Phukan was born in 1819 at Guwahati in the Dhekial Phukan family. His father Haliram Dhekial Phukan wrote and published Asom Buronji and Kamakhya Yatrapaddhati in Bengali and distributed them freely. He also contributed to the Bengali magazine Samachar Chandrika.
Anandaram started his school life in Guwahati. In 1841, the then commissioner Jenkins sponsored him to go to Calcutta and study in Hindu College. After studying for three years there, he came back to Guwahati and took further lessons in English from Mr. Blend. He also took up some lessons in Sanskrit and Urdu.
He got married in 1846 and took a government job the following year. He served as Dewan of the king of Bijani, Munsif, and Junior Assistance Commissioner, among other positions.
Anadaram Dhekial Phukan started his literary life at the age of 17. From then until his death his sole aim was the development of his land and its people, to the detriment of his own health, which led Col. Hopkins to compare him to the great Raja Rammohan Roy of West Bengal.
In 1847, Anandaram published Englandor Biwaran (Description of England) in Orunodoi. In 1849, he published Asomiya Lorar Mitra (Assamese Children's Friend) in two volumes containing almost 400 pages, which is considered a milestone in the history of Assamese literature. In 1853, when Moffat Mills came to Assam to review the economic condition, Anadaram Dhekial Phukan presented him with a report written in lucid English describing the political and administrative situation of Assam, in-depth analysis of problems faced by the Assamese language and education system, and reasons and solutions to the poor economic condition of the Assamese people. He published another book, A few remarks on Assamese language, in English in 1855, in which he discussed the independent criteria of the language and the grievous outcome of imposing Bengali as the official language in Assam. This book mentions about 62 religious books and 40 plays. In addition, he started working on two dictionaries (Assamese to English, English to Assamese) and sent some parts of these to Orunodoi but their fate remains unknown.
His love for his motherland can be gathered from the following passage taken from his essay Englandor Biworon (Account of England):
"O Almighty Lord; enlighten them, so that they can learn their misery and wretchedness; with your magical powers, civilize them! Make them capable so that they can recognize your power and come under your sway. O dear lord! hasten and bring in a new era - when jungles of Assam will turn into flower gardens, when river boats will give way to steam ships, when mud houses will turn into concrete homes, when thousands of schools be established in villages, when gjan sabhas and hospitals will aid the poor, when violence will wither away and people will live in peace, love and harmony forever. |"
Anandaram Dhekial Phukan died at the age of 39 in June 1859.