Altitude: 55 meters.
Temperature (deg C )
: Summer- Max. 35, Min. 22; Winter- Max. 26, Min. 10.
180 cms (from May to Sept.)
: October to May.
Transport and Communication
Well connected by air, rail, road.
Situated beside the immpressively wide and muddy Brahamputra River, Guwahati is Assam's sleepy capital. Once known as Pragjyotishpura (the Eastern City of Light) and mentioned in Mahabharta, it has long been the most important town in the region.
It's now the service centre for the oil industry and tea plantations; the world's largest tea auctions are held here.Guwahati is pleasant, relaxed place.
There are numerous anacient Hindu temples in and around the town, but its main importance is as the gateway to the whole of the north-eastern region. The name (Guwahati) is a combination of two words:
"Guwa" meaning areca nut and "Hat" meaning market. Guwahati is the commercial nerve centre of the North-East.
The places to shop for handicrafts and handloom items include the State Government's department store, Pragjyotika at Ambari as well as several private shops in Pan Bazar and Fancy Bazar, two of the main commercial markets.
Assam State Museum
This archaeological, ethnographic and natural history museum has recently been enlarged and is well worth a visit. There are also good displays of weavings, musical instruments and large sculpture gallery. The museum is open daily except Monday, from 10 am to 4.15 pm (5 pm in summer). It's also closed on Sunday afternoon and on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.
Navagarh Temple Situated on Chtitrachal Hill to the east of the town.
The Temple of the Nine Planets
has long been known as a centre of astrology and astronomy. The nine planets are represented by nine linga inside the main temple.
The most interesting thing about this Siva temple is its location, on Peacock Island in the middle of the river.
Assam State ZOO & Botnical Gardens
The zoo & botnical gardens
are about five km east of the railway station. The zoo is reasonably well manged and has tigers, leopords and , of course, Assam famous rhinosplus the African two-horned variety for comparison. They are open daily except Friday.
Hajo, Sualkuchi,Chandubi, Baisisthashram, Darranga, Pabitora, Madan Kamdev, Manas Wldlife Sanctuary.
This place, 25 km west of Guwahati, is the site of the Pua-Mecca Mosque, established by an Iraqi prince-turned-preacher, who travelled all the way to Assam in the 12th century to spread the Prophet's teachings. Hajo is a sacred place for Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists.
The town also boasts the Hayagriba Madhava Temple, accessible via a long stone stairway. At the foot of the stairway is a large pond inhabited by one of Hajo's eminent residents: a giant turtle. Hajo is also renowned for its bell metal work.
Also across the river from Guwahati, 32km away, Sualkuchi is a famous silk-weaving centre best known for its muga silk which is naturally golden-coloured, not dyed. Endi and pat silks are also woven here, and pat silks are lower than in Guwahati.
A natural lagoon and a fine picnic spot, 64 kms from Guwahati. The lake is a perfect holiday resort, with ample fishing and rowing opportunities.
A popular picnic spot with small temples and a waterfall, Basistha is where the rishi or sage, Basistha, once lived. It's 12km from Guwahati.
80km away on the Bhutan border, is great winter trading area for the Bhutia mountain folk.
A small wildlife sanctuary, 60 kms from Guwahati. Rhino and various species of deer abound here.
About 35 km from Guwahati, this place is famous for its impressive archaeological ruins.
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. Nestling within an impressive grove of trees, with rock carvings in the stream to add to the air of antiquity.
The small town of Hajo, 32-km northwest of Guwahati, has a special place in Assamese culture, having been sacred even before the Ahom arrived as Buddhists, let alone after their conversion to Hinduism. Holy to Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims, it attracts pilgrims from all faiths, in apparent harmony. A long palm tree-lined stone staircase climbs a hill to the small Hindu temple of Hayagriba Madhab where, locals claim Lord Buddha gained Nirvana. Praying at the mosque of Pao Mecca situated nearby grants Muslims a quarter (Pao) of the spiritual benefit of Mecca.
Hajo's nearby village of Sualkuchi is known for the production of golden Muga silk, that involves virtually every household and for which Assam is famous.
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 finds including figures in various erotic postures, indeed some archeologists claim only Khajuraho rivals the expressiveness of its erotica.
WHERE TO STAY
Guwahati has a good selection of places to stay. In addition to the budget options there are luxury hotels also available in the city such as ITDC's Brahmaputra Ashok.
Guwahati is the commercial capital of the North East. Most of the bazaars deal simply in the provisions; silk and other Assamese crafts are sold at several good shops on GNB road. 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 Bazaar and Fancy bazaar, two of the main commercial markets, that sell a range of items - from Mugs silk to bell metal, cane work to woolen shawls and elegant Naga and Manipuri Jackets.
Journey to Guwahati
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.
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.
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.