Guwahati

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For northern areas, see North Guwahati.
Guwahati
গুৱাহাটী
Pragjyotishpura (Ancient)
Metropolis
Guwahati sg.png
Nickname(s): [1] City of Eastern Astrology, City of Temples, Gateway of the North-East India
Guwahati is located in Assam
Guwahati
Guwahati
Coordinates: 26°11′0″N 91°44′0″E / 26.18333°N 91.73333°E / 26.18333; 91.73333Coordinates: 26°11′0″N 91°44′0″E / 26.18333°N 91.73333°E / 26.18333; 91.73333
Country  India
State Assam
Region Lower Assam
District Kamrup Metropolitan district
Government
 • Body GMC, GMDA
 • Mayor Abir Patra (INC)
 • Deputy Commissioner Shri Ashutosh Agnihotri, IAS[2]
Elevation 55.5 m (182.1 ft)
Population (2011 (census))
 • Rank 46
 • Metro 960,787
Languages
 • Official Assamese, English
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 781 XXX
Telephone code +91 - (0) 361 - XX XX XXX
Vehicle registration AS-01 (Guwahati) / AS-25 (Dispur)
Planning agency GMC, GMDA
Climate Cwa (Köppen)
Website www.gmcportal.in

Guwahati (Listeni/ɡʊwəˈhɑːti/; Pragjyotishpura in ancient Assam, Gauhati in the modern era—is an ancient urban area, largest city of state, region, major metropolis of eastern India and one of the fastest developing cities of India.

Pragjyotishpura along with Durjaya (North Guwahati) were the capitals of the ancient state of Kamarupa under the Varman and Pala dynasties.[3][4][5][6][7] Many ancient Hindu temples are in the city, so also known as the "The City of Temples". Dispur, the capital of the Indian state of Assam, is in the circuit city region located within Guwahati and is the seat of the Government of Assam.

The city lies 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 noted Madan Kamdev is situated 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Guwahati. The Guwahati Municipal Corporation, the city's local government, administers an area of 216 square kilometres (83 sq mi), while the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority, the planning and development body administers an area of 254 square kilometres (98 sq mi).[8]

Guwahati is a major commercial and educational hub of Assam and the north-eastern region of India, and is home to premier institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Gauhati University, and Cotton College. The city is a major center for cultural activities and sporting events, as well as a center for administrative and political activities of Assam, and important regional hub for transportation.

The Guwahati region hosts diverse wildlife including rare animals such as Asian elephants, pythons, tigers, rhinoceros, gaurs, primate species, and endangered birds.[9][10]

Etymology[edit]

The name Guwahati is two Assamese words: 'guwa' (areca nut) and 'haat' (market place). Prior to colonial rule, the name was spelled Gowhatty, then anglicized to Gauhati during British colonial rule. The name was changed to its present form in the late 1980s to conform to the local pronunciation.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Ancient History[edit]

Epigraphic sources place the capitals of many ancient kingdoms in Guwahati. It was the capital of the kings Narakasura and Bhagadatta according to the Mahabharata.[11] Located within Guwahati is the ancient sakti temple of Goddess Kamakhya in Nilachal hill (an important seat of Tantric and Vajrayana Buddhism), the ancient and unique astrological temple Navagraha in Chitrachal Hill, and archaeological remains in Basista and other archaeological locations of mythological importance.

A view of Kamakhya Temple

The Ambari[12][13] excavations trace the city to the 4th century AD. During earlier periods of the city's history it was known as Pragjyotishpura, and was the capital of Assam under the Varman Dynasty dynasty of the Kamarupa kingdom. Descriptions by Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) reveal that during the reign of the Varman king Bhaskar Varman (7th century AD) the city stretched for about 30 li (15 km)[14][citation needed] and according to Xuanzang was a principal base for a strong naval force of 30,000 war-boats, with officers who were experts in sea-routes from the Indian Ocean to China.[citation needed] The city remained as the capital of Assam until the 10th-11th century AD under the rule of the Pala dynasty. Archaeological evidence by excavations in Ambari, and excavated brick walls and houses discovered furing construction of the present Cotton College's auditorium suggest the city was of economic and strategic importance until the 9th-11th century AD.[citation needed]

Medieval Era[edit]

Between the 12th and 15th centuries AD, after the destruction of the Kamata kingdom, the city became mainly a strategic outpost of the Koch Hajo and Ahom kingdom. When the western part of the Koch Kingdom (Koch Bihar) fell to the Mughals, the eastern half (Koch Hajo) eventually became a protectorate of Ahom. Although the border between the powers (Ahoms and Mughals) fluctuated between the Kartoya river (now in North Bengal) to the Manas and Barnadi rivers, Guwahati remained an important outpost.[citation needed]

The city was the seat of the Borphukan, the civil military authority of the Lower Assam region appointed by the Ahom kings. The Borphukan's residence was in the present Fancy Bazaar area, and his council-hall, called Dopdar, was about 300 yards (270 m) to the west of the Bharalu stream. The Majindar Baruah, the personal secretary of the Borphukan, had his residence in the present-day deputy commissioner's residence.[15]

The Mughals invaded Assam seventeen times, and they were defeated by the Ahoms in Battle of Itakhuli and Battle of Saraighat. During the Battle of Saraighat, fought in Saraighat in 1671, the Mughals were overrun due to the strong leadership and hard work of Lachit Borphukan. There was an ancient boat yard in Brahmaputra, probably used by the Ahoms in medieval times.[citation needed] Medieval constructions include temples, ramparts, etc. in the city.[16][17]

Modern Era[edit]

The city experienced a brief period of Burmese rule during the Burmese invasions of Assam from 1817 to 1826. After the First Anglo-Burmese War, the city became a part of the British Indian Empire Vide Yandabo Teaty on 24th Feb 1826. Later, the city was an active site of the Indian Independence Movement, being the birthplace of many independence activists.[who?][citation needed][18] After independence, the city became the capital of the state of Assam.[when?]

