Assam', from 1S74 to 1905 a separate province at the NE. extremity of British India, with an area of 46,341 sq. m.; but in 1905 made part of the new joint province of Eastern Bengal and Assam (see Bengal). A series of valleys, watered by the Brahmaputra and some sixty lesser rivers, it is very fertile, and abounds in wood; the tea-plant is indigenous. Since 1840, when its commercial cultivation was begun, 600.000 acres have been taken up for tea; some three-fourths of the tea grown in India is the produce of Assam. The other products are rice, mustard, gold, ivory, amber, musk, iron, lead, petroleum, and coal. Scarcely a fourth of the fertile area is cultivated. There is steamboat and railway communication with Calcutta. In 1826, at the close of the first Burmese war, Assam was ceded to the British, but it was only in 1838 that, in consequence of the misgovernment of the native rajah, the entire country was placed under British administration. The towns of any size are Gau-hati (12,000) and Sebsagar (6000). A majority of the people are Hindus. A striking feature of Assam is the abundance of tigers, rhinoceroses, leopards, bears, buffaloes, and elephants; the "snakes are most destructive to human life. Pop. (1872)4,124,972; (1881)4,8S1,426; (1891)5,476,833; (1901)6,126,343.