Guwahati is the largest city of Assam and northeastern India. Spread over an area of 216 sqkm it is one of the fastest developing cities in Eastern India and hence is referred as “Gateway of North Eastern Region” of the country. It is a major commercial and educational hub of North East India. The word Guwahati is derived from two Assamese words ‘guwa’ meaning areca nut and ‘haat’ meaning market place. It is also nicknamed as ‘City of Temples’ and ‘City of Eastern Astrology.’
Some of the major tourist destinations of Guwahati are:
The Kamakhya Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya. It is oldest of the 51 shakti pithas situated at the top of Nilachal Hill at about 800 feet above sea level. The temple consists of four chambers and three mandaps. The mandaps are locally known as calanta, pancaratna and natamandira. The shikhara of the temple is designed in the shape of a bee-hive and the inner sanctum, the garbhagriha, is a cave below ground level and consists of no image but a rock fissure. The temple remains open for the devotees from 8am to 1pm and 2.30pm to 5.30pm all days.
The Purva Tirupati Sri Balaji Temple is located in Betkuchi. The statue of Lord Ganeshji can be seen at the entrance of the temple complex. The Temple of Lord Balaji has a Rajagopuram, which is 70 ft. in height, a Maha Mandapam, an Ardha Mandapam, and the Sanctorum. There is the Dhwajastambham or Flag pole between the main entrance and the Temple. The pole is 60 ft. in height made of a single Sal tree and covered by copper plate with brass coating. The main deity of the temple is Lord Balaji carved out of stone. The Gopurams are magnificent ranging from eight feet in the Ganesh Temple to 70 feet in the Rajagopuram. The gopurams are painted in white and wooden doors are handcrafted. The temple is open for the devotees from 8am to 1pm and 3.30pm to 8pm all days.
Assam State Zoo
The Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden is spread over 432 acres and is the largest zoo in North Eastern region. It is popularly known as Guwahati Zoo. The zoo is home to around 895 animals, birds and reptiles. The zoo was established in 1957 and was open to public in the year 1958. Some of the animals that can be seen here are white rhinos, black rhinos, zebras, ostrich, giraffe and kangaroos. The main attraction is the orchid house where a collection of more than 40 rare orchids can be seen gathered from entire North East region. The zoo remains open for the public from Saturday to Thursday and the entry charges are Rs 3/- per person.
Assam State Museum
Assam State Museum is situated near Dighali Pukhuri tank. The museum was established in 1940 by Assam Research Society. It houses many rare, specimen of the Ahom Dynasty. Many antiques, statues, sculptures manuscripts, written on Shashi-paat and other valuable articles are preserved and displayed here. The museum is open from 10am to 4.30pm all days except Mondays, second and fourth Saturdays and Government holidays.
Best time to Visit
The best season to visit Guwahati is from October to March.
How to Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is Guwahati Airport
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Guwahati Junction.
By Road: Guwahati is well-connected to major North East Indian cities by state public transport buses.
Shopping in Guwahati
At Guwahati one can buy
- Cotton clothes with traditional thread work
- Bamboo accessories
- Brass utensils
- Clay toys
- Traditional blankets known as Laichampi
- Assam tea
Where to Stay
There are many hotels and resorts at Guwahati. Few are listed below:
- Atithi Hotel is located at Azad Road, Guwahati and the room costs around 4,600 rupees per day.
- Hotel Kiranshree Portico is located at Paltan Bazaar, Guwahati and the room costs around 7,200 rupees per day.
- Hotel Sagar is located at Paltan Bazaar, Guwahati and the room costs around 2,100 rupees per day.
- Rains Inn is located at Paltan Bazaar, Guwahati and the room costs around 2,200 rupees per day.
- Hotel Lilawati Grand is located at Panbazar, Guwahati and the room costs around 2,300 rupees per day.
The rates in these hotels are not fixed and may vary from season to season and also on the facilities provided. It is therefore, advisable to check the rates in advance before booking any hotel.