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LAKHIMPUR, a district of India in the extreme east of the province of Eastern Bengal and Assam. Area, 4529 sq. m. It lies along both banks of the Brahmaputra for about 400 m.; it is bounded N. by the Daphla, Miri, Abor and Mishmi hills, E. by the Mishmi and Kachin hills, S. by the watershed of the Patkai range and the Lohit branch of the Brahmaputra, and W. by the districts of Darrang and Sibsagar. The Brahmaputra is navigable for steamers in all seasons as far as Dibrugarh, in the rainy season as far as Sadiya; its navigable tributaries within the district are the Subansiri, Dibru and Dihing. The deputy-commissioner in charge exercises political control over numerous tribes beyond the inner surveyed border. The most important of these tribes are the Miris, Abors, Mishmis, Khamtis, Kachins and Nagas. In 1901 the population was 371,396, an increase of 46 % in the decade. The district has enjoyed remarkable and continuous prosperity. At each successive census the percentage of increase has been over 40, the present population being more than three times as great as that of 1872. This increase is chiefly due to the numerous tea gardens and to the coal mines and other enterprises of the Assam Railways and Trading Company. Lakhimpur was the first district into which tea cultivation was introduced by the government, and the Assam Company began operations here in 1840. The railway, known as the Dibru-Sadiya line, runs from Dibrugarh to Makum, with two branches to Talap and Margherita, and has been connected across the hills with the Assam-Bengal railway. The coal is of excellent quality, and is exported by river as far as Calcutta. The chief oil-wells are at Digboi. The oil is refined at Margherita, producing a good quality of kerosene oil and first-class paraffin, with wax and other by-products. The company also manufactures bricks and pipes of various kinds. Another industry is cutting timber, for the manufacture of tea-chests, etc.

Lakhimpur figures largely in the annals of Assam as the region where successive invaders from the east first reached the Brahmaputra. The Bara Bhuiyas, originally from the western provinces of India, were driven out by the Chutias (a Shan race), and these in their turn gave place to their more powerful brethren, the Ahoms, in the 13th century. The Burmese, who had ruined the native kingdoms, at the end of the 18th century, were in 1825 expelled by the British, who placed the southern part of the country, together with Sibsagar under the rule of Raja Purandhar Singh; but it was not till 1838 that the whole was taken under direct British administration. The headquarters are at Dibrugarh.

See Lakhimpur District Gazetteer (Calcutta, 1905).

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

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