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Native ameSilchar
Altitude22 m
Total Population144003 (2001)
Other information
Time zoneIST (UTC+5:30)
Telephone91 (0) 3842

     Home | City | Silchar

Silchar ( Shilchôr, Assamese: শিলচৰ Xilsôr, Sylheti: শিলচর Hilsor) is the headquarters of Cachar district in the state of Assam in India. It is the economic gateway to the state of Mizoram and part of Manipur. It is situated 420 km (261 mi) south east of Guwahati. The city of Silchar has tremendous commercial importance and is the second largest city in the state of Assam. It consequently, witnesses the settlement of a sizable population of traders from distant parts of India.

Being a very peaceful place in the otherwise disturbed North-East earned it the bon mot of "Island of Peace" from India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.The name "Silchar" has been originated from the Bengali words 'Shil' (a kind of stone) & 'Char' (river bank). During the British rule, ships were docked at the bank of the "River Barak" so a market developed at the bank of the river and became a major place of economic activity. The bank of the River Barak was covered with stones to help docking of ships and vessels and the market developed at a place which was fully covered with stones. People started to refer to the place as "Shiler Chor" means a bank of stone. Gradually "Shiler Chor" became "Silchar" for linguistic simplification. Later on, British officials started to use "Silchar" in their official documents referring the surrounding area of the market and "Silchar" became the official name of the place. Approximately 90% residents of Silchar are Bengalis who speak the Sylheti language, the rest being Manipuri-Meiteis, Marwaris, Bishnupriya Manipuris, and some tribal groups like Nagas. Silchar is situated by the banks of the Barak River in what is popularly known as Barak Valley. Rice is the staple cereal. Fish is also available. Shuţki (the local name for dried fish), shidal chutney, "chunga-r peetha" are some of the local delicacies. Over the past few years, the town is constantly witnessing a huge influx of people from nearby smaller places due to the town's increasing future prospects and other developments in the field of education, medical facilities and the more recently booming real estate market and other commercial enterprises, making the town quite an overcrowded one. It has the second highest population in the state, although the difference with the highest populated city, Guwahati, is quite huge.

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