Panoramic view of Guwahati City

Climate[edit]

Guwahati has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cwa), falling just short of a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw).

Climate data for Guwahati
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 28.8
(83.8)
32.2
(90)
38.4
(101.1)
39.0
(102.2)
37.0
(98.6)
38.3
(100.9)
36.5
(97.7)
36.2
(97.2)
35.8
(96.4)
34.3
(93.7)
31.0
(87.8)
28.1
(82.6)
39
(102.2)
Average high °C (°F) 23.6
(74.5)
26.0
(78.8)
29.9
(85.8)
30.7
(87.3)
31.0
(87.8)
31.9
(89.4)
31.7
(89.1)
32.1
(89.8)
31.4
(88.5)
30.2
(86.4)
27.5
(81.5)
24.4
(75.9)
29.2
(84.57)
Daily mean °C (°F) 17.1
(62.8)
19.0
(66.2)
22.9
(73.2)
25.3
(77.5)
26.7
(80.1)
28.4
(83.1)
28.5
(83.3)
28.8
(83.8)
27.9
(82.2)
26.0
(78.8)
22.2
(72)
18.1
(64.6)
24.24
(75.63)
Average low °C (°F) 10.3
(50.5)
11.9
(53.4)
15.7
(60.3)
19.9
(67.8)
22.4
(72.3)
24.8
(76.6)
25.3
(77.5)
25.4
(77.7)
24.4
(75.9)
21.9
(71.4)
16.8
(62.2)
11.8
(53.2)
19.22
(66.57)
Record low °C (°F) 4.7
(40.5)
5.1
(41.2)
8.3
(46.9)
13.0
(55.4)
16.2
(61.2)
20.4
(68.7)
21.4
(70.5)
22.1
(71.8)
19.7
(67.5)
13.6
(56.5)
10.3
(50.5)
6.0
(42.8)
4.7
(40.5)
Rainfall mm (inches) 11.9
(0.469)
18.3
(0.72)
55.8
(2.197)
147.9
(5.823)
244.2
(9.614)
316.4
(12.457)
345.4
(13.598)
264.3
(10.406)
185.9
(7.319)
91.2
(3.591)
18.7
(0.736)
7.1
(0.28)
1,717.7
(67.626)
Avg. rainy days 1.8 2.9 5.8 13.1 17.0 19.6 22.3 18.5 15.2 7.4 2.8 1.3 127.7
 % humidity 79 65 57 68 75 81 83 82 83 82 82 82 76.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 226.3 214.7 220.1 201.0 192.2 132.0 124.0 161.2 138.0 204.6 231.0 232.5 2,277.6
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization.,[19] NOAA (extremes & humidity, 1971-1990) [20]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory.[21]

The lowest temperature ever recorded was 5.4 °C on 7 January 1983.

Urban morphology[edit]

Guwahati's urban morphology

Guwahati's 'urban form' radiates from a central core with growth corridors radiating and extending towards the south, east and west. During the past few decades, southern Guwahati areas such as Ganeshguri, Beltola, Panjabari, Jatia, Kahilipara, etc., began forming a southern sub-center surrounding the capital complex at Dispur.

The core area[22] consists of the old city with Pan Bazaar, Paltan Bazaar, Fancy Bazaar and Uzan Bazaar, with each area facilitating unique urban activities. While Paltan Bazaar is the hub for transportation and hotels, Pan Bazaar is centered around education, administrative, cultural activities, offices and restaurants. Fancy Bazaar is the hub for retail and wholesale commercial activities in the city, and Uzan Bazaar mainly contains administrative, retail and residential areas. Ulubari, Lachit Nagar, Chandmari and Zoo Road (R.G. Baruah Road), which have a mix of retail-commercial and residential areas, can also be considered additional parts of the core.

The most important corridor is along the Guwahati-Shillong (GS) Road towards the south (almost 15 km from the city-center). The GS Road is an important commercial area with retail, wholesale and offices developed along the main road; it is a densely built residential area in the inner parts. The capital complex of Assam at Dispur is in this corridor. This corridor has facilitated the growth of a southern city sub-center at Ganeshguri, along with other residential areas to the south developed during the past few decades.

The corridor extending towards the west (around 30 km from the city-center) contains a railroad linking Guwahati and other parts of the North Eastern Region east of Guwahati to rest of western Assam and India. The corridor links residential and historically important areas such as Nilachal Hill (Kamakhya), Pandu, and Maligaon (headquarters of Northeast Frontier Railways) before it separates into two: one towards North Guwahati and the other continuing west towards Guwahati Airport via the University of Gauhati (Jalukbari). There are many river ports/jetties along this corridor.

