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. Nagaon is the administrative headquarters of Nagaon district. The city is situated on the north bank of river Brahmaputra and surrounded by hills, forests and tea gardens. It has a population of about 1,10,000 people (2011 census). Nagaon was earlier known as Nowgong which literally means "new town". In 1826 it was made capital of Assam under British rule by Charles Andrew Lyall who also founded Guwahati in 1837. During World War II it became an important military base for Allied Forces to counter Japanese advances from Burma into India. The name 'Nagao' or 'Nowgao' comes from two words - nāga meaning snakeand ō gao meaning land with snakes. Legend has it that once upon a time there lived many snakes in this region; so much so that even after centuries they still live here but not as densely populated as before due to deforestation over time.