Guwahati, also known as the "City of Eastern Light" is the largest city, not only in Assam, but also the entire north east. One of the fastest developing cities in the North East, Guwahati is an important educational and commercial hub and is home to many top class colleges and universities, such as Indian Institute to Technology ( Guwahati), Gauhati University and Cotton College to name a few.
the best time to visit Guwahati is between October to April.
The city of Guwahati is quite hilly and uneven, with approx. 1750 mm of rainfall per year and temperatures ranging between 40°C to 5°C. People all over the world prefer to visit Guwahati when there is moderate rainfall and the fluctuations in temperature are the least. Statistics show that mostly, two times in a year the streets of Guwahati are crowded with tourists. Mainly from the month of September to November and between the months of January and March, the weather is just right for visitors to tour Guwahati. In 2012, as many as 4,511,407 domestic tourists set foot in Assam, whereas the numbers of foreign tourists stood at 17,542. A majority of these visitors toured Guwahati as a part of their itinerary. The growth in number of tourist arrivals has been steadily increasing over the years.
How to Reach Guwahati
Being one of the largest cities in the north east, Guwahati is very well connected to the rest of the country. Here is how you can reach Guwahati.
Guwahati has its own railway station called the Paltan Bazaar Railway Station. Here are a few trains connecting to Guwahati from various parts of the country:
Guwahati is very well connected by road to neighbouring towns and cities. Volvo buses run at regular intervals and are a convenient ay to get to and around Guwahati.
Guwahati is served by the Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi International airport, which is located 20 km out of the city. This airport is connected to all major cities in India and abroad.
The famous spots and events that make Guwahati a special tourist destination can be enlisted as follows:
- The Kamakhya Temple, known to be the abode of Goddess Kamakhya, is a highly regarded Hindu shrine and undeniably the most important "Shakti Pitha" in northeastern India.
- The Vashistha Ashram is said to be the abode of the Hindu sage Vashistha and has numerous temples dedicated to gods in quiet natural surroundings.
- The Bhubaneswari Temple is an auspicious attraction for religious people, and is set amidst the hills around Guwahati and looks scenic from the city.
- The Navagraha Temple is dedicated to the nine planets and has nine shrines in their honour.
- The Guwahati Planetarium is beside the Navagraha Temple and has arrangement for exclusive celestial shows on astronomy.
- The Guwahati museum, which boasts of some rare collections of artifacts and specimens that are truly unique their nature and origins.
- The Assam State Zoo and Botanical Garden is home to an amazing collection of flora and fauna one will ever come across, including some Indian endemic species as well.
- Pandu is a nearby settlement set amidst the hills, and has connection with the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The place has many quiescent temples and shrines set amidst stunning natural beauty.
- Kaziranga and Manas are two world renowned national parks situated nearby Guwahati and truly deserve a visit. Both are UNESCO world heritage sites.
- Dipor Bil is a marshland near Guwahati famous for unique natural beauty.
- The River Brahmaputra is a attraction all by itself, considering its majestic beauty and size, which takes all by awe. A boat ride on the river is an unforgettable experience.
A minimum of five days are needed to visit the city of Guwahati if a person wants to enjoy all the places of interest; otherwise, two or three days are enough to cover the main tourist attractions. On the first day, a local tour can be done covering Assam's state zoo, the Umananda Temple, the Kamakhya Temple, the Navagraha Temple, and the Botanical Gardens, which would take almost 10 hours approximately. On the second day, one can visit Guwahati planetarium, state museum and other attractions in and around the city. Another day can be left aside to explore the city for its vibrant culture and tasty street-food, besides having some time off and enjoying a quiet cruise ride on the majestic Brahmaputra. If one intends to visit Kaziranga or Manas, at least a day each will be required as they are situated in opposite directions from Guwahati. The parks too will require a couple of days extra in hand.
Cost to Travel
- Avoid travelling to Guwahati during the prime monsoon season as Guwahati receives heavy torrential rainfall, which may play a spoilsport. Hence, avoid the months of June, July, August and preferably September.
- Bring warm clothes in case you are not aware of the vast temperature fluctuations experienced by Guwahati.
- Rented cars are the best option to visit places around Guwahati. Local buses ply frequently and come cheap, but they are slow and packed with people. If comfort and time are paramount for you, opt for a rented car.
- Inner Line Permits are required for foreigners willing to visit Arunachal Pradesh from Guwahati.
- Carry mosquito repellants, torches, and covered clothes if you intend to visit Manas and Kaziranga.
- Don't stray into the adjoining forested areas of Guwahati all alone as they thrive with wildlife, including leopards and bears that have been known to attack humans.
There are many tourist guides and offices in Assam that provide good and proper facilities at a moderate cost. Listed below are the important tourism department numbers that may be helpful:
Directorate of Tourism
Government of Assam
Station Road, Guwahati - 781001
Phone: +91-361-2547102 / 2542748 / 2544475
Assam Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.
4th Floor, Asom Paryatan Bhavan
A K Azad Road, Paltan Bazaar
Guwahati - 781008
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Tourism Information Bureau
Station Road, Guwahati - 781001
Phone: +91-361-2544475 / 2547102 / 2542748
Kaziranga National Park
Tourist Information Officer
Kaziranga, Kohora, Assam
Phone: +91-3776-262423 / +91-9864074904
Prashaanti Tourist Lodge
Staton Road, Guwahati
Aranya Tourist Lodge
Kohara, Kaziranga National Park
Emergency Contact Numbers
The following contacts can be the saviors in Guwahati in case of unintended emergencies. Please note that the STD code of Guwahati is 0361, which must be affixed before dialing all landline contacts.
Railway Enquiry: 131
Arya Hospital, Ulubari: 2606888, 2606665
Brahmaputra Hospital Ltd.: 2451634 / 678
Downtown Hospital: 2336906, 2330695, 2331003
Guwahati Medical College: 2529457, 2529561
Guwahati Medical College (Emergency): 2263444
Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital: 2541477, 2543998
Redcross Hospital: 2665114
Guwahati Airport: 2840043, 2840068
Assam State Transport Corp., Paltanbazar: 2607007, 2542995, 2547941
DGP Control Room: 2540242
Police Control Room: 2540138, 2540113
Railway Manual Enquiry: 2542293
Assamese cooking involves a lot of drying and fermenting. The cuisine of this region uses very little oil and spices and has a characteristically strong flavour due to the use of fermented vegetables and fish. A typical Assamese meal would begin with "khar" and ends with "tenga", a sour dish. Apart from that, Assamese consume a lot of rice, fish and meat in their food. Most Assamese like to eat paan (betel nut) after their meal. Unlike the rest of the North East, beef is not commonly consumed in Assam, because majority of the population is Hindu.
Places to Visit in Guwahati
- Assam State Museum
- Assam State Zoo
- Guwahati Planetarium
- Bhubaneswari Temple
- Kaziranga National Park
- Bamuni Lake
Last Updated on : 12/11/2013