The Tai-speaking Ahoms came to the area from Yunnan province, China, in the 13th century. Sibsagar was the capital of the Ahom kingdom in the 18th century, when it was called Rangpur; several temples remain from that period. The town is now a tea-processing centre on the Northeast Frontier Railway and the national highway. In addition to tea, the surrounding region produces rice, silk, mustard, and timber. Pop. (2001) 53,854; (2011) 50,781.