Introduction: The name Guwahati is derived from two Assamese words: 'guwa' (areca nut) and 'haat' (market place). The name used to be spelled as Gowhatty (pre-colonial and colonial), standardized to Gauhati (colonial-British), which was then changed to the present form in the late 1980s to conform to the local pronunciation. The name Guwahati is derived from two Assamese words: 'guwa' (areca nut) and 'haat' (market place).
History: If you want to know the historical background about Guwahati you will be charmed to know the facts. There is almost a magic that hovers over the city. The demon king Narkasura is believed to have constructed this ancient city. It is also considered to be the ancient "Kamrup", the birthplace of Kamdeva, the God of Love.
Description: It is a major commercial and educational centre of eastern India and is home to world class institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. The city is also a major centre for cultural activities and sports in the North Eastern Region and for the administrative and political activities in Assam. The city is also an important hub for transportation in the North East Region. Guwahati is also one of the most beautiful cities in South Asia with the mighty and picturesque Brahmaputra, river islands (e.g. Umananda), beaches, beach-islands (balicapori), thick tropical green cover, natural sweetwater lakes, hills with thick forests and with beautiful and lively native population.
Guwahati Quick facts
Guwahati Geography and Climate
Guwahati straddles the valley of the river Bharalu, a small tributary of the river Brahmaputra. It is surrounded by hills, except where the Bharalu joins
Best time to visit Guwahati
Between October and March, although you might need to bundle up, especially in the evenings.
Barpeta 140 Bongaigaon 210 Dhemaji 469 Dhubri 290 Dibgrugarh 443 Diphu 271 Goalpara 150 Golaghat 288 Hailakandi 336 Halflong 383 Jorhat 308 Karimganj 338 Kokrajhar 236 Mangoldoi 68 Morigaon 78 Nagaon 123 Nalbari 71 N.Lakhimpur 397 Sibsagar 363 Silchar 343 Tezpur 181 Tinsukia 491
How to reach Guwahati by Road
All India tourist permit vehicles are available for the local transportations and also for the inter city transportations too. Guwahati is connected by regular bus services with Shillong, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tezpur, Siliguri, Sibsagar, Dimapur, Kohima, Imphal, Aizawal, Itanagar, Barpetta Road and Cooch Bihar.
How to reach Guwahati by Rail
The busy and overcrowded Paltan Bazar railway station is the nearest railhead for many trains from every part of India. There are direct train services from New Delhi and Kolkata with connectivity to Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram etc.
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How to reach Guwahati by Air
Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati is well connected by air with New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. Indian Air Lines, Sahara And Jet Airways operate regular flights to Guwahati. The other towns to which these airways operate flights are Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, North Lakhimpur and Silchar. Air India operates direct flight between Guwahati and Bangkok on Mondays and Thursdays.
Guwahati Festivals and culture
Ambubachi Mela: Ambubachi Mela, the unique and popular festival at Kamakhya Temple held in the month of June, attracts pilgrims from all over India. During the festival, the temple doors remain closed for three days. It is believed that during these days the mother Goddess undergoes her annual cycle of menstruation and the pool containing her yoni (uterus) turns red. Manasa Festival (Debaddhani Festival): Manasa festival which commences in September is celebrated at Kamakhya Temple in honour of the Snake goddess Manasa also called 'visahari' (the remover of poison). The deity is worshipped during diseases and epidemic. At the festive occasion, offerings are made and devotees invoke the blessings of the Goddess by ritual dressing and dancing.
Guwahati is also an important place of Hindu pilgrimage and the place is popular for its unique, vivid and colorful culture. Apart from its exceptional scenic beauty and fascinating culture, there are several tourist attractions in Guwahati.
Guwahati Religious Places
The Kamakhya Temple: Kamakhya is located on a hill - Neelachala Parvat or Kamagiri near the city of Guwahati in Assam. Shakti, residing on the Kamagiri hill is known as Kamakhya, the granter of desires.
Madan Kamdev: Barely 40 kms. away from the sprawling metropolis Guwahati, on N.H. 52 Madan Kamdev is an enigma, a mystery, a marvel and in the words of Omar Khayam, "a veil past which I could not see". Very little is known about the origin of this magnificent archaeological ruins.Written history is almost silen on it, leaving wide room for conjectures and hypothesis.
Guwahati Entertainment and Night Life
An annual Angling competition is regularly held at Jia Bhoroli where a number of anglers both from outside the state as well as abroad participate every year. Angling is so popular a sport here that there is an organised body by the name 'Assam Bhoroli Anglers Association' which organises this sport in the month of November every year in collaboration with the State Forest Department. Eco Camp situated at the fringes of the Nameri National Park is an avid camper's ideal getaway.
