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Guwahati

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Guwahati is the largest city in Assam, Northeast India. It used to be the capital before it moved to the planned city of Dispur.

Understand

Excavations trace the origins of the city to around the 6th century and it was the capital of Assam until the 10th century. Currently, the city has a population of around one million, making it the largest city in the state and its main center for shopping and business, attracting people from all over the north east as well as from Eastern Bhutan. The slow, meandering Brahmaputra River is a focal point of the downtown while the lush hills of the Shillong Plateau provide a verdant backdrop for the suburbs. The pleasant environment, however, is somewhat tempered by the lack of investment in the region, which is apparent from the low quality of roads. Still, despite the weak infrastructure, private investors have been drawn to the city in recent years 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.

Climate

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

By plane

Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (IATA: GAU, ICAO: VEGT) is also known as (Guwāhāti International Airport) and was formerly known as (Borjhar Airport).

Guwahati airport is a major hub for flights to North-East India and limited international destinations.

The hill resort cities of Shillong and Tura are connected by regular scheduled helicopter services run by Pawan Hans. Shillong (30 min), Tura (50 min), Naharlagun (Itanagar), Tawang (75 min).

Airlines Destinations
Air India Bagdogra, Delhi, Imphal, Kolkata
Air India Regional Agartala, Aizawl, Delhi, Dibrugarh, Dimapur, Imphal, Jorhat, Kolkata, Lilabari, Silchar, Tezpur
Druk Air Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Paro
GoAir Bagdogra, Bangalore, Delhi
IndiGo Chennai, Delhi, Imphal, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai
JetLite Agartala, Bangalore, Delhi, Dibrugarh, Goa, Imphal, Jorhat, Kolkata, Mumbai
Kingfisher Airlines Bagdogra, Delhi, Imphal, Kolkata, Mumbai
Pawan Hans Itanagar, Naharlagun, Shillong, Tawang, Tura
SpiceJet Agartala, Ahmedabad, Bagdogra, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai

By train

Guwahati is connected by train with major cities like Kolkata, New Delhi, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram,Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Mumbai.

By car

By road - NH-31, NH-37 and NH-40 pass through Guwahati. It is a three hour drive to the Bhutanese border town of Samdrup Jongkhar.

By bus

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

By boat

Luxurious vessels with A/C upper deck connect Guwahati to Dibrugarh, passing through Kaziranga & Tezpur.

Get around

By bus

Bus is the cheapest way of travelling around the city. Guwahati is well connected to most of its city area with local service buses, with air conditioned bus service having recently begun between the airport and the city.

By auto

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 motorbike

River crossing

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 Rs 10, 1 way. It is a simple way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Brahmaputra river.

See

  • Uma Nanda 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, also called Peacock island. You can hop into a shared ferry/motorboat for Rs10 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 successfully 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.
  • Janardana Temple
  • Ugro Tara Temple, Lotaxil. A temple dedicated to the deity Tara. The goddess in the sanctum sanctorum is not an idol but a pit of water.
  • Assam State Museum, southern end of Dighalipukhuri tank. The museum is closed on Mondays.
  • Guwahati Planetarium
  • Regional Science Center at Khanapara
  • Navagraha Temple, Chitrasal Hill. An 18th century temple dedicated to nine Celestial bodies is atop the second highest hill in Guwahati.
  • Kamakhya Temple 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 the shakti sect,it is associated with the legend of the mother goddess who slayed the legendary demon king Narakasur who ruled ancient Assam.
  • Bhubaneswari Temple
  • Pandu a river port on the south bank of Brahmaputra in West Guwahati was the entrepot to Guwaahati before construction of the Saraighat bridge in the early 1960s.
  • Basistha Ashram a place of pilgrimage and a picnic spot near the Sandhychal hills south of Dispur, the seat of the State government lies at the confluence of the three streams Sandhya, Lalita and Kanta, names of the wives of legendary sage Vasistha who had set up this Ashram. It is near the Balaji temple which is near the ISBT-inter state bus terminus.
  • Assam State Zoo And Botanical Gardens on RGB Road also known as Zoo Road.
  • Shankardev Kalashetra, Panjabari Road

Do

Accoland Amusement park
  • Accoland, [1] Airport Rd. Amusement park.

