City :Guwahati
Location : North-East Indian.
Best Season to Visit : September-April.
Language : Assamese, Hindi And English.

About Guwahati

Picturesque Guwahati on the banks of mighty river Brahmaputra is the capital of north-eastern state of Assam. It is also called the 'gateway to the north-east'. Guwahati was formerly known as Pragjyotishpur (the City of Eastern Light). The diverse landscape of this beautiful city includes mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, forests, traditional buildings of older period and modern structures. Furthermore, it is a place having many beautiful temples. Guwahati houses the political capital of the state- Dispur. Many other tourist attractions of north-east can be reached only from Guwahati.

Traditionally, Guwahati has been an important administrative and trading center and a river port. 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.

Sightseeing at Guwahati

Kamakhya temple : The Kamakhya temple atop the Nilachal hills attracts tourists in large numbers. The temple is one of the most sacred among the tantrik shrines of Shakti worship in the whole world. The temple was built in the 10th century AD by the Koch king Naranarayan. The Ambubachi Mela(Fair) held during the monsoon season in the temple premises also attracts devotees in large numbers.

Umananda Temple : Umananda is regarded as the smallest river island in the world. At the very centre of the tiny island is Umananda Shiva temple. The beautiful temple built during the Ahom period can be reached only through motor boats and public ferries.The temple is visited in large numbers.

Guwahati Zoo and Zoological Gardens : The zoo at Guwahati is the largest natural zoo in India. Different animal and bird species including Assam's famed one -horned rhino could be seen in the zoo. There is also a museum and a beautiful zoological garden within the zoo premises.

Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra : The Kalakshetra is the newest addition to the many attractions of Guwahati. Built in the 1990's, the artistic excellence of Assam and rest of the north-eastern region is displayed here. There are eateries, places of worship, emporiums and open air theatres within the sprawling Kalakshetra premises.

Places of interests

Guwahati possesses many places of interests with lively urban activities, ancient temples, attractive natural features (apart from the Brahmaputra river) and with recreational activities. Guwahati is also situated at the center of an attractive region (within 200 km radius) with natural parks, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations of different types and with a colourful cultural landscape.

Urban attractions
There are several interesting and lively places in the city. These areas provide the city with hotels, restaurants, shopping and business areas. The most lively part is the city center. Momos and chicken rolls are popular fast food available almost in every restaurant. Moreover, there several good restaurants offering Indian, South Indian, traditional Assamese, Chinese and continental food. There are also several good book shops and music stores. Few of these lively areas in the city are:

Brahmaputra with Ferry; Fancy BazaarPan Bazaar
A lively part of the city center on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra. Cotton College, Digholy Pukhury (Dighali Pukhuri), The State Museum, RBI, District Court (Kamrup District), etc. are major landmarks. Moreover, the area also possesses many libraries, major government offices and a shopping district. Restaurants and bookshops in the area provide a unique environment. It is also a major wholesale market for drugs and pharmaceutical products and a hub for printing and publication. Close to Digholy Pukhury, there are many stores with traditional arts and crafts from Assam and other parts of the NER. Kacari Ghat, next to the district court is an important local river port.

Fancy Bazaar
Situated in the western part of the city-center is a busy commercial district for both wholesale and retail. Fansi Bazaar is the hub for various wholesale products ranging from food and beverages, garments to hardware and building materials. It is also known for the retail shopping areas for clothes and garments.

Paltan Bazaar
In the central part of the city-center is the hub for transportation and hotels. With Guwahati railway station, the regional bus stand (ASTC), numerous hotels, restaurants and offices and stops of numerous private bus service (regional) providers, the area is the busiest and congested. There are also many small shops selling traditional garments from various parts of the NER.

Is a newly developed commercial node in the south outside the city-center. Its proximity to the state capital complex and rapidly growing southern residential areas have made it an important sub-city-center. Ganeshguri is a busy part of the city with retail shopping areas, hotels and restaurants and small businesses.

Beltola Bazaar
Is a traditional weekly fruits and vegetables market with historic importance. The market exisists since historic past and is an important traditional trading point between the people from the Khasi hills (Meghalaya) and local people. It is a rich market with various types of local food products. It is located in Beltola, a predominantly residential area in the south.

