Kaziranga National Park welcomes you to the Gateway of Assam at Guwahati, Assam.
Guwahati ~ the Gateway to Assam is the largest city of the State of Assam and North East India. The city of Guwahati is situated on the banks of the River Brahmaputra making Guwahati a major Riverine Port city. Called by many as the “City of Temples”, Guwahati has many ancient Hindu Temples built during the regime of the Ahom Dynasty of Assam. The Kamakhya Temple located on the Nilachal Hills is one of the most revered Temple shrines of North East India and is frequented by tourists from across the World!
The Guwahati region hosts a diverse Wildlife including rare animals such as Asian Elephants, pythons, tigers, Indian one horned Rhinoceros, gaurs, primate species and endangered bird species.
Places of Interest in Guwahati ~
1| Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary Guwahati
The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a dense population of the Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is about 48 km by road from Guwahati including a 1-hour drive through a road passing by River Brahmaputra, and a small portion of the village of Mayong.
The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary has the Highest Population Density of Indian One Horned Rhinoceros anywhere in the World.
2| Mayong – the Land of Black Magic
Mayong is located at the heart of the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and is also known as the Land of Black Magic. Once considered the cradle of black magic in India, Mayong is a tourist attraction because of its history.
It was also said about the Mayong that the saints of black magic and the witches take shelter in the Mayong forest till now. Many tales of men disappearing into thin air, people being converted into animals, or beasts being magically tamed, have been associated with Mayong. Sorcery and magic were traditionally practiced and passed down over generations.
There are numerous archaeological relics and artifacts, including books on black magic and Ayurveda at the Mayong Central Museum and Emporium, which was opened in 2002.
3| Maa Kamakhya Temple Guwahati
Maa Kamakhya Temple is a holy Temple Shrine located in the city of Guwahati in Assam. Kamakhya Temple is one among the 51 Shakti Peethas in India and is dedicated to Mother Goddess Kamakhya. The Kamakhya Temple is considered most sacred and is the oldest among the 51 Shakti Peethas in the World.
The Kamakhya Temple is located atop the Nilachal Hills in the western part of the city of Guwahati along the banks of the River Brahmaputra. The Kamakhya Temple is the main temple in a complex of individual temples dedicated to the ten Mahavidyas: Kali, Tara, Sodashi, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamala. Among these, the Tripurasundari, Matangi and Kamala reside inside the main temple whereas the other seven reside in individual temples. The Kamakhya Temple is an important pilgrimage destination for the general Hinduism practicing community and especially for Tantric worshipers.
4| Chandubi Lake Guwahati
When in Guwahati, the perfect location to enjoy bird watching is the Chandubi Lake. A lake that is crystal clear at certain places and covered in other places with thick growth of the ‘arali’ grass that keeps changing its location is all set to change a nondescript area inhabited by Rabha community. Not too far from the bustling capital city of Guwahati, this place is trying its best to emerge as one of the hottest Ecotourism spots in the entire Northeast while providing the city dwellers and tourists from outside the State and Country with a rejuvenating retreat.
The Chandubi Lake was created by the devastating earthquake of 1897. It is around 65 Km from Guwahati city. The lake is at the base of Garo hills bordering Assam and Meghalaya. The area around the Chandubi Lake is surrounded by deep forests, tea gardens and small and discrete villages and is an ideal place for a day out and picnic. Efforts have been put by the local people at Chandubi towards the development of Ecotourism near the lake.
5| Dipor Bil Wildlife Sanctuary Guwahati
Dipor Bil is situated around 8 kms from Guwahati and is a natural water reservoir. The word ‘Bil’ means lake in the local language and hence the name Dipor Beel. A famous picnic spot for the locals during winters this lake is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. One gets to see the likes of Potbilled pelican, lesser Adjutant stork, Baer’s pochard, Pallas’ sea eagle, greater Adjutant stork, the Siberian crane and a host of other species of birds.
Wildlife in the Sanctuary comprises of Wild Asian elephants, Leopard, Jungle cat, the protected Barking deer, Chinese porcupine and Sambar.
In addition, fishing is an important source of livelihood for the locals around the lake and the freshly caught fishes are sold across various markets in the Guwahati city. The Assam Forest Division has its office near the sanctuary and one can book a boat ride to the midst of the lake to enjoy the serene waters and catch a close glimpse of the bird species.
6| Guwahati World War II Cemetery Guwahati
The Guwahati War Cemetery was built and is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Located in the heart of the city of Guwahati, this cemetery has about 500 burials mostly of British soldiers who laid their lives during World War II.