Buy

  • Ethnic handicrafts, of the north east and Assam are available in many shops in the city.
  • Malls. The city boasts several shopping malls. These are the major ones: The Hub Mall, Bhangagarh; Dona Planet, G.S. Rd; Vishal MegaMart; The Cube Mall and Sohum Shoppe; Kolkata Bazaar; Salasar, Big Bazzar, Pantaloons and others in Fort Mall at Kachari Basti, G.S.Rd
  • Handlooms & Handicrafts, The Assam Silk & Golden SIlk "Muga" is world famous. You will be fascinated to see the designs and colours of the etnic dress called "Mekhela - Chadar".
  • Tea Bags, of the north east and Assam are available in many shops in the city.Assams Green tea is world famous.
  • Hidesign, Digholi Pukhuri East (Near High Court), +91 92 0704 7683, [2]. One of the largest stand alone leather goods stores in India with a wide range bags and accessories for men, women and travel.

Eat

If you have just exited the airport or have to wait sometime before boarding your flight, then you can head to the Airport Restaurant right opposite to the domestic terminal for some reasonably priced food.


Budget

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

  • City Dhaba.
  • JBs, M G Rd, Riverside.
  • JBs, G S Rd, Christian Basti.
  • Dispur Dhaba.
  • U turn.
  • Momo ghar, Good bakery with sweets.
  • 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. Presently managed by its fourth generation partners namely Shaikh Sakhawat Hossain, Shaikh Azizul Hossain, Shaikh Khoda Nawaz and others. It has recently opened its franchisee at Big Bazaar-Guwahati. It is renowned for its tasty Birthday and Christmas cakes.

Mid-range

  • 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.
  • Green Valley Resort.
  • Makhonbhog.
  • Gopal Maharaj, Kamrup Chamber Rd, Fancy Bazar.
  • Delicacy, Ganeshguri. Famous for ethnic Assamese cuisine

Splurge

  • GAM's Delicacy, Ganeshguri, (near the fly over'). ☎ +91 361 2233402, +919864434969.

Drink

Guwahati is said to have the highest number of wine shops.

Pub/Disco/Bar

  • Silver Streak, Hotel Bramhaputra Ashok.
  • Blues, Disco.
  • Kamakazi, Disco.
  • Delight.
  • Crystal, Disco.
  • Q'Ba, Ulubari, disco.
  • The Lounge Bar, Christian Basti.
  • U-Turn, Chandmari flyover. Bar.
  • Ivory, (below Hotel Amrit Regency),, Ulubari flyover. Bar/pub.
  • Mazbaan, Ganeshguri. Bar, disco, DJ Ronnie.

Sleep

Budget

  • Brahmputra, Panjbari, Sixmile (Near Kalakshetra). Small family hotel. Clean rooms, simple food, nothing fancy but economical.
  • Hotel Suradevi, M.L.N Road (Pan Bazaar), +91 361 254 5050. Slightly out of the action, but a decent budget choice with a restaurant. Rs 100, Rs 150 w/private bath, Rs 230 w/TV.
  • '''Hotel Brindavan''', Paltan Bazar, M E Road (3 min walking distance from Rly Station), +91 361 291 2222, [3]. checkout: 12 noon. Rs 400/- to 3,500/-.

Mid-range

  • Hotel Nova, S.S. Road (Fancy Bazaar), +91 361 251 9465. 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. [4] . www.novahotel.in Rs 750-1,500, A/C rooms Rs 1,350-1,850.
  • Hotel Brindavan, [5] Rs 500-3,500 . www.hotelbrindavan.com , phone 0361-2912222/23
  • Hotel Rialto, (nearby Pan Bazer). Rs 1,000-1,800
  • Hotel mahalaxmi, [6] Rs 850-1,850 . www.hotelmahalaxmi.com

Splurge

  • Hotel Dynasty, S.S. Road (Lakhotia), +91 361 251 6021, [7]. Centrally located, warm and comfortable, and the staff are friendly. Tandoor is one of the two in-house restaurants, and a good place to splurge on food in the city, with live music in the evenings. Rooms Rs 3400-5000, Suites Rs 8000-15,000.

Contact

Get out

  • 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.
  • Balaji Temple - Balaji temple is on the National Highway By-pass easily reached by taking the National Highway from the city head 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.
  • Deepor Beel - A wetland and a very picturesque picnic spot. A bird-watchers paradise, especially in winter when the migratory birds come down. Access is from the National Highway, Gorchuk Ali.
  • Hajo - Hajo is an interesting place to visit near Guwahati. The place has religious significance for Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. It takes about an hour and half from the city center to reach Hajo by own transport (buses are there from Adabari bus stand). 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.
  • Kamakhya Temple - A world famous Hindu Temple and Pilgrimage. Attracts visitors and devotees from all across the world and Country. A 25-30 minutes drive from the heart of the City.



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