History of Baksa District
Baksa district was curved out of a part of Nalbari District, Barpeta District, Kamrup District and small portion of Darrang district. As a result of historic BTC (Bodo land Territorial Council) accord signed on February 10, 2003, formed BTAD (Bodo land Territorial Autonomous District) with four districts namely Kokrajhar, Chirang District, Baksa and Udalguri District.
Baksa was declared as a district in the month of October in 2003. The district began its functions from 1st June 2004, after Dr. Anwaruddin Choudhury of the Assam Civil Service was appointed as the founder Deputy Commissioner. Though the original word 'Baksa' is not above controversy, a good chunk of population prefers to use 'Bagsa' in lieu of 'Baksa'. The popular assumption that 'Baksa' is the misspelt form of 'Bangsa'--a 'Dzonkha' word meaning a farmhouse and a corridor as it is known that Bhutanese king and subjects used this area for trade and passage to the plains. 'Bangsa' (Bagsa or Baksa) was in fact one of the most important 'Dooars' of Bhutan.
The name "Bagsa" is originated from Bhutanese language. According to Bhutanese origin, they denoted the area as "Bagsa Duar". "Bagsa" meaning one kind of rice and "Duar" meaning entrance point. The Bhutanese king ruled these areas for a long time in an around first half of the nineteenth century. That's why the name "Bagsa" or "Baksa" had a Bhutanese origin. According to source of Bodo Tribe, the name originated from a kind of rice grain, which is known as "Bagsa". The said rice grain is one kind of broken product, which is gained after milling the rice. As the name Baksa is itself derived from various sources and antecedents so there exists lots of controversy over the name. Still today, no concrete evidence has been found which might determine the final source. Only popular sources and folklores are evident but no historical source has been found.
Geography of Baksa District
Baksa district has an area of 2400 sq km. Baksa has its headquarters in Mushalpur town and is bordered by Udalguri district in the east, Chirang district in the west, Kamrup, Nalbari and Barpeta districts in the south and Bhutan in the north. The district headquarter is linked to the National Highway 31 mainly at two junction point namely Barama and Kadamtola which is about 14 and 18 Km away from Nalbari district HQ towards West via NH 31. The main mode of connectivity to the district is through Road. The district shares the privilege of being the International Boundary with Bhutan in the North with a mixed topography of plains and foothills. The gentle and gradual slopes can be seen stretching from the foot hill of Bhutan and reaching out to the southern tips of Barpeta, Nalbari and Kamrup district. The East and Western boundaries of the district respectively shares with the neighbouring district of "Odalguri" (Earlier Udalguri) or Chirang.
The climate of the district is sub-tropical in nature with warm and humid summer and also followed by cool and dry winter. The average rainfall of the district is found to be 76 mm in the recent years.
Demography of Baksa District
According to the Population Census in 2011, the Baksa District had a population of 953,773 of which male and female were 484,825 and 468,948 respectively. The population of Baksa District constituted 3.06 percent of total population of Assam. The population density of Baksa district is 475 people per sq. km. The average literacy rate of Baksa district was 70.53 percent. If things are looked out at gender wise, male and female literacy rates were 78.55 percent and 62.23 percent respectively. The total literates in Baksa District were 589,866 of which male and female were 333,856 and 256,010 respectively. In 2001, Baksa District had 5,669,679 in its district.
Culture of Baska District
The Bodo people predominantly inhabit the Baska district. That is why the influence of Bodo art and culture is seen much in the district. Along with it, the culture of other caste and tribes can also be seen in the district.
There are almost all kinds of festivals are celebrated in the district. Every festival is celebrated with pomp and gaiety. Some of the festivals like Christmas and New Years day is very popular with Christian masses in particular and non-Christian in general. Some of the national festivals like Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Diwali, Ganesh Puja, Raslila Goddess Saraswati Puja etc. are also celebrated with equal spirit and fervour. Othet festivals like Bihu, Bwisagu, Magha Bihu, Magw, Bathou Puja etc. are also observed with plumb and gaiety.
Generally, two cultural trends can be seen in Baksa district. One is general and other is that of tribal people. While the General women wear Mekhela Sador and Saris, the tribal people especially Bodo women used to wear Dokhona. All the male people irrespective of caste and creed wear long-pant while at outdoors and "Gamocha" when in home.
There are different kinds of dances are prevalent in Baksa district. As there are different kinds of tribes living in the district, their dance is also different. While Assamese-speaking people's favourite dance is Bihu, Bodos and other tribes have divergent types of dances. Varied Bodo dances are Bagurumba Dance, Kherai, Mwchaglangnai, Daosa-Thwi- Lwngnai, Rwnswndri etc. There are also some adivasi dances. These arer Jhumoor dance, Karam dance, Domkaich dance etc. Some of the Nepali dances are Sangini dance, Loknritya, Khukri dance etc.
Tourism of Baksa District
Baksa district contains part of the much renowned Manas Tiger Reserve. Manas National Park and Tiger Project located at the western side of the district at the foothills of Bhutan is a place of great tourist attraction-National as well as International. There are as many as 60 species of mammals, 312 birds, 42 reptiles, 7 amphibian, 54 fishes and more than 100 species of insects. The most abundantly found animals are Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Golden Langur, Pigmie Hog, Dhanesh Pakhi, Wild Buffalo, Bison, Python, Wild Cat, Elephant, Hyena, Fox etc. The vegetation of the district is characterized mainly by lush green forest and varieties of flora and fauna. Manas National Park stands out as the glaring example of this bio-diversified feature of the district. Other tourist places in this district are Manas Soushi Khongkhor, Moina Pukhuri, Bogamati.
Manas Soushi Khongkhor
Manas Soushi Khongkhor is an eco-tourism spot located on the middle part of the Baksa district. It is exactly placed on the mouth of river Pagladia. Enshrined with natural beauty just adjacent with Bhutan hills, it attracts a large number of picnic goers in the month of December and January. It is new well maintained and looked after by an NGO known as Manas Soushi Khongkhor Eco Tourism Society.
Moinapukhuri is located northwards of Mushalpur, just adjacent to the International India-Bhutan boundary. It is in India side. It is the only trekking site in Baksa district. As the place is located in the hills, around 3 Kilometres from the plains and there are no motorways, one has to walk through the difficult rugged treks to reach there. The motorable way ends near about three Kilometres before. Main attractions are dead lake, a picnic spot, and place for puja for various Hindu religious communities etc. along with dense jungle.
A popular beautiful spot on the mouth of river "Barnadi" on the foothills of Bhutan, it attracts a large number of picnic parties during new year and Magh Bihu. Far flung river sands and rocks in the month of December and January works as open-air restaurant for the picnic goers.
This district has an easy accessibility with the other states in India. The district does not have any railway station at HQ. The only railway station at Goreswar under Tamulpur Sub-Divsion area is also not functioning due to BG line conversion work. The nearest railway station is Tihu, which fall under Nalbari district. The distance of Nalbari Railway Station from Dist. HQ is about 45 Km and Distance of Pathsala Railway Station(under Barpeta district) is about 50 Km. The distance of Guwahati Railway station to Dist HQ by road (via NH 31) is about 105 Km. From Adabari Bus Terminal, Guwahati there is direct bus service to Mushalpur). From Adabari Bus Terminal there is direct bus service to Tamulpur Sub-Div HQ. There are numbers of Bus services and small car services (Winger, Cruiser etc.) from Adabari and Basistha Chariali, Guwahati via NH31 touching two connection points to Dist HQ (one at Barama, another at Kadamtola). The nearest airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport at Borjhar. The distance from Dist. HQ is about 130 Km.
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Baksa District, Assam