Rush Hour at Guwahati Club

The third major corridor extends towards the east (around 15 km from the city-center) linking Noonmati (Guwahati Oil Refinery - IOC Ltd.) and Narengi, and has facilitated residential growth along it.

Highway NH 37, which encircles the city's southern parts and links the southern corridor in Noumile to the western corridor in Jalukbari is currently supporting rapid development. Similarly, the VIP Road linking Zoo Road with the eastern corridor and recently completed Hengerabari-Narengi Road are also supporting massive residential development to the east.

In brief, the major components of Guwahati's urban structure are:

  • The core or the 'city center' with Pan Bazaar, Paltan Bazaar, Fancy Bazaar and Uzan Bazaar
  • The extended core with Chandmari, Zoo Road, Noonmati and Ulubari
  • The north-southeast Guwahati-Shillong (GS) Road Corridor
  • The southern sub-center of Ganeshguri
  • The western corridor towards Kamakhya, Jalukbari and LGBI Airport and
  • The eastern corridor towards Noonmati and Narengi

The city is having notable changes in its morphology with rapid expansion. The Khanapara road is being converted into four lanes and it will be extended up to a Changsari in the near future. Projects are undertaken on the outskirts like the water park in Rani, which has brought those far-flung areas under city reach by visit by tourists. The road towards the airport from Jalukbari is also being converted into a four-lane road. Two five star hotels are on the verge of being set up, raising hopes that by a decade or so, the city will be twice its size now.[citation needed]

Governance[edit]

Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) is the local body responsible for governing, developing and managing the city. GMC is further divided into 60 municipal wards.[23] Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is an agency responsible for planning and development of the greater Guwahati Metropolitan Area, which is revising the Guwahati Master Plan and Building Bylaws. Guwahati Development Department, a special department of the Government of Assam, has been recently formed for Guwahati's overall development.

Guwahati consists of four assembly constituencies: Jalukbari, Dispur, Gauhati East and Gauhati West,[24] all of which are part of Gauhati (Lok Sabha constituency).[25]

Demographics[edit]

Religions in Guwahati
Religion Percent
Hindus
  
80%
Muslims
  
13%
Christians
  
5%
Others†
  
2%
Distribution of religions
Includes Sikhs (0.2%), Buddhists (<0.2%).

Guwahati is one of the most rapidly growing cities in India. The city's population grew from just 200,000 in 1971 to more than 500,000 in 1991. In the census of 2001 the city's population was found to be 808,021. By 2012, it is estimated that Guwahati will boast more than 1.6 million residents.[citation needed]

In 2001, males constituted 55 percent and females at 45 percent of Guwahati's residents. It was found that 10 percent of the population is under 6 years of age. Guwahati has an average literacy rate of 78 percent, with male literacy at 81 and female literacy at 74 percent. The Major religion followed is Hinduism.[citation needed]

Economy[edit]

The gross domestic product of Guwahati metro was estimated at $1 billion in 2010. As a river port, Guwahati has traditionally been an important administrative and trading center. Separate income estimates are not yet available as city-level income estimation is not a traditional practice in India, and is not practiced in a systematic and continual manner. However, by looking at the agglomeration of activities and employment patterns it can be inferred that the city contributes a large share of the state's income.

The major economic activities are trade and commerce, transportation and services. Guwahati is the most important trade hub in the North Eastern Region. It is a major wholesale distribution center, a marketing hub, and also a retail hub of the region. The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre is one of the largest and busiest tea trading centres in the world, where the major commodity under the hammer is Assam tea. The Tea Auction Centre has emerged as the second largest CTC tea auction market in the world and second largest overall next only to Colombo auction centre in Sri Lanka. As in other cities, 'mall culture' is now seen in Guwahati. Manufacturing is an important activity, although it is not comparable to those of India's rapidly growing industrial cities. The most important manufacturing industry in the city is the petroleum refinery of IOCL at Noonmati, which is known as Guwahati Refinery. The city contains the headquarters or regional offices of several manufacturing and business establishments, e.g., Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL). Bamunimaidam and Kalapahar are two major industrial estate of Guwahati. Guwahati is important for printing and publishing, as well as businesses related to electronic and print media. During the past two decades, businesses such as real estate development and finance have intensified. Retail and real estate have emerged as big players. Recent times have seen large scale retail chains such as Big Bazaar, Westside, Pantaloons, Salasar Mega Store, Hidesign, Wills Lifestyle, Blackberry, Van Heusan, Skipper, Mochi and Levi Strauss & Co. opening outlets in the city. Guwahati is home to the Guwahati Stock Exchange (GSE). The public financial institution North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) is also based in Guwahati. For the promotion of trade and industry of Assam there is a trade centre named Maniram Dewan Trade Centre at the Betkuchi area of the city.

Tourism and recreation, education, research, cultural activities, real estate, etc. are slowly increasing and contributing to the city's economic growth.

Infrastructure[edit]

GS Road, the main commercial hub of Guwahati at night

Although being a medium sized city, ranking around 50th (in terms of population) in India, the city's quality of life is comparatively higher. A 2006 survey by a popular Indian magazine - Outlook (Money) ranked Guwahati 16th among all the major and medium sized Indian cities.

