Largest city in the Indian state of Assam and also the largest metropolis in Northeastern India

Guwahati (Assamese: গুৱাহাটী Guvāhāṭī guah-hah-tih), previously Gauhati, is the capital and the largest city in the Indian state of Assam. Guwahati is one of the fastest-growing cities in India.

Understand edit

Excavations trace the origins of the city to around the 4th century and it was the capital of Assam until the 10th century.

The rapidly-growing metropolis has a population of 2.4 million in 2020, and encompasses an area of over 360 km2 (140 sq mi), making it the largest city in the state and the region. It is the main centre for shopping, retail and business; attracting people from all over North-Eastern India as well as from Eastern Bhutan. The slow, meandering Brahmaputra River is a focal point of the city while the lush hills of the Shillong Plateau provide a verdant backdrop for the suburbs.

The pleasant environment, however, is somewhat tempered by the inadequate investment in the region, which is apparent from the low quality of roads. Still, despite the average infrastructure, private investors have been drawn to the city, and there has been something of a boom in the construction of shopping malls and high-quality condominiums, which has helped raise the economic profile of the city. The end of the decades-long insurgency in Assam has also helped in the economic boom of Guwahati.

This article also covers Dispur (দিছপুর Dichpur), Assam's seat of government. In 1973, Assam was reorganized to form the smaller states of Meghalaya, Manipur and Mizoram. Assam lost its capital, Shillong, to Meghalaya. A search for a new capital ensued and the choice settled on Dispur, then a suburb of Guwahati.

Climate edit

Guwahati's climate is subtropical. Summers last here from April to May, monsoons from June to September and winters from October to March. Temperatures here approximately range between 19°C and 26°C. 161.3 cm is the average yearly precipitation level here. Humidity is more than 80/90% often.

Get in edit

By plane edit

  • 1 Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (GAU IATA; Guwahati International Airport, Borjhar Airport). A major hub for flights to North-East India and limited international destinations. The hill resort cities of Shillong and Tura are connected by scheduled helicopter services run by Pawan Hans. Shillong (30 min), Tura (50 min), Naharlagun (Itanagar), Tawang (75 min).    

By train edit

Guwahati is well connected by train with all of India's major cities. It is served by two railway stations, 2 Guwahati  NFR    and 3 Kamakhya Junction  NFR   . The reservation office is 30 m north of Guwahati station, and at the third window, you can book a foreign tourist quota on trains originating from the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) network. Tickets can also be booked on the Indian Railways website.

By car edit

NH-31, NH-37 and NH-40 pass through Guwahati. It is a 2- to 2½-hour drive via Rangia to the Bhutanese border town of Samdrup Jongkhar.

By bus edit

It is connected to all major cities of North-Eastern India by bus. There are overnight bus services for Dibrugarh, Kohima, Imphal, Itanagar, Siliguri.

By boat edit

Luxurious vessels with AC upper decks connect Guwahati to Dibrugarh, passing through Kaziranga and Tezpur.

Get around edit

By bus edit

Buses are the cheapest way of travelling around the city. Guwahati is well connected to most of its city area with local service buses, and there is an air-conditioned bus service between the airport and the city.

By auto edit

Compared to other cities in India, autos charge a hefty price for the ride. There is no meter system used by the autos, the auto driver will simply refuse to drive you if you insist on the meter, the best you can do is negotiate in advance (check with a local on what it should cost you). Small distance charges are high.

By ferry edit

If you can not go on the river cruise, at least cross the river on the ferry. Ferries provide transport to the local people - they leave the jetty at Fancy Bazar every half an hour and the round trip will take around 45 minutes. Tickets are ₹10, 1 way. It is a simple way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Brahmaputra River.

See edit

  • 1 Pandu Port. A river port on the south bank of Brahmaputra in West Guwahati was the entrepot to Guwahati before the construction of the Saraighat bridge in the early 1960s.
  • 2 Saraighat War Memorial Park (শৰাইঘাট ৰণ স্মৃতি উদ্যান Śarāighāṭ Raṇ Smr̥ti Udyān). A park built in memory of the Battle of Saraighat between the Mughals and the Ahoms. There are four bronze statues of Ahom warriors in battle postures in the park and a bronze plate is also there which describes a part of the battle.    

