The busy city of Guwahati, the largest in North East India, is located on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra river, and is known for its many mysterious temples. The Kamakhya Temple, the most important shrine in Assam, is dedicated to the goddess Kali. It is an important centre for Tantric Hinduism and Sakti worship. The Navagraha temple is an ancient seat of astrology and astronomy. The Umananda Temple is located on an island in the river reached by county boat and is known for its resident monkeys.

What to see

The north-eastern parts of the country are dominated by the worshipping of Shakti and Tantra. Nowhere else is it more apparent than in the Kamakhya temple in Guwahati. Located in a commanding location on top of a hill, the Kamakhya temple is built in the traditional Assamese beehive style. The legend claims the body of Shiva’s consort Sati disintegrated whilst being carried over the country and a part of it fell on the spot where the temple now stands. In the inner sanctum of the temple, there is a cleft-like opening in the solid black rock, out of which a red coloured liquid flows. Animals are sacrificed on `auspicious’ days here after ritually bathing them and decorating them with flowers. The atmosphere is always redolent with the smells of incense and the rich tropical flowers used in the offerings.

  1. Assam Zoo & Botanical Garden: A landscaped and largely open zoo houses animals peculiar to the region. Of particular interest are the swamp living Tapir, Tigers including White tiger and one horned Indian Rhinoceros. (Timing: 0900 hrs to 1600 hrs (October to March); 0700 hrs to 1730 hrs (April to September).

  2. Bhubaneshwar Temple: a Shakti temple dedicated to one of the 9 aspects of the Goddess.

  3. Navagrah Temple: Dedicated to the nine planets, situated on the Chitrachal Hills.

  4. Umananda Temple: Situated on the forested Peacock Island in the midst of the Brahmaputra river, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

MUSEUMS 1. Anthropological Museum: (Timing: 1000 hrs to 1600 hrs, closed on University holidays.

  1. Assam Forest Museum: (Timing: 1000 hrs to 1600 hrs, closed on Sunday).

  2. Department of Historical and Antiquarian Research: (Timing: 1000 hrs to 1600 hrs, closed on Sunday).

  3. The Assam State Museum: (Timings: 1000 hrs to 1630 hrs, (Tuesday to Saturday); 0800 hrs to 1200 hrs (Sunday); Monday closed.

Getting There

Air: Indian Airlines connects Guwahati with Agartala, Aizwal, Calcutta, Delhi, Dimapur and Imphal.

Rail: Guwahati is a railhead connected with important cities / towns.

Road: Guwahati is connected by motorable roads vath Agartala 597 Km, Aizawal 538 Km, Bagdogra 523 Km, Calcutta 1182 Km, Cherropunjee 154 Km, Darjeeling 587 Km, Dimapur 280 Km, Gangtok 624 Km, Itanagar 420 Km, lmphal 487 Km, Kaziranga National park 217 Km, Kohima 342 Km, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary 186 Km, Mumbai 3104 Km, Shillong 103 Km and Tezpur 181 Km.

General information

Area: 27.5 Sq.Km.
Altitude: 55 Metres. Temperature: Summer - Max: 35 Deg.C Min: 22 Deg.C Winter - Max: 26 Deg.C Min: 10 Deg.C Rainfall: 180 cms (From May to September). Best Season: October to may. STD Code: 0361.

Excursions

  1. Kamakhaya Temple (I0 Km): Set atop the Nilachal hills, overlooking the town this temple dedicated to Goddess Kali is associated with the Shakti and tantric cult of Hinduism.

  2. Basistha Ashrarn (12 Km): A picturesque old shrine believed to have been the place where Sage Vaishishtha lived.

  3. Hajo (24 Km): Hajo is a centre sacred to different faiths & religions. The Hayagriba Madhab temple is considered sacred by the Hindus as well as Buddhists as according to some Buddhists, lord Buddha attained Nirvana here and it contains Buddha’s remains. A mosque known as Pao Mecca attracts a congregation of Muslims.

  4. Sualkuchi (32 Km): Sualkuchi is famous for Assam silk called ‘Endi’, ‘Muga’, ‘Pat’.

  5. Madan Kamdev (35 Km): Place of archaeological interest. Remains of an ancient temple dating back to 10th & 12th centuries.

