Assam (English pronunciation: /əˈsæm/) is a state in northeastern India. Located south of the eastern Himalayas, Assam comprises the Brahmaputra Valley and the Barak Valley along with the Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts with an area of 30,285 sq mi (78,440 km2). Assam, along with Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, and Meghalaya, is one of the Seven Sister States of Northeast. Geographically, Assam and these states are connected to the rest of India via a 22 kilometres (14 mi) strip of land in West Bengal called the Siliguri Corridor or "Chicken's Neck". Assam shares an international border with Bhutan and Bangladesh; and its culture, people and climate are similar to those of Southeast Asia – comprising the elements in India’s Look East policy.
Assam is known for Assam tea and Assam silk. The first oil well in Asia was drilled here in Digboi. The state has conserved the one-horned Indian rhinoceros from near extinction, along with the wild water buffalo, pygmy hog, tiger and various species of Asiatic birds. It provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. The Assamese economy is aided by wildlife tourism, centred around Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park which are World Heritage Sites. Sal tree forests are found in the state which, as a result of abundant rainfall, looks green all year round. Assam receives more rainfall compared to most parts of India. This rain feeds the Brahmaputra River, whose tributaries and oxbow lakes provide the region with a hydro-geomorphic and aesthetic environment .
The precise etymology of "Assam" came from Ahom Dynasty. In the classical period and up to the 12th century the region east of the Karatoya river, largely congruent to present-day Assam, was called Kamarupa, and alternatively, Pragjyotisha. In medieval times the Mughals used Asham (eastern Assam) and Kamrup (western Assam), and during British colonialism, the English used Assam. Though many authors have associated the name with the 13th century Shan invaders the precise origin of the name is not clear. It was suggested by some that the Sanskrit word Asama ("unequalled", "peerless", etc.) was the root, which has been rejected by Kakati, and more recent authors have concurred that it is a latter-day Sanskritization of a native name. Among possible origins are Tai (A-Cham) and Bodo (Ha-Sam).