Museums edit

  • 3 Assam State Museum, GNB Rd (southern end of Dighalipukhuri tank.), +91 361 254 0651. Closed on Mondays, the second and fourth Saturdays of the month and government holidays. Adult ₹5, child ₹2.50.    
  • 4 Regional Science Centre and Museum, Jawahar Nagar, Khanapara, +91 361 2363218. Daily 10AM-5:30PM, closed on Holi and Diwali. Adults/Children ₹10, Students ₹5.
  • 5 Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra, Panjabari Rd, Batahguli, +91 361 233 2665. The museum is named after Srimanta Sankardeva, a famous social reformer who promoted the cultural heritage of Assam. It has exhibits of books, sculptures, paintings, costumes and other belongings associated with the Assamese tribal communities.    
  • 6 Anthropological Museum, Department of Anthropology, Guwahati University, +91 361 2470248. M-Sa 10AM-4PM, closed on university holidays. The museum preserves prehistoric crafts, weapons, basketry, and jewellery among other things used by the ancient Assamese.
  • 7 Guwahati Planetarium. Built in 1994, the distinctive building is the only planetarium in the north-eastern India. Uses a star field projector, HD video projectors and Dolby sound system.    

Natural attractions edit

A one-horned rhino in Assam State Zoo
  • 8 Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary. A wildlife sanctuary east of the city. It is known for hosting rare and endangered birds and animals. The elephants in the sanctuary have become isolated with no movement with other elephant populations.    
  • 9 Assam State Zoo and Botanical Garden (Guwahati Zoo), Zoo Rd, Japorigog, +91 8721857919, +91 7002716702, . Sa-Th 8AM-4:30PM. The largest zoo and botanical garden in North-Eastern India. It is home to about 895 animals, birds and reptiles representing almost 113 species of animals and birds from around the world. Adults ₹30 for Indians, ₹100 for foreigners; children 5-12: ₹10 for Indians, ₹30 for foreigners; all children under 5 free; ₹50 for car parking. There are also fees for photography.    
  • 10 Deepor Beel (Dipor Bil). A permanent freshwater lake and a very picturesque picnic spot. It is designated as a Ramsar site. It is bounded by the steep highlands on the north and south, and the valley formed has a broad U-shape with the Rani and Garbhanga hills forming the backdrop. A birdwatcher's paradise, especially in winter when the migratory birds come down.    
  • 11 Dighali Pukhuri. Dighalipukhuri derived its name from the word dighal which means long. The lake is believed to be dug by Bhagadutta, the king of Pragjyotishpura. It is also mentioned in the Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. Dighalipukhuri is a prominent tourist attraction in the heart of Guwahati with boating facilities and recreational activities. It is an old rectangular lake half a mile long originally engraved out from the Brahmaputra. Later, it was separated from the river when a portion was filled up. There are some nearby restaurants where one can have lunch or dinner.    
  • 12 Garbhanga Wildlife Sanctuary. A wildlife sanctuary south of the city.    

Places of worship edit

Kamakhya Temple
  • 13 Basistha Temple, near Balaji Temple. A place of pilgrimage and a picnic spot near the Sandhychal hills. It lies at the confluence of the three streams Sandhya, Lalita and Kanta, names of the wives of legendary sage Vashishtha who had set up this Ashram.    
  • 14 Bhimeswar Dham. Often said to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.    
  • 15 Doul Govinda Temple. A Krishna temple. It is known for its Holi celebrations in the month of February–March. Holi is observed by the local people for five days with various programmes and about five thousand pilgrims are always assembled at the temple premises during this time. The temple is open and accessible all year round, but you can enjoy the thrill of a river cruise as well as walking on the white sands of the beaches of Brahmaputra, from the month of November to April.    
  • 16 Dirgheshwari temple (দীৰ্ঘেশ্বৰী দেৱালয় Dīrgheśbarī Devālaẏ). One of the 51 Shakti Pithas.    
  • 17 Kamakhya Temple (কামাখ্যা মন্দিৰ Kāmākhyā Mandir), Nilachal Hill (25-30 minute drive from city centre). Atop the Neelachal hill, the highest spot in the city draws pilgrims from all over India, especially during the Ambubachi festival. A high seat of Shaktism, one of the 51 Shakti Pithas of the Tantric cult, it is associated with the legend of the mother goddess who slayed the legendary demon king Narakasur who ruled ancient Assam. The Goddess Kamakhya is made of eight metal alloys, and seated on a throne with five jewels. To reach her statue pilgrims have to go down a dimly lit flight of steps. Further within the cave shrine is the well and yoni mandala clearly indicating worship began with the spring and cave long before the temple was built. The Goddess is also worshipped in Durga, Kali, Tara, Kamala, Uma, Chamunda, and Shakti. The temple dates to the 17th century and follows the Assamese style in its design.    
  • 18 Navagraha Temple, Chitrasal Hill. An 18th-century temple dedicated to nine celestial bodies is atop the second-highest hill in Guwahati.
  • 19 Ugratara Devalaya, Latashil. A temple dedicated to the deity Tara. The goddess in the sanctum sanctorum is not an idol but a pit of water.    
  • 20 Umananda Temple. A 17th-century temple on a river island of the same name is dedicated to Shiva. It was built by Ahom king Gadapani on this picturesque Brahmaputra isle called Peacock Island. You can hop into a shared ferry/motorboat for ₹10 and return on the same or another boat free of charge, or reserve the entire boat for yourself. All shuttle boats leave from the KachariGhat between the Deputy Commisioner's office and the lower courts. The island is also a sanctuary for an endangered population of golden langurs which you can see from very close quarters. They have thrived on this uninhabited island chosen for their translocation from their last refuge in the Manas National Park. The island also has a Ganesh temple and is small enough to be explored on foot.    

