi Anglong the river passes through deep gorges and cannot be utilized for trade and commerce. Boats can ply only up to Amtreng and to that extent it formed the life-line of trade and commerce of the Western Karbi Anglong with big markets of Baithalangso and Amtreng. But with the opening of the Kamrup- Baithalangso Road the importance of the river as a channel of the trade and commerce has gone down considerably. Its tributaries are the Mynth, the Ummat , Umted and the Myntring.
The Jamuna : The Jamuna or ‘Dijen' as it is called by the Dimasa Kacharies , rises in the ranges of the Khanbamun hills and drains the whole of the southern portion of the eastern hills of the Karbi Anglong. It enters the Nowgong district at the eastern boundary of Namati mauza of that district forming a common boundary between Karbi Anglong and Nowgong up to the junction of the Duardikharu, then it flows through Nowgong meeting the Kopili near Jamunamukh Railway Station. From its source, it covers from east to west a distance of about 75 miles or 120 kilometres before it meets the Kopili. The river is navigable upto Silbheta and can be used for trade and commerce up to that point only , beyond which no boat can ply due to rapids. Its main tributaries are the Dikharu, the Dikak, the Patridisa, the Disobai Nala, the Longhit, the Dillai and the Diphu Nala, the Disama Nala, the Pakingso Nala, the keyong Disa Nala and others. The river has a flood slope of 1 in 5,500 ft. ( about 1,650 metres ) and bankful capacity of 10,000 cusecs of water at its discharge site.
The Umium : The Umium which is also called the Killing in its lower portion originates from the high altitudes of Shillong hills and flows from south to north. It enters Karbi Anglong from the confluence of the Umlet and forms a considerable part of it western boundary with the Meghalaya State till it meets the boundary of Duramala mauza when it debouches into the plains of Nowgong and ultimately meets the Kopili at Naldhara Noa bil four kilometers up stream of the railway bridge over the Kopili. The river in its hilly region flows a stable course and carries no silt. The bed of the river consists of boulders and gravels. The maximum and minimum discharges of water in cusecs and silt content of the Killing river are given in two separate tables below from 1955 to 1959.
|Maximum Discharge (in cusecs)||9,548||11,862||5,123||6,792||3,554|
|Minimum Discharge (in cusecs)||223||243||178||136||177|
|Kind||Acre ft.||Acre ft.||Acre ft.||Acre ft.|
The Dhansiri river which rises in the south-west corner of the Naga hills below the Laishiang peak enters the Karbi Anglong at the confluence of the Watidisa river which is also a trijunction of Karbi Anglong , North Cachar Hills and Nagaland State and but for a little portion near about Dimapur it forms the entire eastern boundary of Karbi Anglong. The Dimasa Kacharis calls the river Dima (Di- river, Ma-big, meaning big river) and the name of the old city, Dimapur, situated on its bank was named after it. It is joined by its tributaries at various points and it drains the whole of the eastern portion of the district bordering on the Sibsagar district. The total length of the river from its source upto its confluence with the Brahmaputra at Dhansirimukh is approximately 220 miles or 354 kms. For the first 23 miles or 37 kms. from the source, the river flows in a north-westerly direction whereafter turning to the north-east it flows for about 47 miles (75.635 kms) upto Dimapur, thereafter the direction of flow is generally northernly upto Golaghat. Here the river Brahmaputra near Dhansirimukh opposite to Majuli island.
Its river course can be divided into two reaches i.e., (a) from its source upto the confluence of the Doyang and (b) from the Doyang confluence to the Brahmaputra confluence. Very little is known about the river in its up stream till its confluence with the Doyang as it passes through a valley covered with dense vegetation and impenetrable forests inhabited by wild elephants. Its section is narrow and the discharge is also not much in this reach but beyond the Doyang confluence the discharge increases considerably as it is fed by several streams.
Throughout its course, the river meanders which is very much marked, down streams of Golaghat Town. Beyond Golaghat upto its out-fall in to the Brahmaputra, there are altogether 18 high loops in the river and at places it is found that the river meanders a distance of 3 miles (about 5 kms.) in a straight reach of 6 furlongs ( about 1.2 kms.) only. About 2 miles (about 3.2 kms.) up stream of its confluence with the Brahamputra, near a place called Kuruabahi, there exists a big island of about 2000 ft. (609 m.) in length in the river. Down stream of the Dimapur (Nagaland) the blanks of the river are low at several places where the river overflows during the floods and inundates large areas of the land. The river is navigable upto Bokajan by small country boats. Besides the Doyang, the main tributaries of the Dhansiri river are the Deopani, the Nambarnadi, the Daigrung, the Kaliani and the Diphu river. The catchment area of the Dhansiri is approximately 4,766 sq. miles (12,334 sq.kms). The flood slope of the river from foot hills to (South ) and from Assam Trunk Road to out-fall was 3/ and 1.5/per mile respectively . Its bankful capacity , 2 miles (about 3.2 kms ) above the Assam Trunk Road was approximately of 46,000 cusecs. The table shows , the maximum and minimum dischsrges in cusecs from 1956 to 1959 and silt content statement of the Dhansiri river for the years 1957, 1958 and 1959
|Maximum discharge(in cusecs)||49,760||41,746||43,828||81,074|
|Minimum Discharge (in cusecs)||596||518||516||560|
|Yearly Total||% of Silt Content||Yearly Total||% of Silt Content||Yearly Total||% of Silt Content|
Among the other important rivers and streamlets of Karbi Anglong mention may be made of the Nambar, the Doigrung, the Kaliani, the Kalanga, the Horguti , the Dikharu, the Diphu and the Harina. The Nambar, the Doigrung and the Kaliani are the tributaries of the river Dhansiri and rise from Karbi Anglong. Very little information about these rivers are available as all of them flow through thick reseved forests. The discharge of these rivers are very low and fluctuating in nature as all of them are hilly streams. The river Kalanga originates from Karbi Anglong and passes through Rongkhang area and falls in the river Kopili. The river Horguti rises from the Singahasan Parbat in Karbi Anglong and after passing through the plains area finds its was into the Dikharu river. The river is perennial and carries a volume of water varying from 1,500 cusecs to 9 cusecs during the year . The river has an catchment area of about 4,600 square kilometers. The river is under investigation for construction of an irrigation project cost of which is estimated to about Rs. 46 lakhs. The river Dikharu originates from the Thankleng Pahar in Karbi Anglong and after flowing through Duardikharu and Namati mauzas it meets the Horguti and ultimately finds the way into the Jamuna. An irrigation project which will irrigate the areas of Namati, Duardikharu and Duarbamuni mauzas is under construction. The river Diphu originates from the Southern side of Karbi Anglong and falls into the Jamuna. It is very small river and is fed by a streamlet Dillaijan. The river Harina rises from the north- western side of Karbi Anglong and after passing through Dengaon area, it joins the Dikharu river and ultimately falls into the Jamuna river.
The Doiang : North of the Barail, the principal drainage channel is Doiang which rises near the Mahur station and flows a tortuous course through the centre of the North Cachar Hills district. Its approximate length upto Kopili river is 120 miles (about 193 kms.). From its junction with Langpher river near Lamsakhang it forms the northern boundary of the district till it falls into the Kopili which for the greater part of its course acts as the weastern boundary of the North Cachar Hills. The principal tributaries of Doiang on the left bank, are the Dalaima, Longloi, and the langeon. On the right-bank it is joined by the Mahur with its tributaries the Muoa and the Langting. The river has a maximum discharge of 510.56 cusecs and minimum discharge of 0.24 cusecs at Mahur. During their passage to the plains, these rivers present the phenomenon usually to be observed in hill streams. Although the channel is full of rocks and boulders which in conjunction with the rapidity of the current render them useless for purpose of navigation, it offers a good scope for fishing by angling in clear water. The rivers roar their way towards the lower levels, and they add much to the charm of the surrounding scenery and carry off the rainfall water of the hills.
The Jatinga : The Jatinga river which rises from the south of Haflong is well known as the railway line runs along its valley. It flows west and south through the hills till it emerges on the plains at Panighat. From there it flows through the Barkhala Pargana, and after receiving the Doloo on its left bank, falls into the Barak nearly opposite to Joynagar after a course of 36 miles (about 58 kms.). West of Jatinga there are numerous small streams which drain the country south of the Barail, but are of little importance except as drainage channels. The bed of Jatinga river is full of gravels. There is one discharge station at Harangajao established in 1959 and the maximum and minimum discharge recorded during the year were 1355.89 cusecs and 34.20 cusecs respectively.
The Jiri : The Jiri is the most affluent tributary of the Barak, from the hills. It rises in the North-Cachar Hills and flows a course of 75 miles (about 120kms.). to its confluence with the Barak , during the greater part of which it forms the boundary line between Assam and Manipur. Its principal tributaries are the Jhinam and the Digli or Kumarunga which drains the hills immediately to the west.
The Chiri : The Chiri or Longkhao is another important tributary of the Barak. It rises from the North Cachar Hills and flows through a steep valley upto Sibsthan and then through plains of the Barak valley upto its confluence with Barak at Banskandi. It receives many tributaries on its way, important of which are the Labak, the Langlacherra on the right bank and the Diksa and the Sital on the left bank. The river is a hill stream and carries good volume of silt during the flood. It is a meandering river and at a point near Nowagram ferryghat, it threatens to short circuit into the Barak.
The Madhura : The river rises from the North Cachar Hills and after flowing between 2 spurs of hills upto Udarband debouches into a wider valley in common with the Larsing river which drains the small adjoining valley to the west and flows in the common valley for a few kilometers to join the Madhura about one and a half kilometer upstream of its confluence with the Barak at a point opposite to the northeast corner of Silchar town in Cachar district.
The Langting : The river is a tributary of the Doiang and flows a course of approximately 94 miles (151 kms.) upto its confluence with Doiang. The bed is rockey and full of pebbles and boulders and at some places, of hardrock. The river is not navigable. The maximum discharge of the river is found to be 2,995 cusecs during floods and the minimum discharge 7.17 cusecs during the dry season.
The Mahur : It is an tributary of the Doiang and flows a course of approximately 34 miles (about 54.71 kms.) upto its confluence with the Doiang. The bed of the river is rocky and full of boulders.
The Lumding : It is also a hilly river and tributary of the Doiang. Its approximate length is about 68 kms. Almost all the rivers in North Cachr Hills are hilly rivers with steep grade of bed and have tremendous velocities which make them unfit for navigation.
Floods : A number of rivers and streams though have their source of origin in the district of United Mikir and North Cachar Hills, heavy flood is not the common occurrence because of the hilly terrain of the region . The rise in the water level of the Kopili, the Barapani and the Dhansiri causes flood in the plain areas of Karbi Anglong but their impact is more widely felt in the neighbouring district. Flood of the Barapani alone dose not cause much harm to the areas lying along its banks. But back flow of the Kopili through its out fall which extend upto Lutumaikhuti, floods the entire area between foothills and affects the plain portion of Baithalangso thana upto the foot hills.The Dhansiri river causes flood in the Borpathar area of Karbi Anglong. Along the Kaliani river which is a tributary of the Dhansiri, there is some local flooding for the protection of which there is one embankment starting from Sildubi and ending at the out falls of Panjan.
However, the damage caused by the floods of these rivers is not very serious if the flood is timely, as the flood water does not last long and the people replant their fields after subsidence of the flood. If the flood is untimely and be of more than the normal height , the devastation is swift, complete and widespread specially when the crops are ripening. But this occurs only after the lapse of the years :- usually five or six years. Moreover, this is compensated for the fertility of the exhausted soil being restored by this natural process of manuring in a country where artificial manuring is not much practicised
(ii) Lakes and Tanks :
In the Hawaipur area in Karbi Anglong a lake more than one and one half kms. Length is situated at 25 o56/ and 92o49/ latitude respectively. There are two tanks situated within a kilometre north of this lake. Another lake named Farma bil nearly two and half square kilometers is situated at 25o50/ and 92o52/ latitude and longitude. There are also a number of bils and natural fisheries viz., Lankajan , Jora bil , Beedengpi Railway bil, Kachu pukhuri, Bet pukhuri etc., in Karbi Anglong. In the North Cachar Hills there are some natural and artificial lakes at the Haflong town which have augmented the beauty of this hilly town.
(iii) Springs & Spring heads :
There are some hot-springs which have not been utilized properly. The hot spring namely Garmpani Hot Spring on the banks of the Kopili river in North Cachar Hills is well-known . It is situated near Garmpani Inspection Bunglow ( 25 o31/ and 92o8/ ). This spring emerges at the fault contact between Sylhet lime stones and Cherra sand stones. Temperature of water is 122oF . Numerous hot springs are also known to occur on a line in the upper reaches of the Kaliani river in the heart of Karbi Anglong . As it is known, most of these hot springs are regarded efficacious in the treatment of skin complaints, goitre, arthrities and other diseases, some of them can be converted into holiday and health resorts.
(iv) Under ground water resources :
Hydrogeology of United Mikir and North Cachar Hills district has been studied only in the area bounded by latitudes 25 o23/ and 25o36/ North and longitude 92o34/ and 92o46/ East in connection with the geotechnical investigation of the Kopili Hydel Project. The area includes the Umrong basin and parts of the Kopili and the Doiang basins and is floored with marine Tertiary sediments lying uncomformably on a granitite and gneissic basement. The oldest sedimentary unit is the 60 metre thick Cherra sand stone which is conformably overlain by the nummulitic limestone of the Sylhet stage (100 metre thick). The Sylhet limestone is overlain by the shales of Kopili stage ( over 250 metre thichk ).
The Sylhet limestone which occurs extensively in the Kopili , the Umrong and the Doiang basins, has been subjected to solution activity by percolating water through geological ages. This has resulted in the formation of extensive sub-terranean caverns of very large dimensions. Subsoil water in the area occurs mainly in these caverns and also in the joints, cracks and fissures of the Sylhet limestone. There is evidence in the caverns that they act as channels of transpiration for surface run-off during the monsoon.
The piezometric surface of water occurring in the solution channels and other structural openings indicate a very flat hydraulic gradient (1 in 265 ) in Umrong basin but shows a steep slope towards south-east ( hydraulic gradient 1 in 15 ) near the eastern periphery of the Umrong basin. The phenomenon is suggestive of heavy percolation of ground water from Umrong to Doiang basin. At places where there are clay partings in the limestone, groundwater occurs under artesian condition. The depth to water level varies widely, from less than a metre to few hundred metres depending upon the depth of occurrence of the Sylhet limestone horizon . The storage potential of groundwater in the area can be noted as good and call be developed for domestic irrigational and industrial purposes by shallow and deep tubewells.
(d) GEOLOGY :
(i) geological antiquity and geological formation of the District :
The United Mikir & North Cachar Hills district which occurs to the south of the Brahmaputra alluvial valley, is constituted geologically by an inlier of complex older Archaean gneissic and granites forming the Karbi Anglong proper and a sequence of gneissic and schistose formations in northeast fringes of the Shillong Plateau constituting the northern portion of the North Cachar Hills. These are in some places overlain by patches of doubtful Mesozoic traps. In the southern and south-western parts of the district, the Archaean rocks are flanked by nearly horizontally bedded much younger Tertiary rocks having a general N.-SW strike trend. They occur more or less in regular fashion all along the southern and eastern boundary of the Archaean gneissic complex. Immediately fringing the Archaean complex ina semi-circular fashion occurs the oldest Tertiary rocks of the area, namely the Jaintia series showing well-displayed stages. These rocks extend from south-east of Shillong plateau , i.e., Kopili valley, to as far as the upper end of the Dhansiri valley where it merges with the Brahmaputra. The Jaintia series is bordered in the south-east and east by the Borail series which is in turn fringed by the Surma Series towards further south and south-east. The next two younger series, namely the Tipams and Dihings, do not form regular and continous bands like the older Tertiaries mentioned above, but they occupy considerable area along the foot hills of the Barail range and Jamuna and Dhansiri valleys of the district. The general geological succession of rocks in the district is shown below .
|Dihing Series||Pliocene to|
|Surma Series||Miocene to upper|
|Older Metamorphics and|
Archaean Gneissic Complex : The Archaean gneissic complex is the oldest group of rocks which occurs in the district. They mainly occupy the Karbi Anglong proper, as already mentioned, but are also found to occur in the eastern and south-eastern portion of the Shillong Plateau falling within the north-western fringes of the North Cachar Hills. The gneissic inlier of Karbi Anglong is composed of rocks with a great variety of texture ranging from a coarse-grained porphyritic slightly foliated granite, to a fine-grained strongly banded gneiss. Although there is very little variation in composition, the colour frequently changes from grey to pink and it is quite possible that the older gneissic and younger granites of the Shillong Plateau are both represented in Karbi Anglong proper. The general strike of foliation of the gneissic is E.W. but there are frequent changes in direction ; the dip is either vertical or steep.
