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Digboi is known as the 'Oil City of Assam' where the first oil well in Asia was drilled. The first refinery was started here as early as 1901.
Digboi has the oldest oil well in operation and with a significant number of British professionals working for Assam Oil Company until the decade following independence of India, Digboi had a well-developed infrastructure and a number of bungalows unique to the town.
It is said that Digboi got its name from the English phrase 'Dig Boy Dig!' which was a phrase used by the British to tell local labourers to dig for crude oil.
Here are five known facts about 'Oil City of Assam'
1. DIGBOI CENTENARY MUSEUM: The Assam Oil Company (part of Indian Oil) established a museum of the history of the Assam oil industry, behind the refinery at Digboi. The museum was inaugurated on 4th January, 2002. Old engines used in the refinery, antique cars and meter gauge Ruston and Hornsby 4WD train are displayed in the museum.
2. GOLF COURSE: Amidst the vast dense forests and exquisite tea estates, lies the 18-hole golf course of Digboi, known as the best golf course in the whole of Upper Assam. The whole course stands over a huge 6309 yards of land and is considered to be one of the biggest in the northeast India. Every year, various tournaments both national and international level are played here. The Digboi Golf Club Links was founded in the year 1888.
3. CENTENARY PARK: It is situated beside the refinery. There are also hillocks that house old British bungalows. This park covers an area of 40,000 sq metres where you can find beautiful natural ponds and a lake.
4. DIBRU SAIKHOWA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY: Dibru Saikhowa National Park is one of the 19 (nineteen) biodiversity hotspots in the world. Located 60km from Digboi, the 650 sq km sanctuary is Assam's largest wildlife park. The area was declared as Dibru Reserved Forest in 1890 and in the year 1999, the sanctuary gained the status of National Park.
The sanctuary attracts migratory birds in great numbers. Some rare and endangered animals of this sanctuary are Hoolock gibbon, capped langur, slow loris, water buffalo, tiger, elephant, gangetic river dolphin etc.
5. DIGBOI WAR CEMETERY: Situated outside the oil town, Digboi Oil Town, some 1.5 kilometres from the main India Oil (Assam) Works on the road to Pengaree Tea Estate. During the Second World War, Assam was an operational area of Burma campaign, as Digboi was situated near the Burmese border. An army hospital was established there and the Digboi War Cemetery was started for burials.
Maintenance of graveyards in Panitola and other areas was becoming a major problem, so the graves were transferred to Digboi.The cemetery now contains 200 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.