Do edit

Accoland Amusement park
  • 1 Assam Cricket Association Stadium.    
  • 2 Accoland, Rani Rd. Amusement park.
  • 3 Guwahati Planetarium, Uzan Bazar. A great place to visit for science geeks and also for lovers of entertainment.    
  • 4 Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.    
  • 5 Nehru Park, Cotton College Rd, Pan Bazar Rd, Pan Bazaar, +91 96133 86546. F–W: 10AM–8PM. This is an outdoor park opposite Guwahati Cotton College in the area of Pan Bazaar. This beautiful park is great to visit with your spouse or partner. The sitting arrangements are nice and organised. There is a child park inside the main area where children can have fun and activity. Adult ₹10, child ₹5.
  • North Guwahati- Guwahati Ropeway, M. G. Road, Panbazar.

Events edit

  • Assam Tea Festival. November. The annual festival caters to more than tea lovers. In addition to tea tasting and tours of the tea gardens, visitors can enjoy jungle safaris and river rafting.
  • Bihu. A set of three Assamese festivals in April, October and January respectively, all of which celebrate the changing seasons.
  • Debaddhani Festival. July–August. A three-day festival where offerings are made to the goddess of snakes, Devi Manassa. An unusual ritual takes place where possessed devotees walk on a sharp sword's edge in a trance-like state.

Learn edit

Buy edit

  • Handicrafts, of the north east and Assam are available in many shops in the city.
  • Handlooms & Handicrafts, the Assam Silk & Golden SIlk "Muga" is world famous. You will be fascinated to see the designs and colours of the local dress called "Mekhela - Chadar".
  • 1 Hidesign, Dighali Pukhuri East (Near High Court), +91 92 0704 7683. One of the largest stand alone leather goods stores in India with a wide range bags and accessories for men, women and travel.
  • Malls. The city has several shopping malls. These are the major ones: Sohum Emporia, Sohum Shoppe, Guwahati Central, Central Mall, FBB, The Hub Mall, Vishal MegaMart, Big Bazaar, Pantaloons.
  • Tea Bags, of the north east and Assam are available in many shops in the city. Assams Green tea is world famous.

Markets edit

  • 2 Uzan Bazaar. Every morning, fishers come in to one of the oldest settlements in the city to sell their catch.
  • 3 Paltan Bazaar. Literally meaning 'military market', back in the day Paltan Bazaar was the shopping hub for British sepoys. It is one of the busiest and most congested places in Guwahati.    

Eat edit

Budget edit

There are many good dhabas on the main roads, highways and at the outskirts of the city.

  • 1 City Dhaba, Bora Service, Ulubari.
  • 2 Dispur Dhaba, Ganeshguri.
  • 3 Get Tagged, Zoo Road, +91 9401057578.
  • 4 Hotel Shyama, AK Azad Road, Rehabari.
  • 5 JBs, G S Rd, Christian Basti. Good bakery with sweets.
  • 6 JBs, M G Rd, Riverside.
  • 7 Momo Ghar, Bharalumukh, +91 9435019810. Chinese.
  • 8 Shaikh Brothers, Shaikh Building, 195 Hem Baruah Road,Panbazar (opp. United Bank), +91 36 1273 6615. Century old bakery. Well known throughout entire North East India for its delicious pastries, cakes, bread and cookies. Established by Golam Ibrahim in 1885, Shaikh Brothers is the oldest and largest bakery shop in North East India. It is managed by its fourth-generation partners namely Shaikh Sakhawat Hossain, Shaikh Azizul Hossain, Shaikh Khoda Nawaz and others. It is renowned for its tasty birthday and Christmas cakes. In 2015 it completed its 130th year of service. It is locally known as "the Heritage Bakery Of Assam".

Mid-range edit

  • 9 Gam's Delicacy Restaurant, Ganeshguri, +91 361 2233402. Famous for ethnic Assamese cuisine.
  • 10 Gopal Maharaj, Kamrup Chamber of Commerce Rd, Fancy Bazar, +91 9864351111.
  • 11 Heritage Khorikaa, Silpukhuri, Chandmari, +91 9706034838. Famous for delicious ethnic Assamese cuisine.
  • 12 Khorikaa, Bora Service, Ulubari. Assamese restaurant with delicious thalis.
  • 13 Maach, Christian Basti, +91 9854061725. Famous for various fishes.
  • 14 Mast Biryani, Zoo Road. Biryani restaurant.
  • 15 Nashraj Restaurant, S.S. Rd, Fancy Bazaar (inside Hotel Nova), +91 361-251-9465. This restaurant is popular with locals and foreigners, and serves tasty Indian, Chinese and selected Continental cuisine.

