About the Dima Hasao
The lone Hill station of Assam, Dima Hasao, formerly known as N.C.
Hills, has been called the ‘Cradle of nature’, ‘Abode of clouds’,
‘Pleasure trove’ and by different names. Nature can be readily and
easily enjoyed in this picturesque and panoramic District which
offers calmness, a sense of spiritual well-being in a busy hectic
lifestyle that many people live nowadays. Its beauty will mystifies
senses, entices with its celestial beauty, and engrosses with all
its splendid history, yet so much is gone, but still striving and
surviving to retain its hue-‘The Land of colourful people’.
The Dima Hasao
district, has common boundaries with three North-Eastern States and
three other Districts of Assam.
On its eastern side are the States of Nagaland and Manipur.
its South the Cachar Districts of Assam. On the western side is the
State of Meghalaya.
On its north are Nagaon and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam.
HISTORIC DIMA HASAO
The place where, today , the inviting aspect of the picturesque hill
station rises from its pleasant green surroundings was a part of
Dimasa Kingdom before the British occupation that extended at the
time upto the whole area of Cachar District, the present Karbi
Anglong District, a major portion of Nagaon District and parts of
Nagaland including Dimapur right upto Nichu Guard on Dimapur-Kohima
Road. The Dimasa Kings had their capitals at Dimapur (Nagaland),
Maibang (Dima Hasao), Khaspur and lastly at Haritakhar now in Cachar
District. The Kingdom was annexed to the British Empire under the
Doctrine of Lapse on 15th August, 1832 after the assassination of
the Last Dimasa King Maharaja Govinda Chandra Narayan in 1830 AD.
Yet even after the death of the last Dimasa king the territory North
of Barail Hills was ruled by the last Dimasa General named Tularam.
His sovereignty over the territory was also acknowledged by the
Britishers.But with his death in 1854 AD, succession to this kingdom
by his son was denied and the entire territory was annexed to Nagaon
District. Later on the portion now occupied by the Dima Hasao
District (formerly North Cachar Hills) was attached to the newly
created Naga Hills District. In the early eighties of the last
century an administrative Unit with its headquarters at Asalu was
established. Shortly after that Dima Hasao was separated from Naga
Hills and tagged to District of Cachar as its Sub-Division. In 1880
AD the Sub-Divisional Headquarters was established at Gunjung.
Finally in 1895 AD the Sub-Divisional Headquarters was again shifted
to Haflong. Since then it remained as the Headquarter. Since its
amalgamation with the District of Cachar, Dima Hasao was a
Sub-Division of that District and was administered as an Excluded
Area till India attained Independence in 1947. This is how the name
of the district came to be known as North Cachar Hills (present Dima
Hasao). Later in 1951, it was amalgamated with Mikir Hills (Present
Karbi Anglong District) and formed a separate Civil District of
United Mikir and North Cachar Hills (present Dima Hasao). North
Cachar Hills (present Dima Hasao) remained as a Sub-Division of that
district until February 2nd , 1970 on which date it attained its
present status as a full-flagged Civil District.
Perhaps nowhere in India, such a spectrum of people
representing a number of distinct ethnic groups reside within so
small a geographical periphery like Dima Hasao.
• The different tribes as colourful as they are in their attires,
customs and traditions, though they speak in their respective
dialect, have adopted a common link language called as “Haflong
Hindi” with peculiar overtones of phonetics for communicating among
• The main constituents of the hilly tribes living in the
district are the Dimasas, the Zeme Nagas, the Hmars, the Kukis, the
Biates, the Karbis, the Khasis, the Harangkhols, the Vaiphes, the
Khelmas and the Rongmeis a sizeable number of other non-tribals like
Bengali, Assamese, Nepali, Manipuri, Deswali and others also live in
The Kacharis are the most widely spread tribe in northeast India.
They are said to be the earliest inhabitants of the Brahmaputra
valley. The Kacharis belong to the Indo Mongoloid (Kirata) group
which includes the Bodos and their allied tribes.
The Zeme Nagas are distributed in Dima Hasao( formerly North Cachar
Hills) and parts of adjoining Manipur and Nagaland states. They are
classified by the anthropologists as one of the sub-tribes of the
The Hmars are a fairly large group of tribes, sub- tribes, clans and
sub- clans forming a scattered section of the tribal groups living
in NE India. They form a part of the great mongolian race found all
over South- East Asia.
The Kuki is a generic term for a number of mixed groups of people
who have migrated into India through Burma from central Asia. In
Burma they are called Chin and in Indian frontier states they
are the best identified as Kukis.
The Karbies belong to the great Tibeto-Burman race. They are divided
into three groups called Chinthong, Ronghang and Karbi. These names
in all probability refer to their habitats. Amri seems to be a Khasi
river name and Ronghang is the legendary site of the Sot Recho
capital. The real tribal exogamous division is called Kur(a
Khasiword). The five principal Kurs are- Ingti, Teron, Lekthe,
Timung and Terang. Each of these Kur is further sub-divided into a
number of sub-groups. All the Kurs are socially on an equal status
Believed to be an off shoot of the Lushai-Kuki-Chin group, the
Biates migrated from Central China and entered India to settle in
northern part of Mizoram from where they were pushed by later
immigrants to present day North Cachar hills in the early 19th
Differently described by the ethnographers as Hrangkwal, Romngkhol
or Hrongkhol, this tiny group of people of the great Kuki tribe is
scattered thriving in the North Cachar Hills. Mainly agriculturist,
they practices Jhum cultivation and built their houses on wooden
stilt and use bamboo profusely for the floor as well as the walls
and thatch for the roofs
Among the inhabitants of N C Hills district, the Sakachep also known
as Khelmas are one of the smallest community. Racially, the Sakachep
have close resemblances to the Hrangkhols and the Baites. This
community is entirely dependent on agriculture, which is the age-old
traditional shifting jhum cultivation.
Vaipheis are a small community in N.C.Hills district. They mostly
inhabit in the Ditochera-kai-eng River valley, consisting of about
eight villages. Though small in respect of their population, yet the
Vaipheis are good in the field of arts and crafts so as in education
The Pnars or Jaintia tribe of N C Hills popularly known as Khasis
mainly inhabits the valley of the river Jatinga. The Pnars follow
matrilineal system, which means that their descendants carry on the
family’s name after the mother’s title.
The Rongmeis, one of the Naga tribes formed a small community in
N.C. Hills. Ethnically the Rongmei belong to the Tibeto-Burma group
having considerable similarities of language and cultural traits to
those of the Zeme tribes of N C Hills District.