The city provides residential and working environments with beautiful landscapes, pleasant climate, modern shopping areas, modern apartments and bungalows, and good social infrastructure. Yet infrastructure in the city still requires extensive attention, to improve the city's reputation, investment environment, and overall growth pattern. Major investments in infrastructure are being planned in the city, covering many aspects of the utilities and transportation infrastructures, with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).[citation needed] Guwahati is to also receive substantial city development funds from JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) - the Government of India's recently conceived commission for urban development, and a development plan for the city has been finalized.

Transport[edit]

Inside the LGB International Airport

Air[edit]

Guwahati is serviced by the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport at Borjhar, about 20 km west of the center of the city. Air connectivity has improved in the last couple of years with all major domestic airlines flying into Guwahati.[26] Helicopter services are operated from Guwahati to Shillong (30 min), Tura (50 min), Naharlagun (Itanagar), Tawang (75 min) by Pawan Hans. The Helicopter services have been scrapped after the death of the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh.[clarification needed] Guwahati airport averages about 95-100 arrivals and departures a day. Guwahati is serviced with direct flights to Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad and other major cities in India by different airlines. Druk Air connects Guwahati internationally to Bangkok and Paro twice a week. A modernization plan is underway at Guwahati airport and once completed, the AAI plans to make Guwahati a hub of air connectivity. Northeast Shuttles(P) Ltd. has started daily flights in their 18 seater Dornier 228 and 9 seater Cessna 208 aircraft from Guwahati airport connecting Silchar, Imphal, Aizawl and Dimapur.

Rail[edit]

Guwahati Railway station

Guwahati falls under the Northeast Frontier Railway zone of the Indian Railways. Guwahati Junction which is a major station of Guwahati provides railway services to the entire India. Two other stations are Kamakhya Junction and New Guwahati (for freight services) located towards west and east from Guwahati respectively. Kamakhya Junction is the second largest station of the city and also the headquarter of North-East Frontier railway zone. Guwahati is well connected by express trains to major cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Jaipur, Trivandrum, Visakhapatnam, Ranchi, Patna, Puri, Jammu etc. Major trains serving Guwahati are Guwahati Rajdhani Express, Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express, Saraighat Express, North-East Express, Guwahati Bangalore Express, Guwahati Egmore Express, Guwahati Ernakulam Express, Kamrup Express, Kanchanjunga Express, Guwahati-Jorhat and Jan Shatabdi Express.

The city lacks direct rail connectivity to Bhopal Junction, Indore Junction BG, Gwalior, Pune and many central and western cities of India.

Road[edit]

From the footbridge of Bharalumukh

National Highway 31 connects Guwahati with the states Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. National Highway 37 from Goalpara in Assam to Dimapur in Nagaland traverses the entire length of Assam and connects Guwahati with almost all the major cities of Assam including the cities of Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Bongaigaon.

Guwahati is very well connected with adjoining regions via bus services. Three nodal points, Adabari, Paltan Bazar and ISBT Guwahati, provide bus services to towns and cities in Assam and adjoining states. Some of these services are run by the government agency ASTC, and the majority of them are run by private companies. "Night supers", or buses that run overnight, and luxury coaches, are very popular.

The Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) located at the outskirts, provides connectivity with other regions of the Northeast with regular buses for major cities and tourist destinations of the neighbouring states.

Citizens from Myanmar can come in through the border post of Tamu-Moreh and take a connecting flight from Imphal to the city. There are also regular Bus services from Imphal to the city. Similarly, citizens from Bhutan and Bangladesh can come through border posts and take the bus services to the city.

Waterways[edit]

Guwahati, being on the bank of Brahmaputra River, is connected to National Waterways No 2, with a terminal at Pandu. It is used for movement of bulk & general cargo, passenger vessels and tourist vessels. Several passenger ferry services are also operated by the state Inland Water Transport department for transportation of passengers across the river Brahmaputra.

Local transport[edit]

Lack of sufficient road space is a major problem. The length of surfaced road within the city is presently at 218 km (ARSAC). The major corridor roads suffer from insufficient right of way, illegal construction methods, and improper planning and design. The roads in the residential neighborhoods are extremely narrow causing problems related to both traffic and infrastructure installations. Cul-de-sacs are neither planned nor designed properly.

Guwahati has a good public transit system. The government agency - Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) and many private operators provide a good city-bus system. It requires further modernization and integration with city planning and management initiatives. Guwahati is the first city in the North-east where low-floored buses were introduced.

A metro rail project has also been planned to relieve the chaotic traffic conditions on the streets.[27][28]

Apart from city buses, trekker services, which are soft-top multi-utility vehicles with a sitting capacity of 10-12, provide public transport facilities along major roads in the city. They are popular for fast travel, although these vehicles are usually overloaded with passengers and tend to go very fast causing frequent accidents. Rickshaws are also available from all major places and serves only around the city or sometimes between localities.

Three-wheeler auto rickshaws are available on metered fare basis.[29] There is no mass rapid transit system in Guwahati, although the authorities are planning for the same in future.

Taxis[edit]

There are good options of Private Metered Radio Cabs available in Guwahati.

Ropeway[edit]

A ropeway is being constructed connecting Guwahati city with North-Guwahati over Brahmaputra River. Its purpose is local travel as well as tourism.