To give a brief history of the Guwahati War Cemetery, it was started during the World War II, for burials from several military hospitals in the region. Soldiers and workers who couldn’t make it after fighting the enemy and building the epic Stilwell road were laid to rest here. Later, other graves were brought in by the Army Graves service from military cemeteries in Sylhet and Amari Bari and civil cemeteries in Nagaon, Mohachara and Guwahati for permanent maintenance. Some graves were later also brought from isolated sites in present-day Mizoram, Coochbehar, Darjeeling, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Lumding, Dinjan, Dhubri etc.
7| Treasured Wheels Museum Guwahati
Perhaps the greatest example of a man’s power of dreaming, believing in his dream and working continuously to realize that dream is illustrated when you step foot into the ‘Treasured Wheels Museum’ near Guwahati in Assam. Mr. Piklu Deka or Piklu Da as everyone calls him is the man behind this dream. What started as a dream to own a vintage car thirty (30) years ago has finally transformed in the shape of a museum with a collection of over 50 vintage cars, 50 motorbikes and much more.
8| Srimanta Shankardev Kalakhetra Guwahati
Srimanta Sankaradev Kalakshetra is a cultural institution in Guwahati city. Named after the medieval poet-playwright and reformer Srimanta Sankardev. It includes a cultural museum, library and various facilities for preserving, demonstrating and performing cultural items, besides a children’s park. In addition to being Northeast India’s largest cultural congregation, the Kalakshetra is also a major tourist spot in Guwahati. Built in the 1990s, the artistic excellence of Assam and rest of the north-eastern region is displayed here. There are eateries, places of worship, emporiums and open-air theaters within the sprawling Kalakshetra premises.
Suwalkuchi is renowned across the World for its production of the Silks of Assam namely the Muga Silk, the Pat Silk and the Eri Silk. Suwalkuchi has the highest number of people in the World engaged in this handloom cottage industry and hence is often referred to as the Manchester of the East.
Hajo is a small temple town in the Kamrup district of Lower Assam, which is well known for its ambiance of inter-religious tolerance, fellow feeling and co-operation. There are several temples and shrines here which are sacred to different sects of Hinduism – Vasihnavism, Saivism and Saktism – the most prominent among them being the Hayagriva Madhava temple located on a hill-top. Hindus of all sects visit these temples and offer prayers. Bhutiyas belonging to the Mahayana sect of Buddhism consider the Hayagriva temple as a Buddhist shrine and identify the deity as Mahamuni (Buddha). At one time Bhutiya pilgrims used to visit Hajo as an act of piety. On another hill-top in Hajo is the Dargah of a famous Pir, and is regarded as one of the holiest spots of Muslims in Assam and is popularly known as the Poa Makka (Quarter Mecca). The shrine attracts devotee from both the Muslim and the Hindu communities. The atmosphere of communal understanding and open-mindedness is reflected also in certain items of oral tradition of the neighborhood.
11| Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden Guwahati
The Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden is an ideal Green Retreat in the heart of Guwahati city located within the Hengrabari Reserved Forest. The Assam State Zoo is home to about 895 animals, birds and reptiles representing almost 113 species of animals and birds from around the world.
Over the years, the zoo grew and expanded to accommodate eye-catching exotic ones like chimpanzees, white rhinos & black rhinos, zebras, ostriches and giraffes from Africa; puma, jaguar and llama from South America and kangaroos from Australia. To get these exotic animals the zoo used to send indigenous animals like one horned Indian rhinoceros to other countries.
12| Alfresco Grand River Cruise Guwahati
The Mighty Brahmaputra River flows across the city of Guwahati. The Alresco Grand River Cruise is an example of a perfect fine dining experiences in Guwahati onboard a River Cruise. The Alfresco Grand offers you four majestic cruise experiences the Sundown Cruise, the Lunch Cruise, the Sunset Cruise and the Dinner Cruise. Along with traditional dances and theatrical shows, this is a must visit experience at Guwahati city.
13| Umananda Temple Guwahati
Located on the World’s smallest inhabited River Island of the Umananda, the Umananda Temple is a temple shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva burned down Lord Kamadeva with his third eye on a hillock of this island as Kamadeva had interrupted Lord Shiva’s session of Yoga. Hence the Hillock is known as the Bhasmacala Hills
12| Basistha Temple Guwahati
Located on the outskirts of the Garbhanga Forest Reserve at Guwahati, the Basistha Temple was constructed by the Ahom King Rajeshwar Singha in 1764 AD. It is believed that the great Saint Basistha resided at the ashram near the Temple.
The Temple in the ashram stands on the bank of the mountain streams originating from the hills of Meghalaya, which becomes the rivers Basistha and Bahini/Bharalu flowing through the city.
