Guwahati is the largest city in the Indian state of Assam and also the largest urban area in Northeast India. A major riverine port city and one of the fastest growing cities in India, Guwahati is situated on the south bank of the Brahmaputra.
The ancient cities of Pragjyotishpura and Durjaya (North Guwahati) were the capitals of the ancient state of Kamarupa.Many ancient Hindu temples are in the city, giving it the name City of Temples.Dispur, the capital of Assam, is in the circuit city region located within Guwahati and is the seat of the Government of Assam.
Guwahati lies between the banks of the Brahmaputra River and the foothills of the Shillong plateau, with LGB International Airport to the west and the town of Narengi to the east. The North Guwahati area, to the northern bank of the Brahmaputra, is being gradually incorporated into the city limits. The noted Madan Kamdev is situated 30 kilometres from Guwahati. Guwahati is the largest city in Northeast India.
The myths and history of Guwahati go back several thousands of years. Although the exact date of the beginning is unknown, references in the epics, Puranas, and other traditional histories of India, lead many to assume that it is one of the ancient cities of Asia. It was the capital of the kings Narakasura and Bhagadatta according to the Mahabharata Located within Guwahati is the ancient Shakti temple of Goddess Kamakhya in Nilachal hill (an important seat of Tantric and Vajrayana Buddhism), the ancient and unique astrological temple Navagraha in Chitrachal Hill, and archaeological remains in Basistha and other archaeological locations of mythological importance.
The Ambari excavations trace the city to the Hindu kingdoms of Shunga-Kushana period of Indian history, between the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD. During earlier periods of the history Guwahati was known as Pragjyotishpura, and was the capital of Assam under the Kamarupakingdom. The city was the seat of the Borphukan, the civil military authority of the Lower Assam region appointed by the Ahom kings. The Mughals invaded Assam seventeen times, but were defeated by the numerically inferior yet formidable Ahoms in the Battle of Itakhuli and the Battle of Saraighat. The city was under Burmese rule from 1817 to 1826.
Guwahati has a humid subtropical climate falling just short of a tropical savanna climate.The average annual temperature is 22.2 °C, with extremes ranging from 39.5 °C to 2.0 °C
Food of Assam , as of any other place, is largely influenced by its climate, soil and vegetation.. Rice is the staple diet and the common people of Assam eat it everyday. Along with rice, fish curry is very common. Other dishes include those made of lentils, vegetables, meat and some sweet dishes. The people of Assam prefer to eat non - spicy foods. Spices like cumin, coriander, mustard, ginger, garlic, fenugreek, panch foran, cardamom and some ingredients that are found in Assam only are generally used.
Traditionally, Assamese food is cooked in earthen ware. This method imparts a smell from the utensils to the food itself giving it a distinct flavor. Vegetables in sour soup are common.
Sweets from Assam are mainly made from rice paste.
Things to Do in GUWAHATI
Enliven the experience of thrill and rush of rafting on Kameng River surrounded by a serene habitat of North-East. The beguiling and entrancing river, once known as Bhareli River is waiting to be explored with its varying grades of rapids. The remotest of the areas packed with the bundles of wilderness offers the white river rafting, a lifetime experience that will leave you completely awe inspired. So, pack your bag and get ready for a most enthralling experience of your life.
One of the prime things to do in Guwahati is experience a cruise ride in the Brahmaputra. Considered to be one of the most romantic experiences in the city, you can opt for a romantic candle lit dinner or watch a mesmerizing sunset with your significant other. You can also enjoy mouth watering cuisine and live music.
Site seeing in GUWAHATI
Located on the Nilanchal Hill in the western part of Guwahati in Assam, Kamakhya Temple is one of the most revered shrines of Goddess Shakti in India. According to the Hindu scriptures, there are four important Shakti Peethas (Temples with highest powers of divinity) in the country and Kamakhya Temple is one of them. Kamakhya Temple celebrates the power of the woman to give birth and is regarded as extremely auspicious among the followers of the Tantrik sect of Hinduism. It was built and reconstructed multiple times between the 8th and 17th Centuries and is a spectacle in itself.