Major Problems[edit]

Artificial Flood[edit]

Artificial flood has always been a significant predicament of Guwahati. The underlying causes of this seasonal problem are careless human activities like disposal of refuse in Bharalu river, including indiscriminate habitation alongside it, unsystematic invasion of the hilly stretches etc., which are outcomes of over-population in the city. Even after a brief drizzle, many places of the city are swamped by water causing immense hardships to the commuters and residents of those areas. Flood water deluges the residencies of places inundated by rain, bringing an acute obstruction to the day-to-day life of the people. A further problem of the city is its defective drainage system.[citation needed]

Education and health facilities[edit]

Cotton College buildings
IIT Guwahati Panorama View
AEC: Assam Engineering College
NETES Institute of Technology & Science Mirza

The city is home to Gauhati University in Jalukbari. Gauhati University was the first university in Assam to be set up in 1948. It was also the first premier educational institute to be set up in the North-East India. Gauhati University was recently ranked among the top 26 universities of India according to a survey by India Today.

The century-old Cotton College is one of the most reputed colleges in eastern India and possesses great scholastic and cultural value. The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati is the sixth member of IITs in India. Since its establishment in 1994, IIT Guwahati has proven itself as an institution for research and education. The Assam Engineering College and the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital which include Regional Dental College and Regional College of Nursing are two important institutions for science and technology and medical education. The institute for Pharmaceutical Education and Research, under the mentorship of GMCH, started functioning from September 2008.[30] National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam which is one of the fourteen National Law Universities of India was established in 2010 and is in the field of legal education in North East India.[31]

Among the city's many other institutions of higher learning are the Gauhati Commerce College, College of Veterinary Science under AAU, Government Ayurvedic College, Arya Vidyapeeth College, B. Borooah College, Handique Girls College (they all have both Arts and Science streams), Assam Engineering Institute (engineering diploma courses), Icon Academy (they all have both Arts,Commerce in Bachelor's Degree and Science in H.S level), Pandu College, LCB College, West Guwahati Commerce College, K.C. Das Commerce College, J.B. Law College, Dispur College, Swadeshi College of Commerce, NEF Law College and Pragjyotish College. The Guwahati campus of TISS was also established here in 2010.

Guwahati has branches of professional courses like the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI). Apart from those, Assam Institute of Management, North Eastern Regional Institute of Management (NERIM), Royal Group of Institutions, Asian Institute of Management and Technology, Darwin School of Business, Girijananda Chowdhury Institute of Management and Technology, Azara, NETES Institute of Technology and Science Mirza, Institute of Strategic Business Management (ISBM), Guwahati Institute of Technoloy (GIT), NEF College of Management & Technology, Hindustan College and Central IT College are notable institutes of higher education. The city has Don Bosco University, the first state-approved private university in Assam and North East India at Azara, outskirts of the city . The Kamrup College of Vocational Training provides education and training on vocational and professional management courses. It is home to many good schools like Asom Jatiya Vidyalaya, Sanskriti The Gurukul(First Day-Boarding School in North-East) located at Gorchuk, Gurukul Grammar, Little Flower School, South Point School, DPS Guwahati, Don Bosco School, Holy Child School, Maharshi Vidya Mandir, Royal Global School,Kendriya Vidyalayas and Miles Bronson Residential School.

Guwahati is an important center for health facilities in eastern India, featuring many government and private specialty hospitals and health research centres. The most important are the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital, Dispur Hospital, Guwahati Neurological Research Centre (GNRC), Down Town Hospital, International Hospital, Dr. B. Borooah Cancer Institute, Hayat Hospital, Monjoven Hair Transplant & Cosmetic Surgery Clinic and Sankardev Netralaya.

Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR) Monitoring Centre has been established at Pharmacology Department of Gauhati Medical College in October 2010 under the aegis of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,Government of India. This is a 1st ADR Monitoring Centre in Northeast India. This centre is reporting ADR to Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission and then ADRs are forwarded to Uppsala Monitoring Centre, Sweden.

National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) - Guwahati is the fifth institute to be included in the list of the premium institutes under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India. NIPER-Guwahati started functioning from the month of September, 2008. The institute was inaugurated by the Honorable Union Minister for Fertilizers and Chemicals and Steel, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan on 16 September 2008 in the presence of several distinguished persons, like the Honorable Chief Minister Shri Tarun Gogoi, Honorable Union Minister of State for Chemicals Shri Bijoy Krishna Handique, Honorable Health Minister of Assam Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma, Honorable Union Secretary for Pharmaceuticals Shri Ashok Kumar and Principal of GMCH DR. M.M. Deka, among others.

Sports[edit]

Rongmon Statue at Sarusajai Stadium

Guwahati features the multi purpose Nehru Stadium, hosts mainly cricket and football; while the Kanaklata Indoor Stadium in the R.G. Baruah Sports Complex (in the Ulubari locality) is older sports complex of the city. There are smaller stadiums in Maligaon (the N.F. Railway Stadium) and in Paltan Bazaar area where the Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex is located.