Guwahati has few pubs compared to its development, but it has a whole lot of bars in its Guwahati hotels. The booze is at pretty reasonable rates. There are the night parties that go on secretly in the city, for which you need a guide to take you there.
Kidding around Guwahati
Basistha: Besides a picturesque waterfall 11-km southeast of Guwahati, two small red-domed temples at Basistha (also spelt as Vashistha), in Assamese beehive style, commemorate Vashistha Muni, the author of the Ramayana.
Guwahati is the commercial capital of the North East. Its markets are busy, noisy and well stocked, especially with local handicrafts. The places to shop for handicraft and handloom items include the State Government's department store, Pragjyotika at Ambari as well as many privately owned shops in Pan Bazar and Fancy Bazar, two of the main commercial markets, that sell a range of items from muga silk to bell metal, canework to woollen shawls and elegant Naga and Manipuri jackets.
Famous To Eat at Guwahati
When it comes to North East cuisine, there's nothing to beat the fish items. Very similar to the Bengali cuisine, Assam has it's delilcious preparations of fish items that include the famous 'Maas tenga'. For vegetarians there are mouth watering preparations made from potatoes and green vegetables. A very popular fast food snack is the 'momo', sumptuous hot steamed dumplings served with a tangy, chilly or sweet sauce and .hot soup.
Guwahati Museum and Hill Stations
Assam State Museum: Archaeological and ethnographic displays are one of the major attractions in Assam's state museum, situated near the centre of city. The collection includes stone and copper plate inscriptions dating from the 5th century, a 12th century sculpture of 'Surya', terracotta pieces and costumes.
Gardens and Parks at Guwahati
Guwahati University Botanical Garden: The botanical garden within the zoo was established in 1982. Spreading over an area of 82 hectares, the garden houses various types of palm, shrub, herbs, coniferous and broad leaved plants. It also contains an orchid house packed with 44 varieties of rare orchids of the North East region. Assam State Zoo and Botanical Garden is open on all days except Fridays.
Lake at Guwahati
Guwahati in Assam is divided into two parts by the river (Brahmaputra). North Guwahati is almost a separate town. One can visit it via the Saraighat Bridge or by the ferries that ply on the river.
Rice is the primary food crop; cash crops like jute, tea, cotton, oilseeds, sugarcane, potato, etc., are also grown in the state. Also grown on a small scale are horticulture crops like orange, banana, pineapple, areca nut, coconut, guava, mango, jackfruit, etc.,
Guwahati Travel Tips
Never plan a visit during the peak monsoons -- roughly from mid-June to mid-September. The rains are bad enough but the accompanying humidity will drain you completely. It's best to travel by train if you can make time. It's a wonderful sight to watch the tea gardens and hills unfolding before your eyes as you enter Assam. If you are pressed for time, there are direct flights from Delhi and Calcutta. Guwahati is easy to reach from any destination with a connecting flight in Calcutta. You could even take a train to Calcutta and fly to Guwahati or vice versa. Guwahati has a newly built posh airport with all the modern facilities. During winters, it could get very cold; visitors are warned to bring warm clothing. Since the political situation is not always stable, visitors are advised not to roam around till late in the night. Other than that, it's a perfectly safe place, and a pleasure to spend your holidays in. In Assam, always carry enough mosquito repellents. Avoid the local buses; as they
Guwahati Tourist Offices
Directorate of Tourism Govt. of Assam Station Road Guwahati 781001 Assam, India Phone:+91-361-547102 / 542748 Fax: +91-361-547102 Assam Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. Dr. B. Barooah Road Guwahati 781007 Phone:+91-361-454570/454421 Fax: +91-361-454570 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tourist Information Officer Lokapriya G.N.B. International Airport Borjhar, Guwahati Assam, India
Must do at Guwahati
Visit the renowned Assam State Museum. This edifice houses some of the most valued antiques of the country. The Saraighat Bridge in Guwahati is another Guwahati attraction that's worth mentioning for the dolphins and natural beauty of the river below. You can also wade through the large tea plantations in the city and sip on the finest of teas. You will have lots to do in this city of hills and water. If you are a water person, there is a water world in the outskirts of the city. Here you can have fun in an artificially built water reserve. For those who want the real thing, you can go fishing in the Brahmaputra or for long boat rides. The 'Umananda island temple' in the middle of the river is a popular tourist attraction. Trekking, rock climbing and short trips to the nearby destinations like, 'Kaziranga', 'Shillong' and 'cherrapunjee' are good options.