13| Balaji Temple Guwahati
Located conveniently near the Inter State Bus Terminus at Guwahati, the Balaji Temple near Guwahati has a striking resemblance to the Balaji Temple. Built in order to promote peace and harmony across the North Eastern Region of India, the Balaji Temple is a must visit for visitors at Guwahati. During the evening the entire Temple complex is illuminated with lights providing a breathtaking view!
14| Sri Sri Doul Govinda Temple Guwahati
The Sri Sri Doul Govinda Temple is one of the Holiest Temple shrines in India dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is located at North Guwahati on the foot hills of Chandrabharati hill at Rajaduar. The first structure of Doul Govinda Temple was erected more than one hundred and fifty years ago but it was again renovated in 1966. The Doul Govinda Mandir in Assam is famous for its Holi celebrations in the month of February – March. Holi is observed by the local people for five days with various programme and about five thousand Pilgrims are always assembled at the Mandir premises during this time.
Daily activities of the Doul Govinda Temple start early, with the opening of the doors at seven in the morning. The priest bathes the idol and then performs the Archana. The worshipers start coming in from an hour after this, which continues till the end of the day. In between that, the temple remains closed during the afternoon. In the evening the Arati is performed by singing devotional songs or ‘Kirtaan‘. Prasada followed by Bhoga is distributed among the devotees in open hall, during afternoon hours daily.
14| Sri Sri Dirgheshwari Temple Guwahati
Dirgheswari is a Holy Temple shrine situated in the northern banks of the river Brahmaputra at Guwahati. Built by Ahom king Swargadeo Siva Singha, Dirgheswari temple is considered as a Shakti Peethas for Shakti Worship. Many ancient images made on rocks existed along with the temple. The main attraction of Dirgheswari temple is the annual Durga Puja celebrations, in which devotees from far of places use to attend. It is considered that it is a visit to the Dirgheswari Temple at North Guwahati is where your actual pilgrimage after visiting the Kamakhya Temple ends.
15| ISKON Temple Guwahati
ISKCON ~ International Society for the Krishna consciousness is a Hindu religious society which was founded in 1966 by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. ISKON has its core belief based on the holy Hindu books of Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. The society has international recognition, and various temples of ISKCON are located in various parts of the world. ISKCON Temple Guwahati is one of the temples under the parent organization which is dedicated to Lord Krishna.
ISKCON Guwahati is surrounded by lush green gardens where devotees can spend their time in the dedication of God. The interiors of the temple include the deities of Krishna and Rukmani in the attractive attires. There are various halls inside the temple for preaching the teaching of the society which is based on Vaishnavism, which considers Lord Vishnu as their supreme power (Krishna was also one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu).
16| Aswaklanta Temple Guwahati
Built in 1720 by the God fearing King of the Ahom Dynasty, King Siva Singha (who also constructed most of the other biggest Hindu Temples in the State of Assam including the Shiva Dol at Sivasagar) this Temple is located on a hill top overlooking the Brahmaputra. There are two temples in this holy place. One situated in the foot hill namely the ‘Kurmayanardan’ Temple and the other in the up-hill namely the ‘Anantasayi’ Temple. A long tread across the flight of Stairs will get you to the Temple premises where the sight of the Brahmaputra River, floating small islands and the Guwahati city across the river will mesmerizing any person visiting the Temple to seek the blessings of the Almighty!
17| Sukreshwar Temple Guwahati
The Sukreswar Temple is located on the Sukreswar or Itakhuli hill on the south bank of river Brahmaputra in the Panbazar locality of Guwahati city and is dedicated in the honor of Lord Shiva. This Temple was constructed in 1744 during the reign of the Ahom King Pramatta Singha (1744–1751). King Rajeswar Singha (1751–69) who also promoted cause of the Saiva cult made financial provisions for the Sukreswar Temple in 1759.
As per ancient legends, it is believed that Sage Sukra (the Guru of the Asuras) had his hermitage on this hillock and he used to worship his Lord Shiva in this temple. Originally dating back to the 18th century, the temple is believed to have the largest Shiva Lingam or phallic emblem in India. The Kalika Purana identifies the hillock as Hastigiri hills due to its shape like the hump of an elephant.
Leading down from the temple compound is a long flight of steps to the Brahmaputra river. This place is specially attracted by the tourists because one can enjoy the natural beauty and religious aroma near the bank of Brahmaputra River. One can gain the pleasure of splendid dawn and dusk if he sits on the steps of Sukreswar Ghat. The view moving boats on the river and the local Hindu people performing puja in honor of their relatives who have left this world, children and older people bathing bestow you to move far from the din and congested life. The adjacent embankment is used for holy bathing and performing rituals. It is believed that the dead gain peaces if the post – death rituals are performed here.