The gneiss, which is usually fresh and uncrushed, consists of quartz, plagioclase felspar, rarely orthoclase, brown biotite mica, green hornblende and grains of magnetite, apatite, zircon and occasionally rutile. Occasional veins of quartz and pegmatite, the latter carring mica and beryl, are seen in the gneisses locally. Sometimes there are bands of quartzone schists, becoming in places garnetiferous and micaceous. At Miji, a hypersthenes-bearing geneiss is observed intimately interbedded along the foliation planes of the gneisses , the bands of the hypersthenes-bearing rock measuring 7 to 9 metres in thickness . The rock is foliated, coarse-grained and fresh with little signs of crushing and is chiefly composed of quartz plagioclase felspar and hypersthene together with brown biotite and grains of magnetite, spine, apatite and zircon.
Shillong Series : The next higher group of rocks which lies with an unconformity over the Archaean gneissic complex is known as the Shillong Series. This is considered to be equivalent to the Precam-brain Dharwar formations of the other parts of India. This does not occupy any major portion of this district, but nevertheless occurs around Nongrirong, Khinduli, Umbas and Unishora area on the northeast fringe of the main Shillong plateau at the north-west corner of the district. It is also found as isolated patches near Molaber, Umkhyrmi, etc., south-east of the belt mentioned above.
This group of rocks is composed of a considerable thickness of well-bedded quartzites, locally conglomeratic and frequently micaceous, and highly crumpled foliated micaschists, hornnlende schists, chlorite schists, granulites and amphibolites with occasional bands of shale and slate. Micaceous schist is also a predominant rock of hteShillong series and this is in places intimately associated with the gneiss. The argillaceous stage includes some soft and shaly beds. The strike of this formation is generally Animal Husbandry-SW and the dips are moderate to the south-east. Sedimentary structures like current-bedding, cross-bedding, ripple marks, etc., are common in the quartzities.
Granites : The Archaean gneissic complex as well as the Shillong Series are intruded by granites, which are exposed over an area of many square kilometers in the Shillong plateau. This granite is known as Mylliem granite. Through this granite does not occur extensively in the United Mikir and North Cachar Hills district, yet a considerable portion in the north-western corner of the district is occupied by this granite, especially around Pantalu, Umbi, Donmyrsing and Umpanai, Maji, Umkhen, Umtiryngai, Longpai, Pator, Pangcha, Rongshek, Baisko Rangpharsum area in the North Cachar Hills. It consists of a structureless aggregate of large porphyrite crystals of flesh-coloured microline feldspar in a groundmass conataining subordinate acid plagioclase and orthoclase , quartz and biotite, the last sometimes intergrown with hornblende, and grains of apatite and zircon as accessories. This rock is often seen intruding along the bedding of the quartzities and sometimes cut across the strike of the Shillong series.
Sylhet Trap : The Archaean complex is unconformably over-lain in some places by basaltic lava flows and intrusive dolerites of Jurassic age known as Sylhet Traps. Though doubts have been expressed about the existence of the traps in this area, Sylhet Trap does occur locally at a few places. The isolated patches of the rocks reported as traps around Myntliah ( 25o43/ ) ; ( 92o16/ ) a little north-west in North Cachar Hills may be only epidiorities of Sarterangso, and amphibolities similar to the Khasi greenstones in other parts of the Shillong plateau. There are also reported occurrences of altered trap, at Sareterangso , to the west of Dijam Basti, along the western flank of Longlai hill and along Disobai nala.
The Sylhet traps generally consists of basic flows, and dykes and sills of altered dolerite or basalt. generally they are coarse-grained rocks composed of crystals of light green to colourless hornblends surrounded by large brown biotite mica, some plagioclase, a few quartz grains and a fibrous mineral which appears to be an altered hornblende. Though the general rock type of Sylhet trap is dolerite or basalt, yet fresh trap is very rare in this area, as it is invariably lateritised or decomposed. It also contains rounded modules of chert indicating original amygdaloidal character. From field occurrences , the trap appears to be post-granite but pre-Tertiary in age.
Jaintia Series : The Tertiary rocks which are well-developed in Assam, aare divisible into (1) the lowermost Jaintia series (Eocene) and (2)Barail series (Oligocene) ; (3) Middle Surma series (Miocene to upper Oligocene ) ; and (4) uppermost Tipam series (Miocene) and (5) Dihing series (Pliocene to Pleistocene). The Eocene rocks which are restricted to lower Asssam are known as the Jaintia series. These rocks unconformably overline the Archaean gneisses , Shillong series , Sylhet traps and Cretaceous rocks at different places. This series is also found well developed in United Mikir and North Cachar Hills district fringing the Archaean gneissic complex on the southern and south- eastern side in a semi-circular pattern. The Jaintia series has been divided into three stages, namely the lower Therria sandstone stage, the middle Sylhet limestone stage and the upper Kopili shales stage.
The lowermost Therria stage is composed of grits, coarse sandstone, dirty white clays and shales together with thin seams of coal. Quartzitic and calcareous sandstones are also predominent. The rocks are very well developed along the Kopili valley on the western part of North Cachar Hills in the south – western portion of the district. It then continues to occur through Kopili and Jamuna valleys as occasional patches and bands as far as Borpathar. The stage is overlain by the Sylhet limestone stage, the next higher group of rocks, consisting of mainly fossiliferous 23 (nummulitic ) limestone. The limestone rests on a gritty sandstone which has locally undergore metamorphism to form quartzities. This stage follows more or less the same attitude as that of Therria sandstone stage so far as its distribution is concerned, but is more widespread and thick. The main exposures are seen more or less continuously along the Kopili and Umrong valleys in North Cachar Hills . Disconnected patches of the limestone are seen in Jamuna valley mainly around Sarterangso, Meyong Disa, Silvatta, Pakiangso, and Koliajan. The beds then take a sharp northerly turn around the Archaean boundary and occur as isolated patches along the eastern flanks of Karbi Anglong as far as Garampani. The Sylhet limestone are overlain by the uppermost Kopili stage which mainly consist of mudstones, silts, shales and carbonaceous shales, with intercalations of sandstones. This stage is well developed as a continuous narrow belt along the eastern side of the Kopili valley in North Cachar Hills. The rocks then continue into the Jamuna valley as occasional patches and ultimately die out in the Dhansiri valley.
Barail Series : The Jaintia series is unconformably overlain by the Barail series which occupies a larger area north of the Haflong-Disang thrust. These formations fringe the Jaintia series to the north-west and occupy many hundred square kilometers of area mainly in the Saipung Reserve Forest, Khudirang (2552/) and Kolobot (4321/) hills, and Dalaima, Doiang and Langloi river basins. This wide belt then take s a northeasterly turn and covers a considerable area, extending from the Barail foothills into the Daojali Parbat Laikrang range, Langting-Mupa R.F. , Langling-Lamu-Hatikhali- Masabdisa area, Lumding and Dhansiri R.F. After this, the series disappears towards the Dhansiri basin, but few isolated exposures are found in the Jamuna basin especially around Rangpigaon.