The sporting infrastructures specially constructed for the 33rd National Games in 2007 include a large stadium at Sarusajai—the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, the Dr. Zakir Hussain Aquatic Complex, and the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi A.C. Indoor Hall. Other new sports structures include the Maulana Md. Tayabullah Hockey Stadium at Bhetapara, the Deshbhakta Tarun Ram Phookan Indoor Stadium at Ulubari, Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium at Amingaon, Chachal Tennis Complex and Tepesia Sports Complex. The other renovated sports complexes include Ganesh Mandir Indoor Stadium, Khanapara, Rudra Singha Sports Complex, Dispur and Gauhati University sports stadium.

Guwahati is home to the Indian Super League club NorthEast United FC. The city hosts the very prestigious football tournament Bordoloi Trophy organized by Assam Football Association every year. Club like GTC: Gauhati Town Club, a very old and prestigious club of the state at Pan Bazar provides good sports facilities. The club has a football academy, cricket centre, chess foundation and a swimming centre where the prime thrust is given to groom the young and budding talents of the region.

Barsapara Cricket Stadium, a new cricket stadium is also in the offing at the suburbs of Guwahati,located in Barsapara. The stadium is being constructed by the Assam Cricket Association (ACA). Construction began in 2007 and is expected to be complete by 2013.With a seating capacity of 60,000 people and world class infrastructure it is pipped to be the 2nd home ground for Kolkata Knight Riders from the 2014 IPL season.

Moreover, along with the Brahmaputra river, there are many lakes and rocky hills in the city suitable for water and adventure sports.

City based clubs
Club Sport League Stadium
NorthEast United FC Football ISL Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium,Sarusajai
Green Valley F.C. Football I-League 2nd Division Nehru Stadium

Media[edit]

The popular Assamese daily newspapers published from the city are Dainik Agradoot, Asomiya Pratidin, Asomiya Khobor, Amar Asom, Dainik Janambhumi, Janasadharan, Niyamiya Barta, Dainik Asam, Ajir Asom and Gana Adhikar. English dailies are The Assam Tribune, The Sentinel, The Telegraph, The Times of India and Eastern Chronicle.

Doordarshan Kendra Guwahati provides composite satellite television services to north east region. The Guwahati based 24 hour regional news channels include Focus NE, News Live, DY 365, Frontier TV, News Time Assam, Prag, The Assam News Network (ANN), AN Television and News Network.

In FM Radio, All India Radio, 92.7 BIG FM, Radio Gup-Shup 94.3 FM, and Red FM 93.5 are FM stations of the city. Telecom services are BSNL, Aircel, Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Mobile and Idea Cellular.

Places of interest[edit]

Dona Planet
Spanish Garden
Shine Towers

Shopping centres[edit]

The city has several shopping malls:[32]

  • Shine Towers[33]
  • Eastrends
  • The HUB
  • Ohio Shopping
  • Fort mall
  • Sohum Shoppe
  • Sohum Emporia
  • The Cube
  • Dona Planet
  • Westside
  • Pantaloons
  • Spanish Garden
  • Dihang Arcade
  • Big Bazaar
  • Metro Bazar
  • Vishal Megamart
  • Reliance Trendz
  • Megha Plaza
  • Anil Plaza
  • Shoppers Point
  • Fashion at Big Bazaar (FBB)
  • Anmol Bazar
  • Daily Bazar

Multiplexes[edit]

The city has several multiplexes including:

  • Gold Cinemas (Paltan Bazar: 2 screen, Lakhtokia: 2 screen & Narengi)
  • Fun Cinemas (2 Screen)
  • Anuradha Cineplex

Notable places in Guwahati[edit]

