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 Guwahati (Assam)

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
    into the Brahmaputra. To its west the Nilachal hill is said to be the home of goddess Kamakhya, a shakta temple. In the past, this was an important seat of tantric and Vajrayana Buddhism. To the north, on top of Chitrachal Hill, is the Navagraha (nine planets) temple, a unique astrological temple. To the south of the city lie the Narakasur hills, named after a legendary king of ancient Assam. The climate here is sub tropical and gets very humid. Rainfall in Assam is very heavy and temperature remains quite pleasant throughout the year. The average highest temperature during the months of summer is around 30 'C and in winter 10'C.Best time to visit Guwahati is from  November to April.

  • Best time to visit Guwahati

    Between October and March, although you might need to bundle up, especially in the evenings.

  • Guwahati Distance(s)

    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

    Distance from Guwahati to
    Click on link For a list of distances from Guwahati to various cities .

  • 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.

  • 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.

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    Guwahati Festivals and culture

  • Guwahati Festivals

    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. 
    Rongali Utsav: Rangoli Utsav is one of the most important festivals in Guwahati, coinciding with Bohag Bihu. It is celebrated in the month of April at Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra to welcome the onset of the agricultural season. The festival is enthusiastically celebrated by numerous communities of the state irrespective of their caste, religion, creed, faith and belief. Rongali Utsav is an excellent platform for showcasing the different ethnic cultures of the State.
     Brahmaputra Beach Festival: Brahmaputra Beach Festival is held on the sandy beaches of Brahmaputra during the spring season. The three day long festival is organised by Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) and the Assam Boat Racing & Rowing Association (ABRRA) to promote indigenous culture, crafts and popularising the traditional sports of Assam. Jonbeel Mela: The spectacular Jonbeel Mela is held every year during the winter season at Jagiroad, a township located 32kms from Guwahati. In this fair, various tribal communities of Northeast come downwards from the hills with different kinds of products. Before the beginning of the mela, an 'Agni Puja' is performed for the well being of mankind.

  • Guwahati Culture

    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.
     Bhubaneshwari Temple: Above Kamakhya is another small temple, Bhubaneshwari, from where one can have a bird's eye view of the Guwahati. Shiva Temple: The Shiva temple of Umananda, reached by motor boats and public ferries from Umananda Ghat, stands on an island in the middle of the Brahmaputra.
     Navagraha Temple: Navagraha Temple at Guwahati Assam is a centre of astrological and astronomical research. The Navagraha temple as it stands today was built by the ruler Rajeswar Singh in late 18th century AD. The temple tower was destroyed by an earthquake, but was reconstructed later. 
    Vashistha Ashram: At a distance of 12 km from the railway station is the Vashistha Ashram (the abode of sage Vashistha), an interesting old shrine, with plenty of greenery and three beautiful streams, Lalita, Kanta and Sandhya. Several other temples like the Ugratara temple, famous for its golden idol and buffalo sacrifices, are also spread across the city. 
    Madan Kamdev: Some 40-km north of Guwahati, Madan Kamdev was the site of a tantric temple of 'Shakti' (Durga) dating back to the Pallava dynasty (11th and 12th centuries). The temple, mentioned in the tantric scriptures known as the "Yogini Tantra", was evidently destroyed, though the cause is unknown. Much of the site remains unexcavated, but a museum preserves many findings including figures in various erotic postures, indeed some archeologists claim only Khajuraho rivals the expressiveness of its erotica.

  • Guwahati Monuments

    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.
     Poa-Mecca: There is also a mosque built by Pir Giasuddin Aulia and is held that it has one-fourth sanctity of Mecca and so it is known as Poa-Mecca. It is believed that by offering prayer, a faithful gains one-fourth (poa) spiritual enlightenment of what could be gained at Mecca and so is known as Poa-Mecca.
     Agnigarh: Preserving the sweet memory of young lovers, Agnigarh or the rampart, surrounded by fire, is perhaps the most beautiful tourist spots in Tezpur. According to legend, Princess Usha, the only daughter of King Bana, was kept inside the palace which was surrounded by rampart of fire. The present Agnigarh, now only a hillock facing the mighty Brahmaputra, provides the tourist s a soul touching panoramic view of both the river and Tezpur town.

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    Guwahati Entertainment and Night Life

  • Guwahati Adventure

    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 Nightlife

    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 Shopping

    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. 
    Kaziranga National Park : Kaziranga National Park is located 215 Km away from Guwahati, at Kohora. This park on the banks of the Brahmaputra, occupying around 430 sq km is a World Heritage Site. The Indian one-horned rhino is the main attraction of this park. There is a rich variety of shallow water fowls, the egrets, pond herons, river terns, fishing eagles, adjutant storks, black necked storks etc. 
    Manas National Park: It is situated 176kms from Guwahati at the foothills of the Himalayas is one of India is the  most magnificent National Park. Spreading over an area of 391 sq km, it is a fascinating tiger reserve. The primates in the park besides tigers include the rhino, water buffalo, capped langur, Assamese macaque, slow loris, hoolock gibbon etc. The lush forest canopy shelters colourful birds like the giant hornbills, both pied and gray varieties, pheasants, jungle fowl and scarlet minivet, etc. The water-birds along the rivers include brahminy ducks, mergansers and a range of egrets, herons and pelicans.

  • 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.
     Deepor Beel: Situated on the south west side of Guwahati, Deepor Beel is a permanent natural lake formed by a channel of Brahmaputra River. The lake has been designated as a Ramsar wetland of International Importance as it is home to variety of flora and fauna.
     Dighalipukhuri: Digholy Pukhury, the manmade artificial lake dug straight from the Brahmaputra, is located in the heart of the city. It is one of the rare beauty spots of Guwahati that dates back to several thousand years. During the Ahom period  Dighalipukhuri used be an inland port for war ships and boats. Chandubi: It is a natural lagoon located 64 km from Guwahati. The lake and its surrounding is an ideal picnic spot. It provides facilities for ample fishing and rowing.

  • Guwahati Seasonals

    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.,

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    Guwahati Tips

  • 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
     are over-packed and slow.

  • 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: astdcorpn@sancharnet.in 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.

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