Silchar is the second largest city in the state of Assam and is located 420 km south-east of Guwahati. It is a popular commercial centre of Assam due to its tea farming. It is situated on the banks of the Barak River and is popularly known as Barak Valley.
Silchar is the economic gateway to states like Manipur and Mizoram, and the headquarters of the Cachar District. The town sees a large settlement of traders from distant parts of India every year. The place has also earned the title of an island of peace from the former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi.
The British tea planters revived the game of polo in India in the 1850s in Manipur on the Burmese border. In fact, the first polo club of the world was formed in Silchar and the first competitive modern polo was held here. The commemorative inscription for this achievement can still be seen on the backside of the District Library, Silchar.
Agriculture is the main occupation of Silchar and it is a processing centre of tea, rice and other agricultural products. The residents of Silchar are mostly Sylhetis and the other ones include Marwaris, Bishnupriya Manipuris, Manipuri Meiteis and the tribal group of Nagas. The culture of the city is brought out in prominent occasions like Durga Puja and Gandhi Mela.
The Sri Sri Kancha Kanti Devi situated at 17 km from Silchar is a popular temple of the place. The temple comprises a four-armed gold statue of the union of goddess Kali and Durga, which was made by a king in ancient times. One of Asias largest mills, the Hindustan Paper Corporation Ltd. is another attraction of Silchar, located a few km away in Panchgram.
The Bhuban Hill in Silchar is also quite prominent and is popular for the Bhubaneswar Temple and the statues of Shiv and Parvati. Another attraction near the Bhuban Hills is the Maniharan Tunnel. The tunnel is said to have been used by Lord Krishna during his visit to the place.
Silchar is also popular as an education hub of Assam as it comprises some of the best educational institutions in North East India. Of these, the NIT Silchar is one of the oldest engineering colleges in the northeastern region and the REC Silchar is an institute of national importance in India.
The main university of the city is the Assam University, which came into existence in 1994 and today comprises 51 affiliated colleges under it. Other educational institutions of the city include a medical college that was established in 1968, a Polytechnic Institute, B.ED colleges, two law colleges as well as an ITI.