General Information about the North-East

The North East India comprises of the seven sister states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram,  Nagaland  and Tripura.  They form part of the   East Himalayan  region which extends from Sikkim eastwards  and   embraces  the  Darjeeling Hills  of West  Bengal. The   location  of  the  region is  strategically important as   it has  international  borders  with Bangladesh, Bhutan,   China, Myanmar and Tibet. The area is characterised by rich  bio-diversity, heavy  precipitation  and high seismicity. It is endowed with forest wealth and is  ideally  suited to  produce a  whole range of plantation   crops, spices, fruits and vegetables and flowers and herbs. The rich natural beauty, serenity and exotic flora and fauna of the area are invaluable resources for the development of  eco-tourism. Total  area of the  region is about 2,55,168 Sq. Km. All the seven states are members  of the  North East Council, organised on 1st  August 1972 and  within the Jurisdiction of Guwahati High Court.

     The region has a high concentration of tribal population. The states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland are mostly inhabited by a number of native tribes. Each tribe has its own distinct tradition of art, culture, dance, music and life styles. The numerous fairs and festivals celebrated by these communities and their friendly nature are irresistible attractions for the visitors.

North-East India

The North East is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse regions in India. Each of the seven states that form this part of India has its own culture and tradition. Assam occupies the lush lowlands of the Brahmaputra Valleyand is the most densely populated. Arunachal Pradesh occupies the densely forested and sparsely populated foothills of the Himalayas, and is one of the major tourist attractions because of its Buddhist influence. Meghalaya, with its pine clad hills and lakes, is famous as the wettest region of the world. Nagaland has a rich war history that attracts tourists. The other three states -Manipur, known as the ‘land of jewels’, Mizoram and Tripura make up a fascinating area consisting of green valleys, lush hills with variety of flora and fauna.

Introduction  to North Eastern Languages

          The North Eastern part of India comprises the seven sister states of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh. According to the 1971 census there are about 220 languages spoken in these states, belonging mainly to three language families, namely Indo Aryan, Sino-Tibetan and Austric. The Indo-Aryan represented mainly by Asamiya and Bangla, Austro-Asiatic represented mainly by Khasi and the Sino-Tibetan family of languages is represented by the Tibeto- Burman and the Siamese-Chinese sub families also there are languages of the Tea-Tribes. However the majority of languages spoken here belong to the former and the latter is represented by a few Thai languages like Khamyang, Khamti, Aiton, Phakyal and Turung. It is worthwhile to mention here that Ahom a language belonging to this Thai group, has over the years merged with Asamiya.

Distribution  of Languages in  North-East India

        There is a hypothesis that the Tibeto-Burman tribes came through Burma and entered the hills and valleys of the North Eastern India in about 1000 B.C. They gradually encroached upon the Austric settlers who have been in these parts since 2000 to 2500 B.C. and forced most of them to take refuge in the mountainous area. That was how the Khasis thrived in their mountainous homes high on the hills of Meghalaya.

        However, the maximum concentration of the Tibeto-Burman speakers is found in the North Eastern part of the country in comparison to any other part of he country. The Northeastern part of India is bounded by Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar and Bangladesh. It consists of the seven states of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura.