Dima Hasao district
Barail Range in Dima Hasao
Barail Range in Dima Hasao
Location in Assam
Location in Assam
Coordinates: 25°11′N 93°02′E / 25.18°N 93.03°E / 25.18; 93.03
Country India
DivisionCentral Assam
District created02-02-1970
 • TypeAutonomous district
 • BodyNorth Cachar Hills Autonomous Council
 • Chief Executive MemberDebolal Gorlosa
 • Lok Sabha constituenciesAutonomous District (shared with Karbi Anglong & West Karbi Anglong district)
 • Vidhan Sabha constituenciesHaflong
 • Total4,890 km2 (1,890 sq mi)
 • Rank2
513 m (1,683 ft)
 • Total214,102
 • Density43.667/km2 (113.10/sq mi)
 • OfficialEnglish
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code91 - (0) 03673
ISO 3166 codeIN-AS
Vehicle registrationAS-08
Most spoken languageDimasa, Haflong Hindi (as langua franca)

Dima Hasao district (IPA: [ˈdɪmə həˈsaʊ]), is an administrative district in the state of Assam, India. As of 2011, it is the least populous district of Assam.[1] [2]

Dima Hasao district is one of the two autonomous hill districts of the state of Assam. The district headquarters Haflong is the only hill station in Assam, a tourist destination, also nicknamed the Switzerland of the north-east.


"Dima Hasao" means "Dimasa Hills" in the Dimasa language.


The earliest inhabitants of the present district were Mongoloid groups who preferred hilly terrain and practised their own culture, tradition and land rights, governing themselves as independent tribes. As per records of different British historians and officials, North Cachar Hills was already occupied by the Dimasa Kacharis, erstwhile old Kuki tribes viz. Biate, Hrangkhol, Hmar, Sakachep and Zeme Naga tribes, during the British Rule in India.[3]

Medieval period

During the medieval period (1500–1854), Dima Hasao was part of the Dimasa Kachari Kingdom called the "Kachari kingdom", with its capital at Maibang. The Dimasa Kingdom as per Ahom Buranji, stretched from the Kopili river in present-day Nagaon district to the Dhansiri river in present-day Golaghat district.[4][better source needed] This includes parts of Cachar and North Cachar (Dima Hasao), the districts of Hojai, Nagaon, Golaghat and Karbi Anglong of Assam and Dimapur district, in Nagaland.

Colonial period

Raja Govinda Chandra Hasnu

In the colonial period, Khaspur in present-day Cachar district was the administrative centre. However an internal schism led to the division of the old Cachar Kingdom into two parts. The last Dimasa king, Govinda Chandra Hasnusa, assigned Kashi Chandra the hilly tract of Cachar (i.e. the area between Mahur river and the Naga Hills in the south, the Doyang river on the west, the Dhansiri River on the east and Jamuna river in the north.) for administrative purposes. Soon the latter declared his independence over the hilly portion. That led to the treacherous murder of Kashi Chandra by Raja Govinda Chandra Hasnusa.[citation needed] Incensed, the son of Kashi Chandra, Tularam Senapati, incessantly created political turbulence, asserting his sovereignty over hilly portion of Cachar Kingdom. Finally, with British assistance, Tularam succeeded in carving out his own territory from Cachar Kingdom. David Scott, agent to the British Raj in 1829[5] made an arrangement to recognise Tularam as the ruler of hilly tract of Cachar. In 1850, Tularam died and the frequent Angami raids and a grave incident at Semkhor village paved the ground to extend British influence over Tularam's territory. In 1852, his territory was annexed and made part of the Nowgong district of British Assam as a subdivision, with Asalu as its headquarter.[6][Note 1]

In 1867, this sub-division was abolished and apportioned into three parts among the Cachar, Naga Hills district, and Nowgong district. The present area of the Dima Hasao district was included in the old Cachar district. In 1880, this portion was constituted into a sub-division with headquarters at Gunjung under Cachar district.

Tularam Senapati's territory depicted in the map of British India created by W. G. Blackie in 1860
Map of Eastern Bengal and Assam created by J. G. Bartholomew in 1907. A part of Tularam's territory (stretching from Jamuna river to Lumding) was transferred to Sivasagar district and the rest (stretching from Lumding to Maibang) was transferred to Cachar district.

This headquarters was shifted to Haflong in 1895. Since then, Haflong has continued to be the headquarters. In 1951, after the adoption of the Indian constitution, North Cachar Hills ceased to be a part of Cachar district, as specified under paragraph 20 of the sixth schedule to the constitution. This part, along with Mikir Hills, constituted a new civil district named "United District of North Cachar and Mikir Hills", which went into effect on 17 November 1951. According to a provision of the sixth schedule, two different councils were later constituted, viz., North Cachar Hills District Council and Mikir Hills District Council. Within those geographical boundaries, North Cachar Hills District Council was inaugurated on 19 April 1952.

