It is one of the major cities located in western Assam. The city name is a combination of two words 'Bar' meaning big and 'Peta' meaning pond. Therefore, Barpeta means the land of big ponds. In earlier times this area was full of such ponds. Barpeta is renowned on the historical map of Assam as the "Land of the Satras". These Satras bear testimony to the great Assamese reformer, saint, scholar and cultural exponent Srimanta Sankardeva and his able disciple Shri Shri Madhabdeva who arrived from Upper Assam back in the 16th century to lay down a strong foundation of Assamese culture in the region through his socio-religious 'Vaishnava' reform movement. This reform movement left a historic legacy. The Barpeta Satra and various other Satras scattered around the district attract devotees from every nook and corner of Assam.