The Barail series is divided into three stages, namely Laisong, Jenam and Renji (from oldest to youngest). This series is represented by a thick succession of wellbedded, massive, ferruginous sandstone with interbedded grey buff and brown shales. The sandstones are usually coarse-grained varying in colour from red to redish brown and yellow to yellowish brown. The Laisong or the lower Barails forms prominent scarps well exposed in the Barail range. They consist of hard, thin bedded flaggy sandstones and subordinate shales. The Jenam stage consists of sandstones alternating with shales and carbonaceous shales, whereas the youngest and uppermost Renji stage is composed of hard massive sandstones with massive shales. The Barails in all the areas are mainly arenaceous, but the sandstones increase in coarseness in a north-easterly direction. There are no coal seams of importantce as in Upper Assam, but they begin to appear east of the main Dhansiri valley. Thin seams of coal and carbonaceous shales are , however, seen Bhaga in Kopili valley.
Surma Series : The Surma series overlies the Barails with an unconformity. The series is best develop south of the Barail series in the Surma valley from where it takes its name. They mainly occupy an east-west belt south of Haflong-Disang thrust fault boundary. They are mainly exposed in North Cachar in three widely separated areas namely (1) Kerem-Maibong-Mupa tract , (2) Sarkiading Range, and (3) around Lumding. The formation is well developed in the Lumding valley and is also exposed in nala sections along Jamuna valley, Dilai nala, Bara Harihajan ( Bar Sariahjan ) Chota Harihajan (Saru Sariahjan ), Boharjan an along Dhansiri river from Borpather to Garampani. The Surmas in Jamuna valley directly overlie the Jaintia series with an unconformity. The rocks of the series are represented by wellbedded grey to buff coloured shales with bluish clays and soft micaceous sandstones. The series is divided into two stages. The lower Bhuban stage, which takes its name from the prominent scrap of the Bhuban range in North Cachar , mainly comprises sandstones shales and some conglomerates. In Karbi Anglong, the unconformity below the Surmas is well seen and the rocks transgress over the Barails and Jaintia into the metamorhipes. The Bhuban stage is over-lain by the Upper Bokabal stage, which is not, however, well developed especially in Karbi Anglong proper. It is mainly composed of sandy shales , silts and sandstones. The rocks are generally horizontally bedded or gently undulating.
Tipam Seriese : The Tipam series lies over the Surmas with no marked unconformity. This series occupies a wide area on the north-western flanks of the Barail range in North Cachar Hills extending north-east along the Dhansiri valley from Diphu and Dimapur as far Borpathar. This series contains ferruginous, coarse to medium-grained, ferlsepathic sandstones, and light to bluish green mottled sandy clays, the former weatering to a reddish brown friable sandstone. It also contains pebble- beds and pebbly-sandstones. The whole formation carries a considerable amount of ferruginous material. The occurrence of Silicified and car-bonised fossil wood is a characteristic feature in the Tipams.
Dihing Series : The Dihing series rests on the Tipams with an unconformity and at places transgress over the older formations into the gneisses. It occupies a large tract on the south-east, east and north-east side of the Karbi Anglong proper fringing the border of the Archaean gneissic complex. The formation thus covers the eastern portion of the Jamuna valley and the western side of the Dhansiri river basin extending to the north as far as Garampani. The series consists of an assemblage of pebble beds with subordinate sands and clays . The rocks are for the most part poorly consolidated and the pebbles have been derived from the Barails as well as the metamorphic. Some carbonized wood and badly preserved leaf impressions are also seen.
(ii) Mineral Wealth :
Though the United Mikir and North Cachar Hills district is a fairly extensive tract, the terrain is hilly and thickly forested. The area has not been mapped in detail and the economic value of its mineral resources are still not precisely known. Sporadic mineral occurrences which have been reported from time to time are described below. There are two groups of rocks , namely the Archaean gneissic complex and the Jaintia Series , which are important in containing the important minerals reported from the district. Coal, limestone and clays are the chief economic minerals from the rocks of the Jaintia series, while minor occurrences of mica , beryl , etc., are found in the Archaean gneisses. Systematic survey of the district and detailed exploration for limestones, coal, clays, mica and other minerals are underway to develop mineral based industries in the district.
Beryl : The mineral is the principal source of beryllium metal. It is also employed in the alloy industry and is used in nuclear reactor as moderators. The mineral has been reported recently from some of the pagmative veins traversing the Archaean gneisses of Karbi Anglong proper. Although no large occurrence for working the mineral on commercial scale has yet been located, further investigation in the future will indicate the actual value of these occurrences.
Building Stones : The granites and granite gneisses occurring in the Archaean complex of Karbi Anglong can be usefully for building material. The quartzites of the Shillong series, granites and genisses and the epidiorites occurring in the northern portion of the North Cachar Hills may be useful for building stones and road metals . The Sylhet limestones in Kopili and Jamuna valleys may also yield useful material for building. Some of these fossiliferous limestone can be polished and used as ornamental stones. Elsewhere in the district, only the hard sandstones of Jaintia and Barail series are available for building and road-making purposes.
Clay : Various types and grades of clays are found to occur in the district within the rocks of Jaintia series, Barail series and Dihing series. Good quality clays are known to occur at places, such as Kaliani, Kidinithipa, Disobai nala, etc., within the rocks of the Jaintia series. Though the details of the reserve and grades are not known, some of these clays, may be useful for ceramic ware. Lithomarge- a special variety of clay is also found in this district below the Sylhet limestone stage in some localities. The shales of the Kopili stage of Jaintia series are widespread and can be utilized in cement manufacture and for tiles and bricks. The thin-bedded clayey shales in Dihing series exposed at places to the Jamuna valley may also find use to cement manufacture and for tiles and bricks.
Coal : Small occurrences of coal have been reported from various places in the district. The coal seams are found in sandstones of the Jaintia series. The most areas from which coal has been located and investigated are at Koilajan, Longlai, Kheroni, Silvatta, Disobai nala and Khunbaman range and other places along the Jamuna valley on the southern side of Karbi Anglong. Some coal is known to occur in the upper reaches of the Kaliani and Daigurung rivers inside Karbi Anglong . Thin seams of coal also occur near Garampani in Kopili valley. Unlike in upper Assam, the rocks of the Barail series are generally devoid of coal, but thin impersistent coal seams are found at places around Baga on the Garampani-Haflong road in North Cachar Hills.
Coal is a basic fuel for the development of any industry. In this respect, the district has some potentialities so far as its coal reserves are concerned. Two of the areas , Koliajan and Disobai in Karbi Anglong are leased out and the Koliajan colliery has produced coal intermittently during the past 30 years. The thickness of the coal seam is about 1.6 metres at Koliajan, about 0.6 metre at Longloi and Kheroni and 1.2 to 1.5 metres at Silvatta. In the Khunbaman range, two seams of coal have been recently located, each measuring 0.91 to 1.5 metres in thickness and extending over an area of about 10 Sq. kms. Detailed exploration to prove the extent reserves and grade of coal in different places is under way to open up and develop the field for supplying coal for the needs of the district. The anticipated reserves of coal in some of the important areas may be of the order of a few million tons
Hot springs : There are some hot springs in this district which perhaps have not yet been properly utilized. The hot spring at Garampani on the banks of the Kopili river in North Cachar Hills is well known. Numerous hot springs are also known to occur on a line in the upper reaches of Kaliani river in the heart of Karbi Anglong . As it is known, most of these hot mineral springs are regarded efficacious in the treatment of skin complaints, goitre, arthritis and other diseases, some of these hot springs can be converted into holiday and health resorts.
Limestone : Good quality limestones have been reported from many places in the district from the rock of Sylhet limestone stage. The main occurrences are around Garampani in the Kopili valley in North Cachar Hills, and at Koilajan, Manjali, Sivatta, Mayong Disa , Longlai,and adjacent areas along the Jamuna valley on the southern side of Karbi Anglong proper. The limestone in most of these places is low in magnesia and suitable for cement manufacture. The zone varies from 7 to 200 metres in thickness at different places. The reserves of such limestones along the Kopili and Jamuna valleys are of the order of hundreds of million tons. Details exploration by drilling and sampling is now being carried out by the geological Survey of India and the Directorate of geology and Mining, Assam, for setting up cement factories at Garampani and Bokajan and for the Kopili hydo-electric project. The completion of investigations will lead to the exploitation of the limestones for supplying to cement manufacture, and electricity for paper, chemical and allied industries.
