Guwahati is the commercial capital city of the northeastern state of Assam. Formerly known as Pragjyotishpur (the City of Eastern Light), Guwahati is the biggest city of Assam in India. Its etymological root is derived from two Assamese words, "Guwa," meaning areca nut and "Haat," meaning market. Fixed between the picturesque hills of the eastern flanks of the Himalayan mountain range, Guwahati houses the political capital of the state, Dispur. The gateway to the seven other northeastern states, also referred as seven sisters, Guwahati is a vital tourist base point, besides being an attraction in its own.
The city sits between the banks of the Brahmaputra river and the foothills of the Shillong plateau with LGB International Airport to the west and the town of Narengi to the east. It is gradually being expanded as North Guwahati to the northern bank of the Brahmaputra
.The famous heritage Madan Kamdev is situated 30 km away from Guwahati. This heritage is same as Khajuraho. Guwahati is the junction of three important roads, National Highways 31, 37 and 40. Guwahati in Assam 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 Guwahatinortheastern states are at distances varying from 110 km to 650 km.
Places to see in Guwahati
Kamakhya Temple :
Guwahati is particularly famous for its Kamakhya temple located atop the Nilachal hill, at a distance of 10 km from the railway station. Known to be the most revered among the tantrik shrines of Shakti worship in the world, Kamakhya, was built in the 10th century by the Koch king, Naranarayan. Animal sacrifice is a common practice here to appease the Goddess.
Bhubaneshwari Temple :
Above Kamakhya is another small temple, Bhubaneshwari, from where one can have a bird's eye view of the Guwahati.
Shiva Temple :
The Shiva temple of Umananda, reached by motor boats and public ferries from Umananda Ghat, stands on an island in the middle of the Brahmaputra.
Navagraha Temple :
Atop a hill in east Guwahati is the Navagraha 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.
Vashistha Ashram :
At a distance of 12 km from the railway station is the Vashistha Ashram (the abode of sage Vashistha), 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.
Guwahati Zoo :
One must visit the Guwahati Zoo, which is the largest natural zoo of the country.