The city of Eastern light.
Guwahati the city of eastern light, the city is right beside the Brahmaputra river and is the capital city of the northeastern state of Assam. Guwahati is also known by its ancient name Pragyajyotshipur, it is beautifully set forth between the hills of the eastern flanks of the Himalayan mountain range.Guwahati being the largest city of the State of Assam is also the home for the political captial of the state, Dispur.
Guwahati has a really interesting connection to the Deities of Hindu religion such as Lord Shiva, the myths and history of Guwahati goes back to several thousand of years but the exact date of the begining of the city is unknown though according to some references in the epic,Puranas and the traditional histories of India convinced many to claim that it is one of the ancient cities of Asian continent.Being the land of many ancient temples, the ancient shakti temple of Goddess Kamakhya in Nilanchal hill is among the top archaeological locations of mythological importance which makes Guwahati as one of the most attractive tourist point besides being an attraction itself.
Its Etymological roots derives from two native assamese words "Guwa" meaning areca nut and hut "Hatti" meaning market. The city known by its famous name the city of eastern light is the junction of three major roads, National Highways 31,37 and 40 which is split in 2 parts by the river, the northern Guwahati is almost like a separate town. The weather of Guwahati is quiet pleasant, the city recieves an annual rainfall of about 180 cms from the month of May to September. While the temperature remains moderate(22°c to 38°c) whereas in the winters it goes down to 10°c being the max. Of 25°c. Although the best time to visit the city is from the month of November- May. The city is waiting to humbly welcome the visitors with breathtaking views of the sunset,hills,rivers, and the warm culture.
Tales of Guwahati
Guwahati is an important administrative and trading centre and river port of India. The history of Guwahati dates back to the 5th century, which makes Guwahati the earliest found in North-East India. There was a rock inscription that was found in the Nilachal Hills, just a few miles away from Guwahati which says "Maharajdhiraja shri surendravarmana kritam bhagavatah valabhadra swminayay idam guham" the meaning of these lines is "This cave (-temple) of the illustrious Lord Balabhadra has been constructed by Maharajadhiraja Sri Surendra Varman" which evidently supports the age of Guwahti as the inscription is estimated to date back to the 5th century AD.This inscription also helped the historians to establish the line of Varman kings. Another Interesting fact about the city is that 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, there is almost a magic that hovers the city. Guwahati has a lot of Interesting points and monuments that can educate the visitors and have them learn about the city's roaring ancient past some of them are,the ancient Sakti Temple of Kamkhaya in the Nilanchal hill, Navagraha(the nine planets temple) in the Chitrachal Hill and the Basistha Ashram.
The legends also has it that the son of Naraka, Bhagadutta, one of the powerful ruler did orgainise a swayamvara for his daughter on a stage constructed in the middle of a large water body. The winner of the tournament was Karna(one of the great warriors in the Mahabhartha).Although at his insistence the hand of the princess was given to Duryodhana, this water body where this exchange is believed would have taken place is known as Dighali Pukhuri today. As we learn in the epic tales of Mahabhartha that Bhagadutta fought for Duryodhana and the Kauravas in the final battle, and later died an honourable death.
Guwahati was taken over by the Kachari rulers in later times, and subsequently, in the early medieval period, it passed into the hands of the Mohammedans. The Koch dynasty too held it for some time, which is evident from the fact that it was Chilarai--the younger brother of Nara Narayan, the king of the Kamata kingdom in the 16th century--who built the Kamakhya temple in its present form, which was later preserved and further strengthened by the Ahom kings in the latter half of the 17th century. Follwed by the Kachari rulers and Ahom kings the administration was passed onto the British rulers in 18th century.In 1824, the British formally took over the administration of the city from the Burmese.They established their first staion in the outfields of Nilanchal Hills in Kamakhya. Later these buildings and offices were shifted to Judges field and Sukreswar.
