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Gracious Assam
Overview of the State
Assam - the Investment Climate
Origin
The Place & People
Places to See
Socio Economic Profile
State Indices
Traveler's Tips and Resources
How to Reach and where to Stay
Places To See

Assam, a land of pleasant contrast and excitement attracts large number of tourists every year. From the big towns and cities to the remote areas, Assam offers a wide array of attractions. A journey through this picturesque land is bound to cheer up your mind and body and stimulate you to explore more as well as learn more.




Guwahati

Guwahati is the capital city of Assam and the gateway to the North East. Dominated by the Brahmaputra River it is the largest city of the North East. The city boasts of all modern facilities. Guwahati is dotted with many tourist attractions. It has plenty of places of historical interest: several ancient monuments and structures, Hindu temples, Mosques, Gurduwaras (Place of worship for Sikhs), historical Churches that are located in and around the city.

The Kamakhya temple which is situated atop the Nilachal Hills is just 8 km away from the city. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya, the essence of female energy. It is one of the 108 Shakti Peeths of Goddess Durga. Kamakhya was built in the 10th century by the Koch king, Naranarayan. Animal sacrifice is a common practice here to appease the Goddess. Above Kamakhya there is another small temple, Bhubaneshwari, from where one can have a bird’s eye view of Guwahati.

There are also other temples in the city which also attract a large number of tourists. These are - Nabagraha temple, Umananda temple, Bashista Ashram and Balaji Mandir.

Atop the Chitra Chal hill in east Guwahati is the Nabagraha temple - the "temple of nine planets," - an ancient seat of astrology and astronomy. Housed in a red beehive-shaped dome, the central lingam is encircled by further nine representing the planets (graha) - Sun (Surya, Ravi), Moon (Chandra, Soma), Mercury (Buddh), Venus (Sukra), Mars (Mangal), Jupiter (Brhaspati) and Saturn (Sani). Two more were added, Rahu and Ketu, the dragon's head and the dragon's tail, or the ascending and descending nodes of the moon.

Another must-visit for the tourist is the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra. This multi-arts complex is an excellent window to the life and culture of the people of Assam.

A visit to Guwahati also won’t be complete without a cruise on the magnificent Brahmaputra; boating facilities are also available at Dighalipukhuri, a water body in the heart of the city.

In and around Guwahati, there are several other attractions:

Located beside a waterfall are the temples at Basistha, which commemorate the sage Vashisth. This is an attractive spot for both the devout and the day tripper. It is located at a distance of 12 km from the railway station and is an interesting old shrine with plenty of greenness and three beautiful streams, Lalita, Kanta and Sandhya. Several other temples like the Ugratara temple, famous for its golden idol and buffalo sacrifices, are also spread across the city.

The magnificent archaeological ruins of Madan Kamdev are located about an hour outside the city. Chandubi Lake, a natural lagoon and excellent picnic spot, is also easily accessed from Guwahati.

Everyone with an interest in handicraft must make their way to Sualkuchi, 32 km from Guwahati. Here, at one of the world largest weaving villages a be found the silks that Assamese famous for - the unique golden Muga, Paat, and Eri fabrics.

Also a short trip outside the city of Guwahati is a site of syncretism faith: at Hajo, situated on the north bank of the Brahmaputra where three religions meet - Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism. Hajo has a large number of Hindu temples, is considered sacred by the Buddhists, and is also an important pilgrimage site for Muslims.

The great Shiva temple Umananda is situated on the Peacock Island in the middle of the Brahmaputra in Guwahati attracts devotees from all over the country during Shiva Ratri. One can visit the temple by crossing the river by country boat that plies from Kachari ghat. It is on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, where the third Pandava Arjuna is believed to have watered his horse while undertaking his journey during Ashwamedha Yajna. Regular ferry services are available to this place.

Poa-Mecca (Hajo) - There is a mosque built by Pir Giasuddin Aulia which people say has one-fourth sanctity of Mecca and so it is known as Poa-Mecca. It is believed that by offering prayer here, a faithful gains one-fourth (poa) of spiritual enlightenment of what could be gained at Mecca. So it is known as Poa-Mecca.

One must also visit the Guwahati Zoo, which is the largest natural zoo of the country.

Some Important Destinations Near Guwahati

Guwahati is divided into two parts by the river Brahmaputra. North Guwahati is almost a separate town. One can visit it via the Saraighat Bridge or by the ferries that ply on the river. The nearest major city is Kolkata (1182 km), while the capitals of the other northeastern states are at distances varying from 110 km to 650 km.




Site Last Updated on : January 22, 2017