  • Pan Bazaar: (Pron: pʌn bəˌzɑ:) A lively part of the city center on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra. Cotton College, Digholy Pukhury (Dighalipukhuri), The State Museum, RBI, District Court (Kamrup District), etc. are all major landmarks. Moreover, the area also possesses many libraries, major government offices, and a shopping district. Restaurants and bookshops in the area provide a unique environment. It also contains a major wholesale market for drugs and pharmaceutical products, and a hub for printing and publication. Close to Digholy Pukhury, there are many stores with traditional arts and crafts from Assam and other parts of the NER. Kachari Ghat, next to the district court is an important local river port. It is also known for its sports market.
  • Fancy Bazaar: (Pron: ˈfænsi bəˌzɑ:) In the western part of the city-center is a busy commercial district for wholesale and retail. Originally called Fansi Bazaar after the district jail that executed criminals/freedom fighters by British by hanging (fansi, in the local language), the name has slowly transformed to Fancy Bazaar to denote the retail stores for clothes and garments. The place is also the hub for wholesale products ranging from food and beverages, garments, to hardware and building materials.
  • Paltan Bazaar: (Pron: ˈpʌltən bəˌzɑ:) In the central part of the city-center is the hub for transportation and hotels. With Guwahati railway station, the regional bus stand (ASTC), numerous hotels, restaurants and offices and stops of numerous private regional bus service providers, this area is the busiest and most congested. There are many small shops selling traditional garments from parts of the NER. After the start of operations at ISBT for Intra and Inter state bus service, bus services from Paltan Bazaar have been prohibited by authorities to ease traffic congestion in the area. Now the ASTC Bus stand and various private bus operators only run shuttle services from Paltan Bazar to ISBT.
  • Ganeshguri: (Pron: gəˈneɪʃˌgʊri) A developed commercial area in the south, outside of the city-center. Its proximity to the state capital complex and rapidly growing southern residential areas have made it an important city sub-center. Ganeshguri is a busy part of the city with retail shopping areas, hotels and restaurants, and small businesses. It is named after the popular Ganesh Mandir situated in the area.
  • Hatigaon: A developed commercial cum residential area outside of the city-center. Its proximity to the state capital complex and rapidly growing southern residential areas have made it an important city sub-center. Hatigaon is a busy part of the city with retail shopping areas, hotels and restaurants, and small businesses.[34]
  • Beltola Bazaar: (Pron: ˌbelˈtəʊlə bəˌzɑ:) A traditional weekly fruits and vegetables market with historic importance. The market is an important traditional trading point between the people from the Khasi hills (Meghalaya) and local people. It is a rich market with local food products. It is in Beltola, a predominantly residential area in the south.
  • G S Road: A long stretch of road between Ganeshguri and Paltan Bazaar, G S Road has emerged as the new commercial hub of Guwahati. It is considered that it may displace Fancy Bazaar and Pan Bazaar as the major shopping centers in the years to come. It is now also one of the most important and expensive pieces of property in Guwahati, containing some of the most commercially important buildings.
  • Guwahati War Cemetery: A World War II war cemetery, maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission[35] This is the one cemetery among the nine cemeteries in India which has war graves of Japanese soldiers. The cemetery has 521 graves, including 316 known and 18 unknown graves of soldiers from the United Kingdom, 136 known and seven unknown Indian soldiers, four from Canada, four from South Africa, one from New Zealand, two graves of soldiers whose nationality is unknown, 11 graves of Japanese soldiers and 24 graves of Chinese Army soldiers.[36]
  • Noonmati A place located near Chandmari and is a suburb of Guwahati and also home to the Guwahati's first oil refinery commissioned by then by the Indian Oil Corporation Limited on 1 January 1962. It has many temples, of which three are famous; one of them is the Sai Baba Mandir near the Noonmati over-bridge which is located on top of a hill and has scenic beauty. The second one is known as Ganesh Mandir devoted to Hindu Gods & Goddess it is located on Ganesh Mandir Path and is decorated with white marbles among lush green trees in a residential area called New Guwahati. The third temple is known as Hanuman Mandir and is devoted to Hindu God Lord Hanuman(The monkey God who helped Lord Ram to fight against the evil king of Lanka "Ravana")and is located on the main Maniram Dewan Road near FCI(Food Corporation of India), Guwahati. The other places of interest are the Refinery Sectors which are constructed with recreational centers. "Sneh Bandhan" in New Guwahati was the former residence of Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma which is now converted to Children's Activity Center and has a library, a movie hall, a game parlour, an outdoor park with a garden, a computer lab with a teacher, music classes, dance classes, singing classes and an iBerry interactive board with tuition classes for all age-groups. Another, beautiful place is Kharguli, a 15 minute drive from New Guwahati from where the Brahmaputra River in its full flow can be viewed and is also famous for picnic spots along the banks of the river.
  • A T Road: Assam Trunk Road, popularly known as A T Road, is the commercial hub of the North-Eastern India located in the heart of the city and contains the big business houses in the city. It is center to all kinds of building materials available in this part of the country. AT Road is closely intertwined to most prominent business areas of Guwahati like Athgaon, Fancy Bazar, Paltan Bazar, Panbazar, Bharalumukh etc. Major Business Houses having offices on this stretch include Hawelia Group - Pintu Udyog (India) Pvt Ltd, Sani Steel, and Himatsingka Group. The area has developed into an overall market for building materials. Major famous landmarks include Hotel Rajmahal, Himatsingka Petrol Pump, Gol Building, Pintu Udyog (India) Pvt Ltd, Hotel Vishwaratna.
  • Kahilipara: A place located to the west of capital, Dispur. Surrounded by localities of Ganeshguri and Lalganesh, it is a residential area. Most educational department offices of state government are located here. The Regional Government Film and Television Institute(formerly Jyoti Citraban Film Studio) is also located here.
  • Hatigarh Chariali: A newly developing area in Guwahati becoming a popular place for residential living where various schools are located such as Faculty School etc. with near by vegetable market.

Key attractions[edit]

