Guwahati, also known as the “City of Eastern Light” is the largest city, not only in Assam, but also the entire north east. One of the fastest developing cities in the North East, Guwahati is an important educational and commercial hub and is home to many top class colleges and universities, such as Indian Institute to Technology ( Guwahati), Gauhati University and Cotton College to name a few. Guwahati is rich in wildlife and animals like Asian elephants, pythons and tigers can be found here.
HOW TO REACH
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, also known as Guwahati International Airport, is the major airport in all of North East India. The airport is well connected with all the major cities of Indian and a few select international cities like Bangkok and Paro. The airport is about 20 kilometres west of the city centre. From the airport, you can book a taxi/cab or board a bus to get to the city centre or to your hotel.
By Helicopter â€“ Pawan Hans, a helicopter service provider, provides helicopter services from Guwahati to Shillong (30 min), Tura (50 min), Naharlagun (Itanagar), Tawang (75 min) and vice versa.
Guwahati Junction is the major railway station of Guwahati. Kamakhya Junction is the second largest station of the city. Guwahati is well connected with all the major cities of the country through rails. From the railways station, you can hire a cab/taxi or board a local bus to get to the city centre or to your hotel.
Guwahati is very well connected with the adjoining cities and states through bus service. The three nodal points of Adabari, Paltan Bazar and ISBT Guwahati, provide bus services to towns and cities in Assam and adjoining states.
WHAT TO SEE
Â One of the major attractions of Guwahati is the River Cruise on the Brahmaputra river. To go on a cruise on the mighty river is a thrilling experience. There are cruise vessels like ‘MV Mahabahu’, ‘Jolporee’, ‘Charaidew’, ‘MV Chandardinga’, ‘Alfresco’, ‘Baginadi’ etc. that will take visitors on joy rides on the Brahmaputra river. On board these luxurious cruise vessels tourists can relax and enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset.
On the peacock island in the middle of the Brahmaputra, this Shiva temple was built in 1664. It is believed that Lord Shiva by using his third eye burnt Kamdeva at this place. Every year Shivaratri is celebrated in this temple in a great way. The island is believed to be the world’s smallest human inhabited island. The world’s largest river island is Majuli.
Accoland family fun kingdom is the north-east’s only amusement park named after Acco, the mythological king of amusement. This park is at Patgaon.Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra: Shankardev Kalakshetra is a place that visitors should never miss.
Guwahati Planetarium: –
Situated in Uzanbazar this planetarium is the only one of its kind in the North-Eastern region and a center of astronomical research. For visitors, the mysterious aspects of the universe are brought alive by sheer audio-video technique and explained in the dark domed structure inside the planetarium.
Assam State Museum: –
Assam State Museum is situated near Dighalipukhuri. It houses many rare, specimen of the Ahom Dynasty. Many articles of equipment, dress materials belonging to the glorious past of Assam are found here. Many antiques, statues, manuscripts, written on Shashi-paat and other valuable articles are preserved and displayed here.
Kamakhya Temple situated some 5 km from the main city on the Nilachal Hill, is one of the most sacred Hindu Shrines of India. Goddess Kamakhya is worshipped here.Ambubachi Mela is celebrated every year in the middle of June in this temple. Many devotees from across the country gathered here during this mela.
Adjacent to Srimanta Shankardev Kalakshetra, this is the only crafts village of the North East Zone Cultural Center (NEZCC). It had made landmark in the promotion of the varied arts and cultures of the local people. It holds regular cultural events throughout the year in its open air stage and auditorium.
Nehru Park: –
At heart of the city at Panbazar by the side of Cotton College. Nehru Park is another place that visitors should never miss. The highlights of the park are the concrete statues of Bihu dance, Ojapali dance, Deodhani dance, Jhumur dance, Bhoor tal dance etc. There are altogether 45 concrete statues depicting these aspects of Assamese life and culture.
Basistha Temple is on Sandhyachal Hill, on the southern part of the city; this beautiful tourist spot was once the ashram (hermitage) of sage Basistha.
Sukreswar Temple: –
Sukreswar Temple is an ancient Shiva temple built by Ahom king Pramatta Singha on Dakini Jogini hill by the side of river Brahmaputra.
Navagraha temple or temple of nine planets is situated on Chitrachal Hill to the east. It was the ancient seat of study of astronomy and astrology. The nine planets are represented by the nine linga’s inside the main temple. There is a stone imprint of solar system inside the temple.This temple just 3 km from the railway station is still a center of Astrological and Astronomical research. It was for this temple Guwahati was named Pragjyotishpura.
Situated at the heart of the city at Uzanbazar and surrounded by the High Court on the north and the State Museum and District Library on the south. This is a huge man-made tank. It was excavated by the mighty king Bhagadatta to celebrated the ‘swayambar’ of his daughter Bhanumati who was married to Kourava prince Druyadhana. There is boating club on the Dighalipukhuri.
Ugro Tara Temple:-
At the heart of the city banks of Joarpukhuri (twin ponds). The Ugro Tara Temple is another shakti peeth temple where the eyes of sati were believed to have fallen.
Balaji Temple, Guwahati: This temple is a recent addition to the religious places of Guwahati. It is situated at Betkuchi area of the city. Balaji temple with striking South Indian architecture is unlike the other temples of this place. In the evening illuminated by electric lights the temple looks very beautiful.
ISKCON Temple, Guwahati:-
This temple belongs to the ISKCON society founded by Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The temple’s main deity is Radha-Krishna. The main emphasis of this temple’s preaching lies on the teachings of Krishna and Bhagavad Gita. The evening is a good time to visit when the temple is filled with Devotees and Kirtan is held with full grandeur and splendor.
Items one can shop for in Guwahati include tea, silks, bamboo and cane decorative items. There are government run emporiums too which sell items at a fixed price. Paltan Bazaar is the main shopping area, though apart from that you can go to Fancy Bazaar and GNB Road. While shopping at local markets make sure you bargain hard to secure a good deal.
Assamese cooking involves a lot of drying and fermenting. The cuisine of this region uses very little oil and spices and has a characteristically strong flavour due to the use of fermented vegetables and fish. A typical Assamese meal would begin with “khar” and ends with “tenga”, a sour dish. Apart from that, Assamese consume a lot of rice, fish and meat in their food. Most Assamese like to eat paan (betel nut) after their meal. Unlike the rest of the North East, beef is not commonly consumed in Assam, because majority of the population is Hindu.