Assam, a province in the north-east of British India. It was ceded to England after the Burmese war in 1820. From 1832 to 1838 Upper Assam was an independent native state. In 1873 the whole territory with the addition of Cachar was formed into a separate province under a Chief Commissioner. The Himalayas bound it on the north; on the east and south it is cut off by mountains from Burma and Silhet; Kuch Behar lies to the west. The country consists of a succession of valleys watered by the Brahmaputra and its tributaries, which are very numerous. The soil is fertile, producing plenty of rice, maize, sugar, hemp, and jute on the lower levels, whilst tea plantations cover the hills, especially in Cachar. The total area is 46,341 square miles. Coal has been worked there for some years, and there are vast stores of mineral wealth only waiting to be unearthed. The seat of government is Shillong in the Khasi Hills.