Guwahati, lending it a secluded charm and a tinge of exciting flavour
- "Guwahati comes from the words Guwa and Hat which means a market for the betel nut"
- The best time to visit the region is from October to April
(IIP) - The capital of Assam, Guwahati is situated in the eastern part of India on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra river, which besides being an important source of life support often becomes a major peril during the times of monsoon when it regularly overflows and floods the entire city. The gateway to north east India and its commercial centre, Guwahati comes from the words Guwa and Hat which means a market for the betel nut. The Brahmaputra dissevers the city into two halves, the southern part being an unplanned and chaotic sprawl while the northern half developing into a well planned and idyllic society. Like most of the other cities in the region, Guwahati has also somewhat remained separate from the rest of the country, lending it a secluded charm and a tinge of exciting flavour.
Climate & Best time to Visit
Climate is a significant factor for the residents of Guwahati as also for tourists visiting the region. Summers in Guwahati witness high temperature and extremely high humidity with the deluge of rain making normal life come to a standstill. Summers, therefore, is a time best avoided for a visit. Winters, which is also the time of celebration, are cool and pleasant. The best time to visit the region is from October to April.
Tourist Attractions in Guwahati
The Kamakhya Devi temple is situated at a distance of 10 km from Guwahati on top of the beautiful Nilanchal hills. Dedicated to Sati, the consort of Lord Shiva, the temple is an important Hindu pilgrimage, being visited by tourists throughout the year, especially at the time of the sacred Ambumachi fair, which is held every year during the month of June. The Bhubaneshwari temple lies at a short distance from here, at a place which offers breathtaking views of the surroundings.
Navgraha temple is based on the working of nine planets and the ancient principles of astronomy. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is built in the shape of a beehive with the central dome encircled by nine objects representing the nine planets.
The holy shrine of Vashishtha muni is visited by a large number of devotees and followers of Hindu religion. The Ugatara temple famous for the buffalo sacrifice is located nearby.
Kaziranga National Park
Situated just 200 km from Guwahati, the wildlife park is a safe heaven for a number of endangered species of birds and animals including the most ferocious bovine of all, the one horned Indian Rhino. Spread over an area of 430 sq. km, the park houses about 15 other rare species of animals and birds such as the Bengal florican, whistling teal, bar headed goose and storks. Accommodation is available at the Wild Grass Lodge.
Manas Tiger Reserve
Lying 176 km from Guwahati, this is the only tiger reserve in Assam. If the king of the jungle is what you are after, then look nowhere else than Manas. Situated on the banks of river Manas, the 360 sq. km lush forest besides being home to the magnificent striped predator, the Tiger, also houses other species of animals such as the pygmy hog, hispid hare and golden langur. Winter season witnesses the arrival of a number migratory birds from such far away lands as Siberia.
Things to Do
Shopping in Guwahati mainly consists of handicrafts and handloom products including silk clothing of Sualkushi, showpieces made of bamboo, woolen clothing, hand crafted bags, decorative wooden curios etc. The major shopping areas in the city are Paltan Bazaar, Maligaon, Fancy Bazaar and Ganeshguri.
The capital of Assam, Guwahati receives a regular influx of tourists throughout the year. The hotels here boast of quality as well as luxury. Some of the best hotels in Guwahati include Hotel Dynasty (4 star, situated on S. S. Road just 17 km from airport, 1.5 km from railway station & 2 km from bus stand), Hotel Kuber International (3 star, situated on Hem Baruah Road just 20 km from airport, 1 km from railway station and 0.5 km from bus stand and city centre), Hotel Nandan (3 star, situated on G. S. Road just 21 km from airport, 0.5 km from railway station & bus stand), Hotel Rituraj (3 star, situated on Kedar Road just 22 km from airport, 3 km from railway station & 1 km from bus stand), Hotel Rajmahal (4 star, situated on A. T. Road just 22 km from airport, 1 km from railway station & 0.5 km from bus stand) and Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok (3 star, situated on M. G. Road just 18 km from airport, 1 km from railway station & 1 km from bus stand).
By Air : The Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport is situated just 25 km from the main city. The airport is well maintained and provides various tourist facilities such as a coffee shop, restaurant, gift shop and tourist information bureaus of the Govt. of India and Govt. of Assam. Indian Airlines and private flight operators like Alliance Air, Jet Airways and Air Sahara connect the city with other cities in India including Calcutta, Agartala, Delhi, Bagdogra and Imphal. Helicopter services are available between Shillong and Guwahati which take about 30 min and cost Rs. 625. Taxis to Guwahati from the airport cost Rs. 300.
By Rail : The Guwahati railway station is located close to the city centre and being the headquarters of the north east railway connects it to all the major cities in India through a number of express and passenger trains. Daily trains between Delhi and Guwahati are the North East Exp., Brahmaputra Mail and Avadh Assam Exp.
By Road : The main bus stand is located near the railway station across the over bridge. Road travel is an important way of moving inside the area as train tracks are limited beyond this point. Assam transport corporation operates regular buses between Guwahati and other neighbouring cities, besides taxis are also available for hire to access the nearby places. Night bus services are available to Dibrugarh, Tinsukhia, Kohima, Aizwal, Itanagar, Dimapur and Silchar.
Distance from Major Cities
- Agartala : 201 Km
- Bagdogra : 523 Km
- Gangtok : 624 Km
- Jorhat : 309 Km
- Shillong : 100 Km
- Silchar : 513 Km
- Itanagar : 420 Km