Splurge edit

  • 16 Barbeque Nation, Ulubari, +91 9864109282.
  • 17 Mocha, Christian basti (near the fly over), +91 8486000401. Italian restaurant.
  • 18 Tandoor @ Hotel Dynasty, SS Road, Fancy Bazar, +91 361 7120055.

Drink edit

Bahor Sungar Doi

Guwahati is said to have the most wine shops.

Pub, disco, and bar edit

  • 1 Club Ozone, GS Rd.
  • 2 Ivory, Ulubari (below Hotel Amrit Regency). Bar/pub.
  • 3 Terra Mayaa, Anil Plaza-2.
  • 4 Urban Mantra, Namghar Path.
  • 5 XS, GS Rd.

Sleep edit

Budget edit

There are many budget hotels around the station but only a few are licensed to accommodate foreigners.

  • 1 Hotel Brahmaputra Madhukalya, Panjabari Rd, Six Mile (Near Kalakshetra), +91 97060 37210. Small family hotel. Clean rooms, simple food, nothing fancy but economical. Breakfast.
  • 2 Hotel Biswanath, M.E. Road, Paltan Bazar (south of the station), +91 81358 09898. Not a great value, but one of a few budget hotels licensed to take foreigners. ₹1923 single.
  • 3 Hotel Brindavan, Paltan Bazar, M E Rd (3 min walking distance from Rly Station), +91 94350 40946. Check-out: noon. ₹400/- to ₹3,500/-.
  • 4 Hotel Suradevi, M.L.N Rd (Pan Bazaar), +91 94353 24031. Slightly out of the action, but a decent budget choice with a restaurant. ₹400 single w/private bath.
  • 5 Prashaanti Tourist Lodge, Station Road, Kamakhya, Navagraha, +91 361-2544475, +91-9435042063, +91-94640 83579. The lodges are operated by Department of Tourism and Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited.

Mid-range edit

  • 6 Hotel Mahalaxmi Indo Myanmar, G.S. Rd, +91 361 260 2508, . This one feels very Indian. Has a restaurant. ₹2514.
  • 7 OYO Hotel Nova, 1, SS Rd, Kamarpatty, Fancy Bazaar (Fancy Bazaar), +91 124 620 1614. A decent mid-range choice, it is centrally located, reasonably clean and friendly, and has a good restaurant on site. Hot running water, TV with satellite connection, same-day laundry available. ₹1390 for single with no a/c.
  • 8 Hotel Rialto, GNB Rd, Pan Bazaar (nearby Pan Bazer), +91 94017 26686. Has that nice crumbly look like all of the other buildings around it. Buffet and breakfast here. ₹1,000-₹1,800.

Splurge edit

Connect edit

Nearby edit

  • 1 Hajo (about an hour and a half drive from the city centre). A meeting point of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam due to the various pilgrimage sites on the different hills of the town. Interesting places to visit are the Hayagrib Madhab temple and Pua Mecca. While at the temple, make sure to go down to the temple pond to see the resident turtle.    
  • 2 Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary (50 km (31 mi) from Guwahati). Sort of a miniature Kaziranga, home to one-horned rhinos, buffalo, and other animals, which you can see from a terrain vehicle. Elephant rides are also available at certain times of the day.    
  • Resorts on Sonapur Road - The Sonapur Road (Guwahati-Nagaon Road, NH 37) has many dhabas that are within 10-15 km of the city outskirts (Khanapara). These resorts provide a good weekend break. Brahmaputra resort, Disang Dhaba in Tepesia are good for family outings.
  • 3 Sualkuchi (শুৱালকুছি Śuvālkuchi). A small town, known for its silk production and the "Manchester of Assam".    
  • 4 Tirupati Balaji Temple. The Tirupati Balaji temple is on the National Highway By-pass easily reached by taking the National Highway from the city heading towards Maligaon/Adabari and beyond till you reach the Jalukbari junction. It takes about 20 min from the junction to the temple. It is supposed to be a replica of the temple in Tirupati - the temple provides a nice place for solitary meditation, being in a peaceful setting.

Go next edit

  • Kaziranga National Park
  • Shillong — an old hill station established by the British and stepping point to Cherrapunji and further south. Meghalaya state transport provides several buses departing in the morning and also regular shared 7-passenger jeep service for ₹170 (more comfortable than the usual 10-pax Sumo) from the bus terminal south of the train station.
  • Tezpur

This city travel guide to Guwahati is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.