Mica : Mica has also been reported to occur in some of the pegmatite veins in the Archaean gneisses of Karbi Anglong proper, as for example north of Mohengdijua, but none of these have yet been found to be of economic importance.
(iv) Earthquakes :
Earthquakes, as a rule,mostly occur in regions of marked instability of the crust, such as mountain belt of geologically recent date. It is thought that earthquakes originate from deep zones where the accumulated stresses give rise to some movement, mainly by slip along fault planes. Assam is situated on a tectonically weak zone and earthquakes are common along the Brahmaputra valley and adjacent hill tracts. Karbi Anglong proper forms a part of the older Archaean "Shield" mass and is a relatively safer zone where earthquakes of big magnitude are unlikely to take place, and are not liable to cause severe damage. Some earthquakes have occurred in the past along the margins of the Assam plateau which is known to be a "horst" uplift during the Miocene period. The great Assam earthquake of 1897 and the Dhuburi earthquake of 1930 also occurred in this region, but did not cause much damage as the major Seismometrical lines passed either to the north of this district or to the south of it, touching occasionally the boundary of the district.
North Cachar Hills Sub-division suffered considerable damage by the shock occurred on January 10 th. 1869. This earthquake was felt in upper Assam and also in the adjoining areas in Burma, but Manipur and eastern end of the Surma valley suffered the most damage. The great earthquake of 12th June , 1897 was felt in North Cachar Hills but escaped with comparatively little injury. Only the residence of the Sub-divisional Officer and the Dak Bunglow of Haflong were rendered uninhabitable. Little damage was done to the unopened section of the railway in the North Cachar Hills, but the bridge between Badarpur and Silchar sustained severe injuries. Though severe earthquakes took place in Assam in the years 1930 and 1950 and considerable damages were done in Dhuburi and upper Assam respectively, this district was not disturbed although a slight tremor was felt all over the area.
(e) FLORA :
The forest of Karbi Anglong can be placed broadly under Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests and Northern Tropical Semi-Evergreen as described by Champion in his Forests Types of India. The forests included under the type Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous falls into two categories , Sal Forests and the rest. But biotic factors like age-long shifting cultivation, unregulated felling and uncontrolled burning have given rise to a number of variations and for the purpose of convenient description forests may be classified into Sal Type,Dry Miscellaneous Type , Wet Miscellaneous Type, Savannah Type and Swamp Type.
• Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests :
Sal Type : Most of forests covered by this type are hilly and fall under Champion's Khasi Hills Sal. The rest of the Sal areas lying on level ground with or without kurkarni mounds resemble Champion's ‘Kamrup Alluvial Sal.' According to these two sub types , the Sal bearing reserve of Karbi Anglong may be grouped as Wet Hills Sal and Moist Sal. Under the former comes the Junthung Reserved Forest and under the latter, Sildharampur Reserved Forests, Chelabor Reserved Forests and Rongkhang Reserved Forests.The Sal bearing reserves are now situated on the outer fringes of Karbi Anglong. The occurrence of Sal is confined patches of various sizes, often wide apart, from a few sporadic trees or small group of trees to patches covering not more than a couple of hundred acres. Continous patches are not available in these reserves. Though Sal is at present sporadic and patchy, there is every indication that in the remote past, it covered a much wider area in a fairly continous stretches extending over the zone and the present detached patches of limited extent and scattered trees are but remains after repeated Jhuming and uncontrolled felling in the pre-reservation period and even later. But the presence of numerous small but well stocked Sal of re-generation over well drained open areas and in blanks particularly under the shelter afforded by the clump of Kakoo bamboos, unmistakably points to the fact that with protection , the reclamation of area back to Sal is yet possible.
In hill areas Sal rises up to the top of the ridges, but as the soil here is generally shallow and dry, the growth of Sal is poor and stunted. Due to open nature of the forests with the presence of grss as under growth, the locality is subject to annual fires, which cause damage to standing trees and to the younger generation. Regeneration is usually observed in patches where condition of soil and light are favourable, and where solitary mature or over mature trees of large size but poor quality occurred in an otherwise young to middle aged crop. The quality class varies from IV to low III and the density can be described only by the term ‘open'. In well drained plains, chiefly along the foot hills, the Sal finds its optimum conditions to thrive along the Nowgong border and it is here that the Sal of the quality class III to low II are noticeable. The patches are well stocked in many places and on account of easy accessibility and repeated improvement felling in the past , the trees are healthy with good formation.
A few small patches of mal-formation Sal, crooked, knotty and stunted, exists in the kurkarni areas of Rongkhang and Sildharampur Reserved Forests. Due to extensive encroachment, the Sal in these areas is disappearing rapidly and the prospect of regeneration too is poor. A number os other species also occur mixed with Sal according to the local variations in the site. Species like Karoi, Jamuk, Ajhar, Sam etc. occupy the moisture localities, while Gamari, Sapa, Amari, Poma, Bhelu, Simul etc. occupy the typical Sal areas. The middle storey in Sal contains species like Kumbhir, Dudhkhuri, Kanchan, Gohora Kuhir, Sonaru, Bandardima, Kothdlua, Hatikerpa etc. While clumps of Kakoo bamboo occur in the low storey in certain localities. The under growth vary between shrubs grasses like thatch, San etc., and where the canopies are completely open an invasion by Eutarium (germany ) grass is the result.
Dry Miscellanceous type : This type is Characteristic of non-sal reserve but also occur in the drier patches of Sal reserve characterised by openness of the canopy and slopes and ridges. Most of the areas are subject to annual fires, and are obviously a serial type of vegetation which spring up after the areas received rest from repeated jhuming. In places the pioneer species have, with time, been succeeded by the species of mixed deciduous of which many are commercially valuable. A certain amount of overlapping occurs in places near the Sal zone as can be seen by occasional widely scattered Sal trees with good seeding regeneration . The occurrence of this type of miscellaneous forests in the Sal zone does not appear to be a consequence of natural evolution but is a most probable result of the disappearance of the existing Sal due to ruthless felling in course of jhuming and subsequent burning.
The canopy being open, the differentiation of stories is not well-defined in these types of forests. The species represented are more or less those generally associated with Sal. Mixed with less important species occur scattered, valuable species like Gamari, Amari, Bhelu, Bogipoma, Gunsoroi, Sapa, Sam, Simul, Hiharu, Khokon and Poma. Climbers are not prominent chiefly due to the area being subject to annual burning.
Wet Miscellaneous Type : This type of forest is characterised by the presence of evergreen and semi-evergreen species, and is found in the moisture pockets and the cooler wet valleys nearly of all the reserves. Fire is almost unknown in the area occupied by this type and the forests generally presents a three storied appearance. Clinbers , important of which are Acacias (Kuchoi lata ), Bauhinias (Kanchan lata), Vitis (Pani lata), Meezoneurum (Baghasora) and Entada (Ghila lata), etc., flourish here and it is in this type of forests that commercially valuable canes are available. Among the tree species Outenga, Morhal, Ajhar, Hingori, Dal-mugra etc. are conspicuous. The upper storey which give place to some lofty deciduous species also is represented by Bhelu, Sam , Hollck, Amari, Khokon, Karoi, Am,Jamuk, Poreng, Dewasali, Sillikha, Dhuna, Hatiplai, Mau-Sita and the like. Bonsom once constituted a fair percentage in these type of forests in the Dhansiri, Disama, Longhit Patradisha Reserves but the species is now rare in the later two reserves while in the former it is also depleted. Species like Ajhar, Momai, Leteku, Outenga, Hingori, Bor- koliori, Dalmugra, Morhal,Thekera, Dimoru, Bandardima, etc. are seen in the middle storey. Nahor is present in a small quantity in some of the reserves. Under growth is generally of miscellaneous nature and of a moist type. Regeneration of important species is rare or scanty but seedlings of Nahor, Sam, Amari are noticed in small numbers. In the reserves like Dhansiri and Daldali, profuse regeneration of Badam is noticed.