Other attractions

Kamakhya Temple
This ancient temple atop the Nilachal Hills is the seat of tantrik worship and shakti culture. Any person visiting Assam and Guwahati in particular , invariably pays a visit to this temple. Flooded with devotees throughout the year and mainly during the Ambubachi Mela , Kamakhya Temple is the religious heartthrob of the Assamese populace.

There is a temple of Purva Tirupati Sri Balaji situated in a sprawling 2 acres of land at Betkuchi, Guwahati. In this complex, the temples of Sri Balaji, Sri Ganesha and Padmabati (Mahalaxmi) with Garuda is the main attraction for the visitors.

Gandhi Mandap: On the top of Sarania hill is Gandhi Mandap a memorial built in honour of Mahatma Gandhi.

Deepor Beel: A large natural lake in the western parts of the city. Provides quality aesthetics and is popular among the bird watchers, ecologists, etc.

The Artificial Lakes: Within the city there many man made fresh water tanks/small lakes built during Ahom era including Dighalipukhuri, Silpukhuri, Nakkatapukhuri and Jorphukhuri. During the Ahom period the Dighalipukhuri used be an inland port for war ships and boats. In those days it was connected to the Brahmaputra river by a channel. On the western bank of Jorpukhuri (Jor means twin in Assamese; Jorphukhuri meaning Twin tanks) is the Ugra Tara Temple, dedicated to a form of the Hindu/Buddhist goddess Tara (Devi).

Assam State (Guwahati) Zoo: Assam State (Guwahati) Zoo is one of the richest of its kind in India. Major attraction are the one horned Rhinoceros, the Tigers and the Hoolock Gibbon. Rhino in Assam State Zoo

The key attractions are

Urban Attractions Art & Culture Ancient & Historic Others
Pan Bazaar Assam State Museum Kamakhya Temple Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Fansi Bazaar Shankardev Kalakhetra Uma Nanda Temple Accoland
Paltan Bazaar Jyoticitrobon Basistha Temple Guwahati Planetorium
Ganeshguri Guwahati Book Fair Navagraha Temple Nehru Stadium
BeltolaBazaar NEDFi Haat Sukreswar Temple Digholy Pukhury
Zoo Road Assam Forest Museum Digheswari Temple Narengi Golf Club
GS Road Commercial Museum - G.Univ Doul Govinda Temple Deepor Beel
Maligaon Lankeshwar Temple Nauka Mandir, New Colony Pandu
Pandu Lokenath Temple, Loco Colony, Pandu Rudreswar Temple
Rest Camp Kalibari Ugra Tara Temple
Hajo Pandu Port
Garchuk Lachit Garh

Regional attractions

Guwahati is also located centrally to many of the regional tourist destinations and the city provides basic communication services and tours to access these. Few of these are:

Kaziranga National Park - 200 km east, famous for one horned rhinoceros
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary - 60 km east
Shillong - 100 km south, a beautiful hill station and the capital city of Meghalaya surrounded by pine forests
Tawang - 200 km north, a famous Buddhist monastery in the snow-clad Arunachal-Himalayas
Manah / Manas National Park - 150 km west, a beautiful wildlife sanctuary in the foot hills of Himalaya
Moreover, there are several wonderful picnic spots (e.g. Candubi) in and around the city.

Hundreds of traditional Oxomeeya (Assamese), Bodo, Karbi, Tiwa, Garo, Khasi villages and traditional way of life in 200 km radius of the city can be of great interests to tourist. Bamboo and fruit orchards, handloom and handicraft, wet paddy fields, fishing, etc. are typical characteristics of local traditional way of life. Xorthebary and Xualkuchi are two places near the city with tradition of bronze-crafts and silk weaving for thousands of years.

Madan Kamdev, at 35 km from the city is an important archeological site with ancient ruins of temples and other structures.

Hajo and the sacred place of Hayagriba Madhava are two important religious places both for the Hindus and the Buddhists. One of the temples, which is known as the Haygriba Madhava temple is a Bishnu temple for the Hindus and at the same time an important shrine for the Tibetan Buddhists.