Assam is the largest and most accessible of the north-east States. The word Assam is derived from the Sanskrit word 'asoma' meaning peerless. The land of Assam is, in fact peerless, judging by its sheer natural beauty and cultural richness. Home to diverse races, Austric, Mongoloid, Aryan and Dravidian, who settled in these hills at different points of time, Assam has developed its own peculiar composite culture, one of variegated colour. It is a vibrant land of contrasts, each nook and corner of which, has something special and rare to offer. Assam is bordered in the north and east by Bhutan and the State of Arunachal Pradesh. To its south lie the States of Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.
Assam's early history includes some semi mythical Hindu rulers such as Narakasura, mentioned in the Mahabharata, who ruled from Pragjyotishpura (modern day Guwahati). The Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang visited the area in 640 BC. During the 13th century, the Ahoms, a Shan tribe from Myanmar (Burma) conquered Assam, adopted Hinduism and established a dynasty which lasted till 1826 when it was annexed by the British. This allowed Assam's Hindu culture to blossom in relative peace.
The British developed the initial tea industry and now Assam grows 60% of India's Tea and produces a large proportion of India's Oil.