British rulers were the ones who modelled Guwahati into its present form as the gateway of the North-East India. When the administration was established in Guwwahati,deputy commissioner’s bungalow was constructed at Itakhuli, a building that stands to this day. Due to its strategic importance, Itakhuli also served the purpose of the military base during the medieval period.Followed by this in 1853,Guwahati was declared as a municipal region,though nomenclature alone at that point did not bring much improvement in the material conditions of the city. Still Guwahti lacked the all weather roads and most of the houses were still standing on mud and straw, as floods were a recurring problem and certain sections of the city roads were home to tigers after dark. In the same year there was a huge fire which destructed a large potion of the city, it was then when the locals petitioned the government for better housing facilities. The goverment did act on it and started procuring bricks from Bangladesh.In 1874, in honour of the visit of the Viceroy Lord Northbrook, the Northbrook Gate was built at Sukreswar Ghat on the banks of the Brahmaputra river. Designed on the lines of the chapel in King’s College London, the rectangular structure had 12 arches. It was built with granite and limestone and was simplistic in design.Over the next few decades, the administration set up roads, drinking water facilities and street lights for the residents of the city.
Sheikh Brothers established their bakery in 1885 and legendary Assam leader deshbhakta Tarun Ram Phukan bought the first bicycle of Guwahati in early 20th century. Later in 1889, the municipal limits were descibed for the first time namely Ulubari, Rehabari, Chandmari, Rajgarh, Barpul, Bhangagarh, Kharghuli, Santipur and Bhutnath made up the length and breadth of Guwahati. By 1901 Guwahati's population exceeded to 14,244.
Now almost 122 years later, Guwahati's region is spread wide over 216 sq. km with a population of over 1 million, also it is one of the fastest developing city of India. These are the tales of Guwahati which dates back to thousand of years and makes Guwahati a legend.
Top things do in Guwahati
How to reach
How to reach Guwahati
Guwahati is well connected to all major cities in India via Air,rail and road. So reaching Guwahati is not an issue.
How to Reach by Flight
How to reach Guwahati by Flight
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport is the main airport in Guwahti which is 25 kms away from the main city centre. The airport operates daily flights from all the major cities in India.
How to Reach by Train
How to reach Guwahati by Train
Guwahati railway station is among the major railheads in Assam. It is about 6kms away from the main city centre. Rajdhani express, Intercity express, Northeast express and Nagaland express are some of the trains that operate often from most of the major cities in India.
How to Reach by Bus
How to reach Guwahati by Bus
Assam state transport corporation runs daily buses from adjoining cities of Assam. Private buses from Assam city centre are also available to Guwahati.
How to Reach by Road
How to reach Guwahati by Road
The roads of Assam are not quiet so pleasent for a comfortable ride but the good thing is that it is only 167 kms away from Assam, so its not going to be a long one. The views and and the local pit stops makes this ride definitely a worthwhile.
How to travel within
You can travel by local buses, hire taxis and take Rickshaws to travel within Guwahati. If you are comfortable on foot you can also do some exploration on foot. Do not carry a huge amount of cash with you are going to explore the local markets and explore other places by the mode of punlic translation.
How to Get Around in The City of the Eastern Light
The city is pretty easy to get around as the Assam state transportation has a big channel and operates frequently from all the points of the city centre. There are many top resorts in Guwahati that will assure you with a pleasent stay in Guwahati and the city is widely connected to all the major regions of Assam, so you will have no issues to complain about. Some of the top resorts & Hotels are
Hostel providers are also operating here who privide rooms on a sharing basis.
Day 1: Reaching Guwahati settle in take your time
-Visit the Guwahati planetarium in the late afternoon
-Stroll through the local market.
- Enjoy the local cuisine of Assam
- Spend the evening in sight seeing near your Hotel/resort.
Day 2: Visit the kamkhaya Mandir
- Visit the ISKCON temple
- Assam state zoo
- Saraighat Bridge for jawdropping view
Day 3: Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary,
-Assam Rajyik State Museum
If you plan to extend and explore a little more here are some of the other places that you can visit near Guwahati.
Kaziranga National Park, Basishtha Ashram Temple, Maati centre, Dighali Pukhri park, Ugratara Mandir, Ambubachi Mela, Sati Radhika Prasanti Udyaan and Christ Church.
The local street food, cuisines and restaurant that you must try.
1. Momos,you can find this traditional dumplings fried or stemed at every corner of Guwahati
2.Jhalmuri, an Indian mixture of tangy sauces and spices which will leave your tastebuds tantalized.
3. Luchi a big deep fried bread kinda similar to puri served with Veg/Non veg gravy.
4.Payash, is a ricepudding sweetened with palm sugar.
Restaurants: Transcurry, Fatbelly, North East Network, paradise and Tandoor.
Bar and Drink: Trafik