Cachar district, situated in the southern part of Assam is a significant district of it with its administrative headquarters located at Silchar town. The district got its name "Cachar" from the Dimasa word kachari. When the place was under the rule of the Kachari kingdom, they named the region as Cachar. During their reign Cachar district included the adjacent part of the Karimganj and Hailakandi districts of Assam. Then it came under the control of Dimasa Kingdom in the medieval period. Raja Govindrachandradwajanarayana Hasnu was the Last King of Cachar. In the time of his rule Khaspur was the capital of Cachar (Kachar). At that period Cachar was another native kingdom which became the victim to the imperialist system of the British. The Kingdom of Cachar was being ruled by two rulers having clearly defined areas of control. Govindra chandradwaja narayana Hasnu was the ruling prince in the plains i.e. (southern portion of Cachar). In the year 1830 the British East India Company established in the district but after his assassination by Gambhir Singh, then king of Manipur, British captured it immediately to their dominion in India in 1832. Tularam, the ruling chief of the hilly tract was died in 1854 and later his territories (northern portion of Cachar or Dima Hasao) were annexed by the British. When the south Cachar was took over by Robertson, thus the entire Cachar came under the occupation of British. Then they appointed Jenkins as the Commissioner of Assam. On the other hand, the earlier North Cachar sub-division was emerged as a separate district in 1951.
Santosh Mohan Dev, a veteran Indian politician and an important member of the Indian National Congress was born on 1st April, 1934 at Silchar in the district. He was first elected to the Parliament in 1980 in the first of his seven terms in office as the Member Of Parliament.
Geographically, the district lies at 24°78'N latitude and 92°86'E longitude. The altitude in the district is 680 m. In the year 2021, there was a total 58.84% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,786 sq km. and it is bounded by Barali and Jayantia hill ranges on the North, the Mizoram on the South, the Manipur on the East and the districts of Hailakandi and Karimganj on the West. The principal river that flow through the district is Barak River. The climate of the district can be characterized as tropical wet with hot and wet summers and cool winters. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 2621.6 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 2 sub-divisions namely Silchar and Lakhipur. Moreover, it comprises 5 sub-districts, 19 towns and 1,040 villages. The administrative languages in the district are Assamese and English.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 17,36,617 out of which 8,86,284 are males and 8,50,333 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 959 (females for 1000 males) and child ratio of 954 (females for 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 20.19% including 19.28% were males and 21.15% were females. As per 2011 census the major religions in the district are Hindu and Muslim with 59.83% and 37.71%. The population density in the district is 459 (persons per sq. km.). As per 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Bengali and Hindi with 75.13% and 12.17%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 39,000 out of which 20,340 were males and 18,660 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 13,680 out of which 8,580 were males and 5,100 were females.
The economy of the district is mainly dependent on agricultural sector. More than half of its population are engaged in agriculture in order to earn their livelihood. Rice and paddy are the chief agricultural products in the district. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. Inspite of launching some advance and modern agricultural techniques yet the district is counted in the list of the backward districts. Industrially, also the district is quite well developed. Silchar, the district headquarters is one of the most important business centres of Assam. In 2006 the Indian government declared Cachar as one of the country's 250 most backward districts and currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF). In the year 2018-19 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 15,40,765 lakhs at current price and Rs. 11,19,688 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2007-08 was Rs. 3,14,064 lakh at current price and Rs. 2,37,576 lakh at constant prices in the year 1999-2000. The Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost during the period 2018-19 was Rs. 78,509 at current price and Rs. 56,720 at constant prices in the year 2011-2012.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Some of the most recognised educational institutions in the district are Cachar College, Gurucharan College, Radhamadhav College, Ramanuj Gupta Memorial Junior College, Janata College, Madhab chandra Das College, Adhar Chand Higher Secondary School, Cachar High School, Don Bosco School, D.N.N.K. Girls' Higher Secondary School, Holy Cross School, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Kendriya Vidyalayas, Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Muktashree High School, etc. The district has also a central university named the Assam University, situated at Durgakona in the district. A NIT Silchar is present in the district as well, which is one of the 30 NITs in India. The Silchar Medical College and Hospital is the only medical college of the southern Assam. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 79.34% including 84.78% are males and 73.68% are females. The literate population in the district is 11,74,128 including 6,39,946 are males and 5,34,182 are females. The illiterate population in the district is 5,62,489 including 2,46,338 are males and 3,16,151 are females.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Shiva Mandir, located at a distance of 35 km. from the headquarters town, Silchar is one of the renowned pilgrimages. It is also popularly known as Bhubaneswar temple. Every year a huge number of devotees from the far distance place come to this temple in order to offer their prayers. The interior of the temple is beautifully decorated and also has the deities of Lord Shiva and Goddesses Parvati. Maniharan Tunnel, situated almost 5 km. to the north of Bhubaneswar temple in the Bhuvan hills in the district has the illustrious Maniharan temple. An interesting mythological story is also associated with the district. Once upon a time Lord Krishna used this tunnel while he was visiting the region. Just under this tunnel, the holy river of Tribeni flows and the pilgrims generally use to come here to take a bath in the waters of the river since they believe it a holy river. Martyrs’ Tomb, located at Gandhi Bagh on the banks of a lake consists of 11 tombs of the martyrs who devoted their lives while fighting for the language movement of Assam in the year 1964. Two more attractions namely Harisava and the temple of Goddess Lakshmi Devi are situated in the nearby places of the Martyr’s Tomb. Some other notable places in the district are Paper Mill, Kanchakanti Kali Mandir, Palace of Kachari Kings and many more.