Things to do in Guwahati
Places of worship
Basistha temple, located in the south-east corner of Guwahati city is a Shiva mandir constructed by Ahom King Rajeswar Singha in 1764 along with gift of land 835 Bighas for the ashram. The history of the Basistha Ashram where the temple is located dates back to the Vedic age. According to legend the ashram was founded by the great saint Basistha (Vasishtha). 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.
Kamakhya Temple situated some 5 km. away from the main city on the Nilachal Hill, is one of the most sacred Hindu Shrines of India. Goddess Kamakhya is worshipped here. 'Ambubachi Mela' is celebrated every year in the middle of June in this temple. Lots of devotees from across the country gathered here during this mela.
Situated on the peacock island in the middle of the Brahmaputra,this temple was built in 1664.This is a Shiva temple. It is believed that Lord Shiva by using his third eye burnt Kamdeva at this place. Every year Shivaratri is celebrated in this temple in great way. This temple island is believed to be the worlds smallest human inhabited island.
Navagraha temple or temple of nine planets is situated on Chitrachal Hill to the east of the city. It was the ancient seat of study of astronomy and astrology. The nine planets are represented by the nine linga's inside the main temple. There is a stone imprint of solar system inside the temple.This temple just 3 km from the railway station is still a center of Astrological and Astronomical research. It was for this temple Guwahati was named Pragjyotishpura
Places of Interest
Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra
The Srimanta Sankardeva kalakshetra has been set up as a grand exposition of the life and culture of the people of Assam. Named after the greatest Vaishnava saint and the greatest integrator of the Assamese society Srimanta Sankardeva, the Kalakshetra is a multi-Arts complex. It houses a Central Museum where cultural objects and day-to-day articles used by different ethnic groups will be preserved and exhibited, an Open Air Theatre with 2000 capacity to hold folk festivals and to present traditional dance and drama of the State, an Artists' Village which offers the visitors and the residents an atmosphere of the village of Assam, the Sahitya Bhavan which is a library of rare books and manuscripts, the Lalit-Kala Bhavan which has sufficient space for exhibition, art and sculpture workshops, and a Heritage Park.
Shilpgram Complex is located adjacent to Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra and is is the one and only Crafts Village of the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC). The complex houses eight pavilions for each of the States of the Northeast as well as has exhibition halls, a large auditorium, sales counters, food stalls, etc.
Assam State Museum
Assam State Museum is situated near Dighali Pukhuri. This state museum houses many rare, specimen of Ahom Dynasty. Many articles equipment, dress materials belonging to the Glorious past of Assam are found here. Many antiques, statues, manuscripts, written on Shashi-paat and other valuable articles are preserved and displayed here.
Places of Natural Beauty near Guwahati
Dipor Bil, also spelt Deepor Beel (Bil or Beel means "lake" in the local Assamese language), is located 13 km South West of Guwahati on the National Highway (NH 31), on the Jalukbari-Khanapara bypass. It is a heritage site protected under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and is considered as one of the largest Beels in the Brahmaputra valley of lower Assam. Mayong – The land of Black Magic: Once considered to be the abode of Black Magic or Tantric studies; Mayong still retains a place of subconscious human interest. The area is rich in Wildlife, archeology, pilgrimage, eco-tourism and cultural tourism. There is a big stone architecture bearing the signs of as Assamese manuscript which is 3.85 meters long. It is perhaps the longest inscription in India. There is a kingsize statue of Lord Ganesh at Hatimura. Other than that, one can see manuscripts dating back to 5th and 6th Century, terracotta belonging to the 12th and 13th Century in the Mayong Central Museum. Pobitara Wildlife Sanctuary: Pobitara The wildlife sanctuary, situated in Morigaon district merely about 52 km from Guwahati boasts of the highest concentration of Great Indian One horned Rhinoceros. In fact with the density of Five Rhinos every square km it is more than Kaziranga National Park. Besides Rhinoceros the other animals are Asiatic Buffalo, Leopard, Wild bear, Large and small Indian civet cat etc. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to more than 2000 migratory birds and various reptiles. Moreover 80 species of butterflies, over 16 species of aquatic plants and 41 species of fish share there space in the Pobitara Wildlife Sanctuary.
Bhramaputra River Cruise
One of the major attractions of Guwahati is the River Cruise on the Brahmaputra river. To go a cruise on the mighty river is thrilling experience. There are cruise vessels like 'MV Mahabahu', 'Jolporee', 'Charaidew', 'Alfresco', 'Baginadi' etc. that will take the visitors on joy rides on the Brahmaputra River. Sitting abroad these luxurious cruise vessels tourists can relax and enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset in the evening hours.
Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. A World Heritage Site, the park hosts two-thirds of the world's Great One-horned Rhinoceroses. Kaziranga boasts the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer. Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International for conservation of avifaunal species. Compared to other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation.
Places of Natural Beauty outside Guwahati
Barapani or Big Water also known as Umiam Lake is a scenic place tucked away amidst the hills of Meghalaya, around 90 Km from Guwahati and 15 Km from Shillong. The lake serves as a major tourist attraction for the state of Meghalaya. It is also a popular destination for water sport and adventure facilities. Tourists visit this spot for kayaking, water cycling, scooting and boating. Mawlynnong: Mawlynnong is widely regarded as the cleanest village in Asia. Nestled in the pristine hills of Meghalaya, the hamlet has over 80 houses and the villagers, despite their daily schedule of farming and cultivating broomsticks, have worked hard to earn this distinction.
Travelling to the International trade route border town of Dawki is a splendid drive passing through deep gorges and ravines, including a dramatic 10 km section along the lip of the vast green Pamshuti Canyon. which is certainly a thrilling experience. It then descends through mildly picturesque Khasi villages like Pontung and Mawsun amid waving betel – nut palms, finally crossing a suspension bridge over the surreally blue – green Umngot river the venue of the annual boat race held during March - April at Umsyiem.
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