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GAUHATI, a town of India, in the Kamrup district of Eastern Bengal and Assam, mainly on the left or south, but partly on the right bank of the Brahmaputra. Pop. (1901) 14,244. It is beautifully situated, with an amphitheatre of wooded hills to the south, but is not very healthy. There are many evidences, such as ancient earthworks and tanks, of its historical importance. During the 17th century it was taken and retaken by Mahommedans and Ahoms eight times in fifty years, but in 1681 it became the residence of the Ahom governor of lower Assam, and in 1786 the capital of the Ahom raja. On the cession of Assam to the British in 1826 it was made the seat of the British administration of Assam, and so continued till 1874, when the headquarters were removed to Shillong in the Khasi hills, 67 m. distant, with which Gauhati is connected by an excellent cart-road. Two much-frequented places of Hindu pilgrimage are situated in the immediate vicinity, the temple of Kamakhya on a hill 2 m. west of the town, and the rocky island of Umananda in the mid-channel of the Brahmaputra. Gauhati is still the headquarters of the district and of the Brahmaputra Valley division, though no longer a military cantonment. It is the river terminus of a section of the Assam-Bengal railway. There are a second-grade college, a government high school, a law class and a training school for masters. Gauhati is an important centre of river trade, and the largest seat of commerce in Assam. Cotton-ginning, flour-milling, and an export trade in mustard seed, cotton, silk and forest produce are carried on. Gauhati suffered very severely from the earthquake of the 12th of June 1897.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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