Guwahati is the largest city in Assam and also in the entire North East of India. With a population of a million, Guwahati is the gateway to the North East. Dishpur, The capital of Assam, is a part of the Guwahati City.
Situated on the bank of River Brahmaputra, Guwahati is the centre of socio-cultural, political and economic activity of the entire region. Guwahati is situated in the Kamrup district of Assam. The name Guwahati is derived from ‘Guwa’ meaning betlenut and ‘Hat’ meaning market in Assamese. Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, English are commonly spoken and understood in the city.
Guwahati is well connected to the rest of the country by air, train and road. There are direct train and flight services from most major Indian cities such as New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore etc. The LGB International Airport is connected by air with major cities in the country. Road transport network in Guwahati is also very strong with regular bus services to all the major destinations in North East is available. Guwahati is connected to the rest of India through a small corridor in West Bengal known as the “Siliguri Corridor” or the “Chickens Neck”. The Head office of naturebeyond is located in this corridor. naturebeyond North East regional office is also situated in the city of Guwahati.
There are several tourist attractions within the city of Guwahati and in its outskirts. Within a few hours’ drive from Guwahati, several places of tourist attraction are located including the Kaziranga NP, Shillong and many other natural parks, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations.
Kamakhya Temple : The Kamakhya temple is one of the most revered Hindu shrines in India. The Temple complex is situated atop the Nilachal Hills in Guwahati close to the Brahmaputra River. According to Kalika Purana (ca 20th century), the temple denotes the place where Sati used to visit Shiva. It is also the spot where the “Yoni” of sati fell when Shiva danced with her corpse. The present temple structure was constructed in 1656 by the coach kings. At an altitude of about 800 feet from Sea level. The top of the Nilachal hill provides excellent view of the Brahmaputra River as well as parts of Guwahati City.
Basistha Ashram : About 12km from the city centre, the Basistha Asram is said to be established by Rishi Basistha. It is a pilgrim centre and picnic spot.
Umananda Temple : This Temple is located on the middle of the Brahmaputra river on an island known as the peacock island. Boat riders are available for visitors intending to visit the temple.
Pan Bazaar and Paltan Bazar: Located close to the Guwahati railway station, this is the area where most of the hotels are located. The area is dotted with shops selling books, traditional art and crafts, traditional garments etc. that might be of tourist interest. Many important city attractions such as the Cotton College, Digholy Pukhury, The State Museum, etc. are located nearby. The regional bus stand (ASTC) is also located in the area. The area is the busiest and most congested in Guwahati.
G S Road : This is the most important road in Guwahati connecting Ganeshguri and Paltan Bazaar. Most of the major offices and modern shopping complexes are located here.
Deepor Bil : It is a large natural wetland spread over more than 4 sq. km. area. The place is declared as a Bird Sanctuary. A large number of avifauna including varieties of migratory birds can be seen here.
Assam State Museum : This is the largest museum of its kind in the North East India. The museum has several sections and showcases the rich history and culture of the region.
Zoo cum Botanical Garden: Covering an area of 175 hetares of land, this zoo-cum Botanical Garden is a house for endangered and rare species of wildlife and plants.