Since Independence

On 17 November 1951, Mikir Hills and North Cachar Hills District was created with area occupying present Dima Hasao district, Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong district. On 2 February 1970, the government declared an independent administrative district, viz., North Cachar Hills District with the geographical boundary of autonomous North Cachar Hills district council. At present,[when?] this autonomous council possesses administrative control over almost all departments of the district except Law and Order, Administration, and Treasury department.


Dima Hasao comprises three subdivisions: (I) Haflong, (II) Maibang and (III) Diyungbra. The district consists of five Community Development Blocks: (I) Jatinga Valley Development Block, Mahur; (II) Diyung Valley Development Block, Maibang; (III) Harangajao ITD Block, Harangajao; (IV) Diyungbra ITD Block, Diyungmukh; and (V) New Sangbar Development Block, Sangbar.[7] There is one municipality board viz. Haflong and three town committees in Dima Hasao viz. Mahur, Maibang and Umrangso and also mini-towns like Harangajao, Langting and Diyungbra.


The district headquarters are located at Haflong. Dima Hasao district occupies an area of 4,888 square kilometres (1,887 sq mi).,[8] comparable to Brazil's Ilha Grande do Gurupá.[9] It is the second-largest district of Assam after Karbi Anglong. Dima Hasao District is surrounded by Karbi Anglong district and Nagaland on the northeast, Manipur on the east, Hojai District to the north, West Karbi Anglong district on the northwest, Meghalaya on the west and Cachar district in the south.


Main article: North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council

Dima Hasao district is an autonomous district with Sixth Schedule status granted by the Constitution of India. The Dima Hasao District is administered by North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (DHADC). Members of the Autonomous Council (MAC) are elected by people of Dima Hasao. The Political party who has majority MACs form the ruling party. The Autonomous Council is a powerful body and almost all the department of government are under its control except the police and Law & Order is under Assam Government.


In 2006, the Indian government named Dima Hasao one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640).[10] It is one of the eleven districts in Assam currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).[10]


Kopili HEP

Kopili Hydro Electric Project is a power project near Umrangso, involving two dams on Kopili river and Umrong nalla, a tributary of Kopili. There are two power stations as part of Kopili HEP, Khandong Stage I & II (75 MW) and Kopili Stage I & II (200 MW), with total output of 275 MW.[11]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.


According to the 2011 census, Dima Hasao has a population of 214,102,[1] roughly equal to the nation of Samoa.[13] This gives it a ranking of 588th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 44 inhabitants per square kilometre (110/sq mi).[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 13.53%.[1] Dima Hasao has a sex ratio of 931 females for every 1000 males[1] and a literacy rate of 78.99%.[1]

Ethnic groups

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Dima Hasao is one of the three hill districts in Assam with a tribal majority population, the others being Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong. The tribal population in Dima Hasao accounts for about 70.92% of the total population of the district according to the 2011 census, the highest percentage in the state. Scheduled Castes are 2.02%. The major indigenous communities inhabiting the district are Dimasa Kachari, Karbi, Zeme Naga, and Kuki tribes like Hmar, Biate, Thadou people, Vaiphei people , Hrangkhol people, Sakachep people and Khelma people number of minor indigenous communities including: Khasi-Pnars, Rongmei Naga. The Thadou people , Hmar, Biate, Hrangkhol, Khelma people, Hrangkhol people and Vaiphei language speakers belong to the Kuki people ethnic group. Non-indigenous communities includes Kanrupi Bengali, Gorkha tribes, Deshwali tribes and few other communities who have made the district their home.

As per the language data, the largest non-tribal communities are Bengalis (25,264: change of -7.53% from 2001), Nepalis (13,615: +9.76%), Hindi speakers (9,926: +13.83%), Assamese speakers (4,057: -26.32%), Halam(Ranglong)-Kuki/Khelma/Riam (1,940 : +15.41%), Bodo-Kachari (1,604 : -7.82%), Meitei (1,373 : -24.64%), Tripuri (527: -21.11%), and Bishnupriya (401: -14.32%).[14]

Religions in Dima Hasao district (2011)[15]
Religion Percent
Others (Tribal religion)
Other or not stated

As of the 2011 census, 67.07% of the population are Hindus, 29.57% Christians and 2.04% Muslims.[15]


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Languages of Dima Hasao (2011)[14]

  Dimasa (35.72%)
  Bengali (11.80%)
  Zeme (9.65%)
  Hmar (7.65%)
  Nepali (6.36%)
  Kuki (5.11%)
  Karbi (4.46%)
  Hindi (3.14%)
  Khasi (1.93%)
  Assamese (1.89%)
  Others (11.38%)