Riverian Type : this type of forest occupies localities with alluvial soil of more recent origin and is noticeable in the vicinity of principal rivers and streams of the district. The presence of the type is generally on the banks of the rivers Jamuna, Kopili, Dhansiri, Kaliani etc. The forest is of a mixed type and is composed of the species like Karoi, Ajhar, Urium, Outenga, Morhal, Bhelkor, Jamuk, Seris with Simul as an associate. Where the drainage is better species like Sapa, Poma, Amari, Bhelu, Gunsoroi etc. occur.
Savannah Type : This is generally of two types namely the dry savannah and the wet savannah. Dry savannah occur in open areas in dry miscellaneous forests and are characterised by Imperata arundinacea (San grass). Pollinia Ciliata (San), Erianthus elephantinus (Ekara), Panicum assamicum, Anthistyria gigantia, Saccharum narenga (Meghela), an other grasses. The areas are subject to annual fires. Wet savannahs are more or less associated with lower levels and are found fringing the bils or depressions created by changes in river courses. These localities frequently go under water during the rains and are characterised by grasses like Saccharum, Anthestyria, Arundo, Phragmites (Nal) etc.
Swamp Type : The type includes depressions an bils which are mostly abandoned river channels. Most of these areas are fit for wet cultivation as they are not capable of supporting tree forests though they are generally fringed by species of the wet miscellaneous type. Alpinia species (Bogitora) are generally associated with this type.
• Northern Tropical Semi-evergreen Riverian Forests :
generally speaking, the top canopy of these forests is characterised by species which are deciduous for short period, with middle an lower canopies being mainly evergreen in character. Deciduous characteristics of the forests increases as one proceeds into the hilly region of Daldali reserve. Most of these forests were presumably under cultivation until the beginning of the last century and at present represent a serail stage. According to the distribution in the tract the forests can be described as below :
Kurkani Type : Occurs in the plains portion where the drainage condition is poor.
Alluvial Type : Occurs in the plains portion where the drainage conditions are better and extending to the lower slopes of the hills .
Hill type : Occurs in the upper slopes and tops and ridges of the hills.
Kurkarni type : This type is confined to the low lying parts of the Nambor reserve. The terrain is flat and inter-spersed by a series of mounds of varying heights and diameters formed from the casts of earth worms. The area generally remains waterlogged during the rains. The trees growing in these are mainly confined to the kurkarni mounds. The incidence of climbers is rather heavy and the trees are prevented from putting on their proper growth by the dense mass of climber that generally covered their crowns.
Ajhar, Amari, Bonsom,Sam and Urium are some of the more important among the species that grow to a limited extent in these forests and formed the top canopy. The middle storey is more or less monopolised by Outenga which occurs along with other species like Bandardima, Borhomthuri, Morhal etc. Regeneration of commercially important species is rather scarce and confined generally to the space around mother trees. The ground cover being rather heavy, such regeneration find difficulty in establishing itself. The more common among the climbers are Acacias, Bauhinias, Combretums, Dalbergias, Delimasermentose, Entada Scamdens and Uncarias. The timber value of the forests is poor but this more than make up for the valuable cane growth found in them. Jati and Tita are the varities of canes that command a good market and occur in these forests. Besides, these two varities of canes, Raidang, Lejai and Rangkoli canes are also found.
Alluvial type : By far the best timber stands are found in this type of forests. This type occurs in all the reserves and occupies the better drained localities in the plain portions extending up the valleys and lower slopes of the hills, the quality getting poorer as we move away from the plains. The soil is rich and deep and of loam texture.
Among thes several tree species occurring in this type, by far the most valuable, is Bonsom. This species prefers moist, well-drained soil and is generally confined to areas that are not far from rivers and to valleys containing a good depth of soil. Other important timber trees typical of this type are Amari, Ajhar, Bogipoma, Bhelu, Hollock, Khokan, Sam, and Sopa with Nahor occurring to a limited extent in the Nambor West Block. None of these species have any tendency to form gregarious patches over large areas, and occur more or less mixed together. Ajhar and Hollock can stand a certain amount of water logging but Bonsum has a tendency to die if the flood water does not drain away quickly. Both Ajhar and Hollock are confined to areas within easy reach of streams whilst the other species mentioned above are distributed more or less over the whole area.
Three canopy layers can be clearly distinguished in these forests. Bhelu rises over the rest in the top canopy which contains species like Amari, Bogipoma, Bonsum, Hollock, Sam and Sopa. Prominent in the middle canopy which is essential ever-green in character are Koliory, Momai-leteku, Morhal, Outenga, Rali etc. The last mentioned species is more or less gregarious wherever it occurs. The lower storey is composed of several shrubs-like species, such as, Clerodendron (Dhopat tita ), Mallotus (Rohini), Melastoma (Phutuka), Litsaea (Dighlati) etc. with a ground cover consisting of herbs and several kinds of ferns. Among the palms, geregua Tamul is found as an under growth in areas characteristic of good, deep soil and with a fairly heavy overhead canopy. Regeneration of the important species is found only to a limited extent in these forests.
Regeneration appears easily where the soil has been wounded near cart tracts, saw pits etc. Shade bearers like Bonsum, Amari etc. can stand separation for some time an struggle but, demanders like Hollock find it extremely difficult to get through the heavy under growth prevalent in these forests. The incidence of climbers varies inversely as the stocking,-- a common sight being isolated trees in open areas being covered by a mass of climbers. Among the more common of the climbers are Acacias, Bauhinias, Combretums, Entada, Hibiscus fragrans etc.
Hill type : This type occurs in Daldali Reserve and some portions of the Nambor Reserve West Block and is characterised by a high degree deciduousness. The soil is shallow and poor and the predominence of bamboos in these areas indicates that Jhuming was prevalent in the not very distant past. In portions of Nambor West, however , hill soil is comparatively better.
The composition of crop is essentially mixed in character. Many of the shrubs occurring in the orther two types occur in this type also, none of them having a tendency to form any large gregarious patches. The crop carries a large proportion of tree species that are now considered commercially useful at present along with the coming up of the large number of plywood factories in Assam. Among the more common of the large trees that are found in this type may be mentioned, Am, Bajaiow, Amari, Bhelu, Jia, Paroli, Poma etc. In the Daldali Reserve, Dalu and Jati bamboos are found to occur to a large extent as a middle storey, whilst in the Nambor Reserve West Block the northern portions are covered with Bajalo bamboo whose incidence increases as we proceed westward. The later type of growth appears to inhabit the progress of regeneration of three species. Climbers are less profuse than in order two types , the more common among the climbers being Acacias, Bauhinias, Combretums, Derris, Smilax etc. Regeneration of the important timber species is rather scarce. Open areas are covered with either Eupatorium or a dense growth of coarse grass or Michenia, all producing conditions that are unfavourable for the establishment of regeneration-tree of the species.
