The roots of intellectual, cultural and spiritual development of this region go back centuries from the time of Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankardeva (1449 â€“ 1568) who, as the revered father of the Assamese culture, laid the foundation of the first of the 65 satras (neo- Vaishnavite monasteries) at Majuli â€“ the largest riverine island in Asia, adjacent to Jorhat. These satras evolved into 'Centres of Excellence' in pursuit of scholarly, artistic and theological brilliance. They propagated a remarkably enlightened and inclusive view of life, rejecting the entrenched, discriminatory Varna system. This gradually shaped the cultural landscape of the whole of Assam.
The relocation of the Ahom kingdom under King Swargadeu Gaurinath to orhat in 1794 marked a turning point in the literary and cultural history of the city. In less than a century after this, the British set up tea gardens in the area and made Jorhat the nerve centre of their business, which led to technological and commercial development of the region. In 1928, the town was technologically advanced enough to provide the first air strip in the North-east; thereby, catalysing the development of a knowledge-based culture in and around Jorhat.
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