At the time of the 2011 census, 35.72% of the district spoke Dimasa, 11.80% Bengali, 9.65% Zeme, 7.65% Hmar, 6.36% Nepali, 5.11% Kuki, 4.46% Karbi, 3.14% Hindi, 1.93% Khasi, 1.89% Assamese[14]

Dimasa and Haflong Hindi (a speech form of Hindi) and Bengali are the main lingua franca in the Dima Hasao.[16]


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Dima Hasao District is a land of sensuousness. The district is populated by various tribes and races who maintain their own dialect, culture, customs and way of living. Apart from various tribes, non-tribals also account for a sizable amount of the population. They are mostly government employees, traders, graziers living in urban and semi-urban area. The small and serene villages shelter the lovely people – warm and fascinating – and as colourful as the land itself.

The district is home to Dimasa Kacharis, Zeme Naga, and Kuki tribes like Hmars, Thadou people, Biates, Hrangkhol, Vaiphei,Halam,Khelma.

Judima is a very important brew made by Dimasa tribals used in ceremonies and festivals is very famous in this region. In sept 2021, Judima got GI tag by Government of India making it the first bree in northeastern part of India to bag this title.


Average literacy rate of Dima Hasao in 2011 were 77.54% compared to 67.62% of 2001. All schools of Dima Hasao are run by the state government or private organisations. English is the primary languages of instruction in most of the schools. The schools are recognised either with Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA), Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) or Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). All Colleges of Dima Hasao are affiliated to Assam University, a central university, which imparts education in both the general as well as professional streams.



Prominent schools in the district:


Dima Hasao is a land with full of natural beauties. Beautiful hilly town Haflong, which is the only hill station of Assam. The village Jatinga is famous for mysterious suicides of birds. Some notable places of Dima Hasao are Umrangso, Panimur Falls, Maibang, Tumjang Trek at Selkal Peak etc.



Channel Year founded Language Owned by Ref
NDH (News Dima Hasao) Dimasa, Hindi, English Zed Nunisa [1]
Assam Talks Assamese Mahmadhul Hussan
News Live Assamese Ashim Choudhury
News Time Assam Assamese Anup Biswas
Prag News Assamese Sanjib Dutta
DY365 Assamese Samsul Alam
NKTV Assamese Pankaj Kumar Deb
Hills Live TV
Borail News
Karbi Anglong Live English and Karbi Suroj Barman
Pratidin Times Assamese Pankaj Tumung


Local newspapers

See also


  1. ^ In the given article published by Eastern Mirror, it has not been mentioned which area had been annexed to the Nowgong district as a subdivision in 1852. But, since Asalu has historically been a part of Tularam's territory, it can be implied that the same territory was annexed to the Nowgong district.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "District Census Handbook: Dima Hasao" (PDF). censusindia.gov.in. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 2011.
  2. ^ "District at a Glance | Dima Hasao District | Government of Assam, India".
  3. ^ Stewart, Lieutenant R. "Notes on Northern Cachar (1855).
  4. ^ Gait, Edward. (2011) History of Assam: Surjeet Publication. Delhi.
  5. ^ Rhodes, NG & Bose, SK. (2006) History of the Dimasa -Kachari As seen Through the coinage. Mira Bose: Dhubri (Assam).
  6. ^ "Historical Demarcation of Nagaland-Assam Border - Eastern Mirror". easternmirrornagaland.com. 29 September 2021. Retrieved 28 May 2023.
  7. ^ "Dima Hasao District". North Cachar Hills. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  8. ^ Srivastava, Dayawanti et al. (ed.) (2010). "States and Union Territories: Assam: Government". India 2010: A Reference Annual (54th ed.). New Delhi, India: Additional Director General, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India), Government of India. p. 1116. ISBN 978-81-230-1617-7. ((cite book)): |last1= has generic name (help)
  9. ^ "Island Directory Tables: Islands by Land Area". United Nations Environment Program. 18 February 1998. Retrieved 11 October 2011. Ilha Grande do Gurupá 4,864km2
  10. ^ a b Ministry of Panchayati Raj (8 September 2009). "A Note on the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme" (PDF). National Institute of Rural Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  11. ^ "Kopili Hydro Electric Project". Water Resources Information System of India. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  12. ^ Decadal Variation In Population Since 1901
  13. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 1 October 2011. Samoa 193,161
  14. ^ a b c "Table C-16 Population By Mother Tongue: Assam". censusindia.gov.in. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 2011.
  15. ^ a b "Table C-01 Population By Religion: Assam". census.gov.in. Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. 2011.
  16. ^ Col Ved Prakash, "Encyclopaedia of North-east India, Vol# 2", Atlantic Publishers & Distributors;Pg 575, ISBN 978-81-269-0704-5