Silchar is the headquarters of Cachar district in the state of Assam in India. It is the economic gateway to the state of Mizoram and part of Manipur. It is 343 kilometres (213 mi) south east of Guwahati. The city of Silchar is the second largest city of Assam after Guwahati in terms of population and municipal area.
Being politically stable in the otherwise disturbed Northeast earned it the bon mot of "Island of Peace" from India\'s then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
During the British rule, ships were docked at the bank of the "River Barak" so a market developed at the bank and became a major place of economic activity. The bank was covered with stones to help dock ships and vessels, and the market developed at a place which was fully covered with stones. People started to refer to the place as "Shiler Chor", meaning a bank of stone. Gradually "Shiler Chor" became "Silchar" for linguistic simplification and, later on, British officials started to use "Silchar" in their official documents referring to the surrounding area of the market. "Silchar" became the official name of the place.
Approximately 90% residents of Silchar are Bengalis who speak the Sylheti dialect, the rest being Dimasa Kachari (Barman), Manipuri (Meitei), Marwaris, Bishnupriya Manipuris, Assamese and some tribal groups like Nagas. Silchar is situated by the banks of the Barak River in what is popularly known as Barak Valley. Rice is the staple cereal. Fish is also available. ShuÅ£ki (the local name for dried fish), shidal chutney, and chunga-r peetha are some of the local delicacies.