  6. Chandubi Lake (64 Km): A natural lagoon, this lake and its surroundings are an ideal picnic spot. Fishing, boating and water sports facilities are available here.

  7. Daranga (93 Km): Situated close to the Bhutan boarder, Darranga comes to life during the Bhutia fair, in winter (from November to March), when a large exodus of the Bhutias come to trade in woollen cloth, musk, horses, cows, In exchange of dry fish and cloth.

  8. Batadrawa or Bardowa (134 Km): Birth place of Shri Gankardeva, famous Vaishnav reformer of Assam.

  9. Barpeta (137 Km): It has a Vaishnava monastery associated with the famous Vaishnava reformer of Assam Madhav Deva.

  10. Bhairabkunda (137 Km): Situated on the border of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, it is a beautiful picnic spot.

  11. Sonai Rupa Wildlife Sanctuary (137 Km): Situated 44 Km. from Tezpur the sanctuary has Tiger, Swamp deer, Buffalo and Hog deer.

  12. Orang Wildlife Sanctuary (159 Km): Situated on the northern banks of the Brahmaputra, the sanctuary is rich in bird life both indigenous and migratory. The wildlife such as the Rhinoceros, Tiger, Bear, Wild buffalo, Fishing cat, pangolin, Swamp deer, Capped langur etc. can be observed in their natural habitat.

  13. Tezpur (181 Km): This town of great antiquity lies on the northern banks of the mighty Brahmaputra, amidst rolling hills. Tezpur contains the ruins of an earlier town, Sonitpur or ‘City of blood’ founded by King Bana. ‘Da Parbatia’ a tiny village is the site of the oldest relic found in Assam, a stone door dating back to the-Gupta era around 5th century AD.

  14. Nameri National Park (60 Km from Tepur): Situated in Sonitpur near Bhalukpong in Assam (adjoining Pakhurt Sanctuary of Arunachal Pradesh) has been declared open for the public from November 1998. Some of the most endangered species are found in the park viz. White Winged Ducks, Birds, Sambar, Barking Deer, Hog Deer and Elephants.

  15. Bhalukpung (232 Km): Bhalukpung, surrounded by blue hills and evergreen forest is famous for its unique natural beauty and angling. 7 km. from Bhalukpung is Tipi famous for the largest orchid garden in Asia.

  16. Garampang Widlife Sanctuary (306 Km): Established in 1952, this small sanctuary covering an area of 6 sq.km. has Tigers, Leopards, Elephants, Hornbill, etc.

  17. Nembor Reserve Forest (322 Km): The Nambore reserve forest is famous for it’s rejuvenating hot springs. It is 16 Km. south of Garampani.

  18. Jorhat (314 Km): Surrounded by tea plantations, this pretty town is the hub of the Assamese tea industry.

  19. Majuli (328 Km): In the midst of the Brahmatputra river, Majuli is the largest riverine Island in the world. It is the centre of Vaishnava culture, with a number of Satras or monasteries.

  20. Haflong (338 Km): Haflong (680 mts), a lakeside hill resort, is an ideal picnic spot still left largely untouched. A rare orchid, the Blue Vanda” is found profusion in this area.

  21. Sibsagar (369 Km): Once a historical city, it is today a leading tea and oil producing district in Assam. Sibsagar was the capital of the Ahom rulers, who ruled Assam for 600 years before the advent of the British rule.

  22. Dibrugarh (445 Km): Dibrugarh is a major trading centre with large number of tea estates and where the mighty Brahmaputra river can be seen at it’s majestic host.

  23. Digboi (541 Km): Situated on a group of hillocks, Digboi is the nerve centre of the oil industry in the eastern region. Digboi is the site of the oldest oil wells in the world.

  24. Margherita (557 Km): Situated 16 Km from Digboi, Margherita was named by Italian railway engineers in the late 19th century, after the Queen of Italy. The town is surrounded by ten estates and is the North-Eastern headquarters of the Coal India Ltd.

  25. Lodo (563 Km): The small coal mining town of ledo, situated 6 km. from Margherita was the headquarters of the Northern Combat Area Command during World War II.