Assam tropical Miscellaneous Evergreen Forests :
In these forests the characteristic feature is that top canopy is predominated by the deciduous species whose leafless period is short. The middle and lower stories are more or less of evergreen nature. These forests represent a seral stage which would ultimately lead to evergreen type. The forests under this type are Kaliani, Karbi Anglong and Nambor North Reserved Forests. The most common tree in the top canopy is Bhelu. Among other species in the top canopy layers , those more frequently occurring are, Amari, Sapa, Sam etc. Occuring to a lesser extent are Bogipoma, Gunsorai and Bonsum etc. The undergrowth in these forests is comparatively less but climbers are found in profusion. Bamboos occur plentifully in Kaliani and Karbi Anglong Reserved Forests. Botanically, the forests of North Cachar Hills, when flora is considered , falls under the Eastern Himalayan Botanical Division. Mainly the forest type is Northern Tropical Semi-evergreen Moist Deciduous. Sporadically Northern Tropical semi-green forest type is also visible. Distinctly visible sub types are dry miscellaneous, wet miscellaneous , riverrain, savannah (due to biotic influence) and swamp. Most of the tropical land flora starting from lower Thallophyte to higher Angiosperms flourishes in the district. The sporadically visible Gymnosperm is exotic to this district. The North Cachar Hills can be divided into three forest belts i.e. Hills Forest, Diyung Valley Forets and Plateau Forests. The Hills Forests comprises Borail and its ranges. They consist of trees mostly wet- evergreen. The main forest species found in these forest belts are Schima Wallichii (Makari sal), Mangifera sylvatica (Am), Castanopsis (Hingori), Stereospermum Chelonioides (Paroli), Sterculia villosa (Udal), Cedrela toona (Poma), Duabanga Sonneratioides (Khokan), Morus laevigata (Bola), Alstonia Scholaris, Ficus glomerata, Talumaphelo carpa, Bischofia Javanica (Urium) Terminalia myriocarpa (Hollock), Artocarpus chaplasha (Sam), Gmelina arborea (Gomari), Mansonia Dipikee (Badam)etc. The Diyung valley forests mainly comprise Diyung basin and are moist deciduous. Species found are Salmalia malibalica, Trewia nudiflora (Bhelkor), Bombax Insigni (Dumboil), Sterculia villosa (Udal), Vitex pendun cu;aris (Ahoi), Albizzia procera (Koroi), Albizzia Lebbeck (Koka), Lagerstoemia parviflora (Sida), L. flos regina (Ajhar), Ammura wallichii (Amari), Garuga pinnata (Paniamora), Castanopsis (Hingori)etc. There are various bamboo species occurring luxuriently in these forests belts among which Dendrocalamus hamiltonii (kako), Melocanna bambusoides (Muli), Bambusa tulda (Jati), Bambusa pallid (Makal), Teinostachyum dulloa (Dalu) are most commonly found. The Plateau Forests mainly comprise os savannah and dry miscellaneous forests. The tre species found are Gmelina arborea (Gomari), Albizza procera (Koroi), A. tebbeok (Koka), Cederala tona (Poma), Lagerstroemia parviflora (Sida), Lagerstroemia flos reginae (Ajhar), Sterculia villosa (Udal), geruna pitita, Celtis austiails. The bamboos found in the region are Bambusa pallida (Makal), Dendrocalamus strictus (Malkatabans), D. hamiltoni (kako), Pseudostachyum polymorphum (Bajal). The important grasses and reeds available in these three belts are mainly Imperata arundinacea (Sungrass), Phragmites (karka), Saccaharum spontanium (Meghela), Imperata cylindrical , etc. The grasses are not of much commercial value except for use in roofing. Reeds areused in walling. But these are good raw materials for the paper and pulp mill. The plateau forests are very good as grazing ground. Forests of the district have been classified into the Reserved Forests and Unclassed State Forests. The Reserved Forests have been constituted under the Assam Forest Regulation 1891. In 1968- 69 Karbi Anglong had a total of 2209.47 sq.km of Reserved Forests under the two Forest Divisions of Karbi Anglong East and Karbi Anglong West. The North Cachar Hills had 644.73sq.km. of Reserved Forests under the North Cachar Hills Forest Division. Unclassed State Forest is , however , simply Government waste land and does not necessarily possess any of the characteristics which are usually associated with the expression forest. It may be a sandy char or a huge expanse of low lying land covered with high grsss and reeds and almost totally destitute of trees. It may be a small piece or arable land, which has been resigned by its former holder and has not yet been settled with any other person ; or it may what its name would naturally suggest,—actual tree forest. The following is the list of Reserved Forests Divisions in Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills :
Karbi Anglong West Division, Diphu.
|Name of the Reserved Forest||Area in sq.km|
Karbi Anglong East Division, Diphu.
|Name of the Reserved Forest||Area in sq.km|
|Karbi Anglong R.F||209.789|
|Nambor North R.F||53.094|
|Nambor West R.F||166.325|
North Cachar Hills Forest Division , Haflong
|Name of the Reserved Forest||Area in sq.km|
Broad effects of Govt. Forest Policy : Since 1891, the Assam Forest Regulation of that year has been enforced. Forests are classified , as per rules into four types : 1. Reserve, 2. Protected, 3. Village, 4. Unclassed State Forests. Reserved Forests have been constituted under provisions o the Act under which the following acts are mainly prohibited. (1) Trespassing, or permitting cattle to trepass, or allowing cattle to pasture ; (2) causing any damage to forest reserves by unauthorised extraction of timber, (3) clearing of forest land without permission (4) setting , kindling, or leaving any fire in the forest, (5) felling, cutting, girdling,marking, lopping, tapping or causing injuries by fire or otherwise to any tree, (6) quarrying of stones or removal of forest produce, (7) unauthorised clearing or breaking up of land for any purpose and (8) poisoning water or hunting, shooting, fishing, setting of trap or snare in contravention to government rules. The first object of the management of forest is to conserve it for the maintenance of climatic balance and to provide protection from erosion. During the past twenty years or so many unclassed State Forests of the district have been completely deforested and settled for cultivation. In addition some areas of Reserved Forests have also been deforested and settled with landless people. The unplanned denudations have deprived most o these forests of the power to resist erosion of the swirling flood waters. The avowed forest policy of the Government is to attain a more regular and superior type of forest than the existing ones. In this respect sufficient progress has been made during the coarse of past fifty years. On the basis of scientifically prepared working plan, superior species are naturally regenerated and plantation is carried on very systematically. Endeavours have also been made to enunciate a planned forest policy for providing the saw mills and plywood factories and to meet the local requirement of timber, fire wood, bamboo and cane. The first object of the Government is to maintain climatic balance by conserving thirty percent of forest area in the district in conformity with the universally accepted principle. Prevention of soil erosion, preservation of the capital value of forests, improvement of the growing stock by enforcing sound silvicultural methods replenishment of the stock by applying recent techniques of a natural regeneration of valuable species and planting of more valuable indigenous and exotic species in poorly stocked areas and grassy lands are other aims of the policy. The annual yield is to be removed in a planned way on silvicultural principles, so that the growing stock in Reserved Forest aeras is not depleted and the annual yield is sustained. Attempts are also to be made to utilize the less valuable species in different industrial enterprises so that optimum benefit is derived by society from forests. During the past twenty years or so, many unclassed State Forests have been deforested and settled for cultivation. This unscientific process has caused soil erosion and severe floods. Afforestation of grassy land areas and poorly stocked forest areas have been taken up. This will benefit in providing raw materials to forest based industries like saw mills, hardboard and ply-wood factories.
