Dhemaji district is a district of the Assam state with its administrative headquarters located at Dhemaji town. There are numerous mythological and hypothetical believes among its locals regarding the origin of the name "Dhemaji". And one of the most prominent believe is that-once there was a river which used to change its course very often and as a result unanticipated flood cover its different parts of the area. Thus, the river was believed to be a kind of evil spirit in this region. The term ‘Dhemaji’ is derived from two Assamese words such as "dhal" means flood and "dhemali" means "play". Both the terms together means “a place where flood occurs frequently”. Earlier from the period of the 12th to the 16th century until the Ahom-Sutiya war, the territory of the present day’s district along with Lakhimpur, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Sonitpur district was a part of the greater Sutiya kingdom. Ruins of the previous Sutiya kingdom are still present in the district but due to the lack of preservation the monument are decaying day by day. The place was also ruled by the Ahom Kingdom for a long period of time. Therefore, they also built a number of monuments there like Ghuguha Dol, Ma Manipuri Than, Padumani Than and many more. Previously, it was a part of the Lakhimpur district but later on 14th October, 1989 Dhemaji was emerged as a fully-fledged separate district.
The areas of the present district was part of the greater Chutiya kingdom along with Lakhimpur, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Sonitpur district from the 12th century to the 16th century until the Ahom-Chutiya war during the early period of the 16th century. Ruins of the erstwhile capital are still there but not well preserved. A number of monuments Ghuguha Dol, Ma Manipuri Than, Padumani Than built by the Ahom kings are worth visiting. Dhemaji became a fully-fledged district on 14th October, 1989 when it was split from Lakhimpur district.
Geographically, the district lies at 27°48'N latitude and 94°56'E longitude. The altitude in the district is 104 m. In the year 2021, there was a total 11.02% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 3,237 sq km. and it is bounded by the hilly ranges of Arunachal Pradesh in the north and east, Lakhimpur district in the west and the river Brahmaputra in the south. The principal rivers in the district are Different tributaries that flow through the district are Dihingia, Jiadhal, Moridhal, Telijan, Kaitongjan, Laipulia Nadi, Kapurdhuwa, Sissi, Gai, Tangani and Guttong. The climate of the district remains pleasant throughout the year. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 2270.6 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 2 sub-divisions namely Dhemaji (Sadar) and Jonai. Moreover, it comprises 6 sub-districts, 4 towns and 1,319 villages. There are two Assam Legislative Assembly constituencies in this district such as Dhemaji and Jonai. Both of them are designated for the scheduled tribes. The administrative languages in the district are Assamese and English.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 6,86,133 out of which 3,51,249 are males and 3,34,884 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 953 (females for every 1000 males) and child ratio of 950 (females per 1000 males). During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 19.97% including 19.21% were males and 20.77% were females. As per 2011 census the major religion in the district is Hindu with 95.47% of the total population. The population density in the district is 212 (persons per sq. km.). According to 2011 census the principal languages in the district are Assamese and Miri/Mishing with 39.21% and 32.53%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 24,408 out of which 12,336 were males and 12,072 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 3,780 out of which 2,688 were males and 1,092 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. The chief agricultural products in the district are rice sugarcane and mustard. Sericulture, fishing and driftwood business are some of the extra sources of income for its natives. Moreover, sand deposition and other adverse effects of the chronic floods have created some fertile lands in the district which are very suitable for the agricultural purposes. Therefore, a large number of such people shift to greener pastures within the district to carry out horticultural practices. In spite of having a good number of agricultural land still the place is counted among the economically backward areas because of the lack of good communication system, shortage of power and lack of proper irrigation & marketing facilities. The district is scantily industrialised since it has only a few agro based industries. In the year 2018-19 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 4,36,613 lakhs at current price and Rs. 3,08,831 lakhs at constant prices in the year 2011-2012. The net domestic product in the district during the period 2007-08 was Rs. 97,389 lakh at current price and Rs. 71,991 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. 56,388 at current price and Rs. 40,639 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 its most recognised educational institutions in the district are Nalanipam L.P. School, Dhemaji Higher Secondary School, Dhemaji Girls Higher Secondary School, St Francis de Sales School, Christ King School, Don Bosco, Fransalian School, Dhemaji College, Dhemaji Commerce College, Moridhal College, Gogamukh College, Silapathar College, Sissiborgaon College, Murkongselek College, Laimekuri College, Bordoloni Central College, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Dhemaji , Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya Dhemaji, Kendriya Vidyalaya Gerukamukh, etc. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 72.7% including 79.84% are males and 65.21% are females. The literate population in the district is 4,23,028 including 2,37,761 are males and 1,85,267 are females. The illiterate population in the district is 2,63,105 including 1,13,488 are males and 1,49,617 are females.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Gerukamukh, located at a distance of 44 km. from the head quarters town in the North-West direction is a perfect destination for angling and picnic parties. Gerukamukh Sobansiri, the largest tributary of the Brahmaputra River touches the plains from the hills offer mesmerising natural scenery to its visitors. National Hydro Electric Power Corporation here is implementing a mega hydro electric power project. Malini Than, located at a distance of 42 km. in the north eastern direction of Dhemaji is a place where every year a huge number of devotees come to worship the Goddess Malini and offer their prayers in front of the deity. Many historical items have also been excavated from the spot. Ghuguha Dol, a historically significant place where Bamuni Konwar, the son of then Ahom King Tyao Khamti was born. The famous Dol (Temple) was built in the memory of Bamuni Konwar's mother Ghuguhi, at a distance of 17 km. in south west of Dhemaji. Maa Manipuri Than, located 25 km. away in the south west direction of Dhemaji was made by the then Ahom King Gourinath Singha. It is a monument constructed in order to help by the Manipuries to control the Mua-Mariah renaissance during the later period of Ahom reign. Some other notable places of interest in the district are Rajgarh, Garakhia Than, Rajgarh Ali and many more.