Guwahati- the Capital city of antiquity as well as modernity
Guwahati is the main link among the 7-sisters of Northeast India. Not only that, Guwahati is an important place to the people of Eastern Bhutan as they frequently visit this state-capital for various requirements.
The existence of Guwahati is as old as 6th century. It’s not only the place of ancient history and heritage, but also for occult arts and mythology. The Kamakhya Hill that is situated on the highest point of Guwahati, is known for it’ legendary goddess Kamkhya who killed Narakasur- the demon king of Assam, in Indian mythology. This place is also noted for it’s secret occult practices for eons that gave it a sense of mystery.
On the other hand, Guwahati is the centre of many renowned institutions including IIT Guwahati – thus bridging the past with future smoothly.
Guwahati airport is situated at Borjhar, which is 20 KM west from city-centre and is named as Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport.Being the most important city of North-East India, Guwahati is well connected with major metros like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore etc, apart from the state-capitals of other North-Eastern states.Airlines like GoAir, Air India, Jetlite, IndiGo etc. operate flights between Guwahati and the rest of the country.
Druke Air connects Guwahati with international destinations like Paro and Bangkok.From the Airport, you will get multiple options to go to the main area of city like-
- Car-rental service
- Bus service
- Rented motorbikes
Guwahati Junction is the largest railway station of the whole Northeast India, and it has connecting trains with cities like Kolkata, Jaipur, Chennai, Vizag, and Delhi etc. It is also linked with northeast capitals like Imphal, Agartala by train.
Outside of the rail station, you will get shared cabs, taxis, autos and buses to get into the heart of city.
Guwahati is well connected by National Highway 31 with states like- West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. It is connected with other cities of Assam by NH-37.
From Siliguri , there is an over-night bus service to Guwahati. It is also connected via Bus route to Imphal, Kohima and Itanagar.
Places of tourist attraction
1 Kaziranga National Park
Around 320 KM away from Guwahati, Kaziranga National Park is a must-visit place for those who – love nature and adventure- together.
Famous for it’s one-horned rhino and serene, peaceful environment- you can take a tour of the park either by jeep or elephant safari, though the latter is far more thrilling.
Not only the park, but also the route towards it from Guwahati is a beautiful experience.
2 Kamakhya Temple
The most important religious place of Northeast and one of the highly respected temples of India- Kamkhya Temple is famous for it’s legends, the aura of mysticism and being one of the sects of worshipping Shakti.
Apart from goddess Kamkhya, there are temples of Kali, Tara, and Bagala inside the temple compound. There are also deities of Vishnu and Shiva.
The surrounding ambience is really very soothing and worth-a-visit.
3 Uma Nanda Temple
Located at a river island (Peacock island), the ambience of the temple is quite unique and apart from the main attraction i.e. the Kal Bhiarav Temple (Shiva), it’s also a sanctuary of the rare species of golden langur.
Except the above mentioned places, Guwahati has many other attractions like ISKON temple, Assam State Zoo, Saraighat Bridge to name a few.
What to eat
There are some really very good restaurants at Guwahati that can tickle your taste buds.
The Airport restaurant offers some yummy food at a reasonable price.
To taste authentic Assamese thali, head out for Delicacy Restaurant.
Sagar restaurant is famous for their south-Indian delicacies.
And if, baked goodies are your fancies, then Shaik Brothers are there. A century old bakery shop that is almost legendary throuout Northeast for their cakes, breads and pastries.
What to shop for
Apart from the local artifacts and handiworks, getting yourself a Mekhala- the traditional Assameese attire for women or buying it for your near and dear ones -should be in your must-to-buy list.
If you are a budget-traveller, then hotels like - Ginger Hotel, Rains Inn, and Grand Sterline are best for you.
Brahmaputra Jungle Resort and Hotel Kiranshree Portico are good for those who want to splurge.
Hotel Suradevi and Hotel Brindavan are good for economy travelers.
- Visit Accoland Amusement Park
- Take a ferry service/ river cruise on the river Brahmaputra
- Take a helicopter ride from Guwahati to Shillong/ Tawang, if possible
- Visit Kamkhya Temple during Amubachi for its fare
- If blood and gore make you faint-hearted, avoid visiting the temple complex of Kamakhya as sometimes animal-sacrificing takes place openly and the sight can be really bloody and messy.
Some information for travelers
- Don’t expect anything flashy or uber-modern in the city as it’s still growing
- If possible, try to avoid riding autos- if you are first time traveler as there is no meter system
- Sometimes, there is militant insurgence in Assam, so limit your wanderings, if during that time you are visiting the place
Overall, enjoy your stay at Guwahati. It’s a nice place to be; if you understand how the modernity and ancientness go hand-in-hand.
Jheelam Dutta Roy lives in Kolkata.Being born in a Bengali household it’s in her genes to like anything in printed words.Reading fictions, watching Hollywood thrillers are her hobbies.She loves writing and is glad to do what she likes best for earning.