(f) FAUNA OR ZOOLOGY :
The topography of Karbi Anglong and N.C. Hills ensures a varied fauna in the region . The Garampani area in North Cachar Hills is dense in animal population for the reason that the jungle around is traversed by a long and wide stream which quenches the thirst of most animals around. For another reason the dense grass around , reaches a height of at least 15 ft. providing a protective curtain for nearly all groups of animals including elephants and tigers. Khorangma area (3600ft) higher in altitude than Garampani has a multitude of fauna of various kinds.The biological environment is rather different. There are vast areas of grass lands less than 5 ft. in height. The vegetation is dense only in crevices down below between one rock and another where there is usually a steam. The crevices are very common which abounds with animals like deers,monkeys,jungle fowls, pheasants and small birds of several kinds. Bagha (2500ft) 16 km. from Khorangma has a very dense vegetation around including large areas of bamboo growths. The famous Kaziranga wild lfe sanctuary, the abode of the oe horned rhinoceros is contiguous to the Karbi Anglong boundary to the north and ends at Garampani within the Nambor Reserve. Though the largest numbers of rhinoceroses live in the sanctuary and near about the area in Karbi Anglong, yet they are becoming very scarce. They breed slowly and the horn is worth more than its weight in silver and flesh is prized as food and so they present a tempting mark to the hunter. Herds of wild buffaloes and wild bulls are also found in Karbi Anglong . Bisons are generally found near the hills and in the neighbourhood of tree forests. Tigers, leopards and bears are met within almost every part of the district. Elephants are fairly common especially near the hills and when the crops are ripening they do much damage. Reports of wild stray elephants, particularly solitary Dantals and Makhana Gundas attacking passers by or killing villagers and damaging crops by herds are not rare. Wild elephants are captured by Mahaldars under both Mela Sikar and Kheda Sikar under the supervision of the Forest Department. For this purpose the district is divided into Mahals or Tracts. The right to haunt in each mahal is sold by auction and the lessee is required to pay royalty on every animal captured. In this district Mela Sikar method is usually employed. Mahouts mounted on the staunch and well trained elephants pursue the herd which generally takes to flight. The chase is of the most arduous and exiciting character. The great animals go crashing through the thickest jungles over rough treacherous ground at a surprising pace and the hunter is liable to be torn the beautiful but thorny cane brakes, or were he not very agile, to be swept away from his seat by the boughs of an overhanging tree. After a tims the younger animals begin to flag and lag behind and it is then that the opportunity of the pursuer comes. Two hunters single out a likely beast, drive their elephants on either side and the fandi deftly throws a noose over its neck. The two ends of the noose are, firmly fastened to the kunkis as the hunting elephants are called, and as they close in on either side, the captured animals is unable to escape or to do much injury to his captors who are generally considerably larger than their victim. The wild elephant is then brought back to camp where it is tied up for a time and gradually tamed. From 80 to 100 kunkis are generally employed in the kheda. A number of elephants caught in this way brings revenue in the form of royalty to the State as well to the District Council. Tigers (Dhekiapatia), Leopard (Nahor Phutuki), Wolf (Kukurnesia), Bear (Bhaluk) are also found in great number, they also cause panic among the people. Deers of various species such as swamp deer (Bhelengi), spotted deer (Phutokiasor), barking deer, hog deer are also available,but they are getting rarer due to destruction caused by the Sikaris and opening of forests for settlement and jhuming by the tribal people. Hares and Porcupines are also available. Monitor Lizard (Gui) and Python (Ajagar) are also available. The eggs and flesh of Gui are taken with great relish and are considered to be very good for health. Poisonous serpents and vipers of various species are seen almost all over, though diminishing with the clearance of the jungles. Birds like Parghuma (Imperial pigeon) and Haitha (Green pigeon) were available in abundance about a decade ago, but are getting rarer rapidly due to shooting by Shikaris. Dilagi and Amlakhi which are in the vicinity of Diphu the head-quarters of the district, are famous for these birds where they come to enjoy the salt licks. Wild ducks are rare, they seldom visit in the winter season but do not stay longer. Another rare kind of peacock is found in the region covering Jirikynding in Karbi Anglong and at Garampani area of North Cachar Hills and a portion of Jowai connecting these two areas. The horn- bills of various species are also found but the king horn bills of the biggest species are fast going out of existence and are found only in the deep forests now. There is one peculiarity spoken about the birds in the area of Jatinga in North Cachar Hills that, if one burns fier in the jungle in any foggy winter, all kinds of birds come and dash to the fire. Among insects of the area (particularly in N.C. Hills) grasshoppers (Orthopterous) are most common. These are followed by termites (Isoptera), dragon flies (Odlonata), beetles (Coleoptera),butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera), ants, bees, wasps (Hymenoptera), cockroaches and mantids (Dictyoptera), and other groups of insects. Apart from these a few species of spiders (Arachnida) are also very common. Land snails (Palmonata) and fresh water bivalves (Lamellibranch) are also met with in the area. Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills having mostly low ranges of hills, hardly fulfills conditions required for the development of fisheries. There are a few old tanks and bils which may be made suitable for the development of fisheries. In these natural lakes and bil, fishes of high altitude varieties may be developed. In the plain portion of Karbi Anglong varieties of fishes, common in the bordering plains districts, are also available. There are no national park and sanctuary in the district except a portion taken near Hatikhuli T.E. for a corridor from Kaziranga sanctuary to the Karbi Anglong. The Rhinoceros and elephants are protected animals. Hornbill is also a protected bird. Much of the fauna is still unexplored and the climatic biotic and soil conditions are such that the district is ideally suited for the growth of varied types of animal population .
(g) CLIMATE :
The climate of undivided district is charactrised by coolness, generally high humidities nearly all the year round and abundant rainfall. The cold season from December to February is followed by the season of thunderstorms from March to May. The southwest monsoon season is from June to about the first week of October. October and November constitute the post monsoon season.
There is a meteorological observatory in the district at Haflong. The date of this obervatory are available only for a few years. Thedescription that follows is based on the meagre data available from this observatory and the records of the observatories in the neighbouring districts. From about the middle of November, both day and night temperatures begin to decrease, the drop being more rapid in the case of night temperatures. January is the coldest month with the mean daily maximum temperature at 20.7o C (69.3oF) and the mean daily minimum temperature at 10.7o C (50.5oF) at Haflong. On individual days in the cold season , the minimum temperature may go down to 5 o or 6o C (41.0o or 42.8oF) at Haflong. From about the beginning of March temperatures begin to rise. The weather is pleasant , the days temperatures seldom becoming oppressive while the nights are cool in the period from March to May. The onset of the southwest monsoon early in June does not appreciably lower the days temperatures as in other parts of India, while the night temperatures are even higher in the monsoon season than in the rest of the year. With the withdrawal of the monsoon by about the first week of October both the day and night temperatures begin to decrease and the weather becomes cooler. The highest maximum temperature recorded at Haflong was 34.7oC (94.5oF) on 1960 May 1 and the lowest minimum temperature was 5.4oC (41.7oF) on 1959 February 1.
The air is highly humid throughout the year, being particularly so during the southwest monsoon season when the relative humidities are above 80 percent . The period from February to April is comparatively drier with the relative humidities in the afternoons between 50 and 60 percent.
Skies are heavily clouded to overcast in the southwest monsoon season. Moderately heavily clouded skies are common during the period March to May. In the post monsson and the cold seasons the skies are lightly to moderately clouded.
Winds are light to moderate . They generally blow from directions between the north and the east except during the southwest monsoon when they are mostly from the south or southwest.
Special Weather Phenomena :
Cyclonic storms and depressions from the Bay of Bengal seldom reach the district .Thunderstorms are frequent during the period from March to September . The thunderstorms from Marvh to May are sometimes accompanied with squalls. During the cold season western disturbances which pass easternwards across upper Assam or further north cause cloudy weather . Fog occurs frequently in the post monsoon and cold seasons.
Tables 1, 2 and 3 give the temperature and humidity and special weather phenomena respectively for Haflong.
Table - 1.
Normals and extremes
|Haflong (N.C. Hills)||50||a||19.6||37.3||107.7||249.7||350.8||461.8||306.6||264.2||237.0||172.5||62.0||8.6||2277.8|
|Jatinga Valley (N.C. Hills)||48||a||25.9||55.1||209.8||474.5||590.3||891.3||805.2||778.3||591.6||280.9||56.4||8.1||4767.4|
|Harangajao (N.C. Hills)||30||a||20.1||44.7||175.8||451.4||587.0||856.0||543.3||467.4||357.9||216.4||56.4||10.2||3786.6|
|Maibong (N.C. Hills)||35||a||9.4||27.7||55.1||106.9||212.9||338.8||186.7||163.8||163.8||134.9||50.3||4.1||1454.4|
|Diphu (Karbi Anglong )||14||a||20.8||35.6||69.1||243.6||255.5||360.4||312.4||342.1||287.3||136.7||33.8||8.4||2105.7|
as % of
as % of
|Haflong (N.C. Hills)||50||144||76||256.8||1915, June17|
|Jatinga Valley (N.C. Hills)||48||129||72||399.5||1915, July 10|
|Harangajao (N.C. Hills)||30||128||75||287||1949, June27|
|Maibong (N.C. Hills)||35||136||66||178.8||1946, June17|
|Diphu (Karbi Anglong )||14||127||74||313.7||1911, June '13|
(a) Normal rainfall in mm.
(b) Average number of rainy days (days with rain of Years given in brackets).
Special Weather Phenomena (HAFLONG)
Mean No of Days with