Jorhat, located approximately 300 km away from Guwahati, is the second largest city of Assam. The name Jorhat comes from the amalgamation of two words Jor which means two and Hat which means market. The name comes from the 18th century presence of two markets - Chowkihat and Macharhat, which were located on either side of the Bhagdoi River.
Apart from being a part of the Ahom Kingdoms end, the city is known for its tea plantations. It also has the oldest tea research centre in the world in the form of the Tocklai Research Association. The city of Jorhat is often referred to as the cultural capital of Assam because of the prevalent cultural diversities in the region.
The historical significance of Jorhat lies in its being the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom. King Gaurinath Singha was the last Ahom King to rule this place. Under the rule of the Ahoms and even before that, Jorhat was a thriving commercial and trading centre. However, continuous invasions by the Burmese from 1817 to 1824 wrecked the town and crippled its economy. It was not until the British Rule that the city saw its re-emergence as a commercial centre.
The modern Jorhat, although it has lost its commercial significance, is important as a cultural hub of the country. Many renowned artists and writers have emerged from Jorhat, one of them being Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya. Birendra was the first Assamese to win the Jnanpith Award, which is the highest literary honour of the country.
The city has also been home to many influential educationists and ideologists like Krishna Kanta Handique. It also holds the distinction of being the most literate region of Assam, thanks to the presence of many schools and colleges in the region.
Located at an elevation of 116 metres above sea level, tea plantation is the main agricultural activity of the city. There are as many as 135 tea gardens in Jorhat. Apart from tea, rice is a crop which is grown in large quantities here.
Along with being a cultural hub of Assam, Jorhat also has a few places of tourist interest which include the Thengal Bhawan, Raja Maidam, Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary and Dhekiakhowa Bornamghar. The Dhekiakhowa Bornamghar is the oldest and the most famous place of worship in Assam, which attracts a lot of tourists every year.