The main entrance of the Kamakhya temple is beautifully designed with simple yet elegant carvings that are decorated with colourful flowers. The temple has a massive dome which overlooks the quaint Nilanchal Hills in the background. It is especially decked up during the Ambubachi Festival and fare that is held for 3-4 Days in the month of June.
Umananda Temple is located on Peacock Island on the top of a hill called Bhasmakala or Bhasmakuta,that lies on the mighty Brahmaputra River. This serene place of worship is named after and dedicated to Lord Shiva. The name Umananda comes from the two Hindi words, namely Uma, which was another name for wife of Lord Shiva and Ananda which means happiness. In fact, Peacock Island is one of the smallest inhabited island and possibly one of the most beautiful too.
Having been established as one of the better zoos in the country, the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden or the Guwahati Zoo as it popularly known is a wildlife paradise that spreads over an extensive area of 430 acres. Located in a densely vegetated forest area in the centre of Guwahati called the Hengrabari Forest Area, the protected area has not lost its vibrant touch with mother nature. lies just 6 kilometres south of the mighty Brahmaputra river that flows through the state and is the largest of its kind in the North-East region of the country.
Guru Vashishta (or Basistha) is credited to writing the Hindu epic of Vashishtha Ramayana (behind the scenes Ramayana). It is believed that the sage constructed this aashram and later breathed his last here.
The fact that this epic still lives on and is a part of the daily routine of innumerable houseolds of India is a clear indication of how popular this site is. The construction, architecture and beautiful locale all mix in beautifully and have resulted in the serene and picturesque aashram
Dedicated to Goddess Bhuvaneshwari, this white shrine perched atop a hill adjacent to the city is a major draw amongst the religious pilgrims. The temple itself provides visitors with a magnificent panoramic view of the city of Guwahati.The enchanting view of the sunset on the Brahamputra River as viewed from the hill attracts many tourists. Though the temple is high upon a hill, it requires a 20 minutes walk from the Bus Stand below to reach the Bhubaneshwari temple.
Kaziranga National Park
Home to two-thirds of the worlds one horned rhinoceros population, this national park has been declared as a World Heritage Site.Made unique with a vibrant, well preserved and sustained ecology this park has a very versatile bio diversity which makes Kaziranga National Park a very important and popular tourist destination. Other than the one horned Rhino which almost defines the area, the park also offers pleasant surprises to tourists as they spot Swamp deer, elephants, wild buffalos, Chinese pangolins, Bengal foxes, gibbons, civets, sloth bears, leopards and flying squirrels are a few animals that can be spotted here. The park is also home to the Indian tiger and it is a tiger reserve. long with this you will find your heads turning up to see eagles, hornbills and pelicans. Apart from the wildlife, the park itself is immensely beautiful with water bodies and forests. One can opt for safari rides in the park in either jeeps or SUVs and this is the best way to get around the park. Elephant rides can be arranged and they have to be booked in advance as they are popular.
Manas National Park
Manas National Park is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve in Assam. The only tiger reserve in Assam and also famous for the rare golden langur and the red panda, Manas is one of the best-kept national parks in India.Manas is recognized not only for its rich biodiversity but also for its spectacular scenery and natural landscape which includes a range of forested hills, alluvial grasslands and tropical evergreen forests. It is also famous for its population of the Wild water buffalo. Manas harbours the maximum number of endangered species from India as listed in the IUCN Red Book.
One can easily spot rhinos and tigers while sitting on an elephant. Forest officials arrange rides on elephants from Mathanguri for visitors to Manas. You can see tea pickers going about their job in groups during the tea season. Best time to see activity is October till first week of December and again from mid March onwards.
Perched on top of the Chitrachal Hill (or Navagraha Hill) in south eastern Guwahati, Navagraha Temple is a revered Hindu shrine dedicated to the nine celestial bodies. Believed to be the dwelling of the mightiest celestial body- the Sun, the temple enshrines nine shiva lingam (phallic emblems of Lord Shiva) clad in colored clothes representing planetary gods- Chandra (Moon), Mangala (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), Rahu (North Lunar Node) and Ketu (South Lunar Node) surrounding the centre most Surya (Sun).