  • River Cruise: One of the major attractions of Guwahati is the River Cruise on the Brahmaputra river.[37] On board these luxurious cruise vessels tourists can relax and enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset.
  • Umananda Temple: On the Peacock Island in the middle of the Brahmaputra, this Shiva temple was built in 1664. 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 a great way. The island is believed to be the world's smallest human inhabited island. The world's largest river island is Majuli.
  • Accoland: Accoland family fun kingdom is the north-east's only amusement park named after Acco, the mythological king of amusement. This park is at Patgaon.
  • Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra: Shankardev Khalakshetra's name is synonymous with the Vaishnava saint and scholar of Assam Srimanta Shankardeva. It is a multipurpose cultural complex that has fulfilled its aim in protecting, promoting and preserving the cultural heritage of the communities and tribes of Assam and the country.
  • Guwahati Planetarium: Situated in Uzanbazar this planetarium is the only one of its kind in the North-Eastern region and a center of astronomical research. For visitors, the mysterious aspects of the universe are brought alive by sheer audio-video technique and explained in the dark domed structure inside the planetarium.
  • Assam State Museum: Assam State Museum is situated near Dighalipukhuri. It houses many rare, specimen of the Ahom Dynasty. Many articles of 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.
  • Kamakhya Temple: Kamakhya Temple situated some 5 km 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. Many devotees from across the country gathered here during this mela.
  • Shilpagram: Adjacent to Srimanta Shankardev Kalakshetra, this is the only crafts village of the North East Zone Cultural Center (NEZCC). It had made landmark in the promotion of the varied arts and cultures of the local people. It holds regular cultural events throughout the year in its open air stage and auditorium.
  • Nehru Park: At heart of the city at Panbazar by the side of Cotton College. The highlights of the park are the concrete statues of Bihu dance, Ojapali dance, Deodhani dance, Jhumur dance, Bhoor tal dance etc. There are altogether 45 concrete statues depicting these aspects of Assamese life and culture.
  • NEDFi Haat: NEDFi Haat is at a leased building of Industries & Commerce Department Govt. of Assam. In NEDFi Haat visitors can buy handicraft and handloom products. As well as they can buy varieties of traditional food items produced by the Self Help Groups of the State in the Bihu seasons.
  • Basistha Temple: Basistha Temple[38] is on Sandhyachal Hill, on the southern part of the city; this beautiful tourist spot was once the ashram (hermitage) of sage Basistha.
  • Sukreswar Temple: Sukreswar Temple is an ancient Shiva temple built by Ahom king Pramatta Singha on Dakini Jogini hill by the side of river Brahmaputra.
  • Navagraha Temple: Navagraha temple or temple of nine planets is situated on Chitrachal Hill to the east. 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 is 3 km from the railway station is a center of Astrological and Astronomical research. It was for this temple Guwahati was named Pragjyotishpura.[39]
  • Dighalipukhuri: Situated at the heart of the city at Uzanbazar and surrounded by the High Court on the north and the State Museum and District Library on the south. This is a huge man-made tank. It was excavated by King Bhagadatta to celebrate the 'swayambar' of his daughter Bhanumati who was married to Kourava prince Druyadhana. There is a boating club on the Dighalipukhuri.
  • Ugro Tara Temple: At the heart of the city banks of Joarpukhuri (twin ponds). The Ugro Tara Temple is another shakti peeth temple where the eyes of sati were believed to have fallen.
  • Balaji Temple, Guwahati: This temple is a recent addition to the religious places of Guwahati. It is situated at Betkuchi area of the city. Balaji temple with striking South Indian architecture is unlike the other temples of this place. In the evening the temple is illuminated by electric lights.

Other attractions in and around the city[edit]

A Schematic Map of the city of Guwahati showing important roads and places of interest
A sculpture of some martyrs from Assam, at Bharalumukh
A view of Peacock Island, the smallest river island of the world, The Umananda temple is situated in this island
A dusk view of Guwahati, with Nehru Stadium (lit up)

See also[edit]

Notable People[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raatan, T, History, religion and culture of north east India, p. 71 
  2. ^ Web.com(india) Pvt. Ltd. "Deputy Commissioner & Superintendent of Police". Assamgovt.nic.in. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  3. ^ Barthakur, Pulin Behari, Assam 
  4. ^ Gait 1906, pp. 14–15.
  5. ^ "History". Government of Assam. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Kishore, Sharma, Dr. B.R., Dr. Shiv, India - A Travel Guide 
  7. ^ North East India History Association, Proceedings of North East India History Association 
  8. ^ "City Development Plan Guwahati" (PDF). Assam. Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Retrieved July 2006. 
  9. ^ Choudhury, A.U. (2002). Big cats, elephant, rhino and gaur in Guwahati. The Rhino Found. NE India Newsletter 4:16-19.
  10. ^ Choudhury, A.U. (2003). Guwahati: the city of Adjutants and other endangered birds. The Rhino Found. NE India Newsletter 5:14-17.
  11. ^ (Gait 1906:13–15)
  12. ^ "The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Guwahati | Fresh excavation at Ambari from Jan". Telegraphindia.com. 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  13. ^ Ajit Patowary (26 February 2009). "Ambari excavation may reveal city’s past". The Assam Tribune. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  14. ^ (Gait 1906:23)
  15. ^ Baruah 1993, pp. 200–201.
  16. ^ Reporter, Staff (11 May 2009). "Ambari excavation site reveals age of Guwahati". The Assam Tribune (Guwahati). Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  17. ^ Saikh Md Sabah Al-Ahmed. "The Tales of Ponds". The Assam Tribune (Guwahati). Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "Freedom Struggle in Assam". pib.nic.in. Press Information Bureau, Government of India. Retrieved 2014-05-25. 
  19. ^ World Weather Information Service-Guwahati, World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  20. ^ "Guwahati Climate Normals 1971-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  21. ^ Climatological Information for Guwahati, India, Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  22. ^ TI Trade. "Assam Tribune online". Assamtribune.com. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  23. ^ "Map of Municipal Wards of Guwahati". Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  24. ^ "Map of Assembly constituencies, Assam". Maps of India. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  25. ^ "List of Parliamentary & Assembly Constituencies" (PDF). Assam. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 2008-10-05. 
  26. ^ "Transportation to Guwahati". The Indian Backpacker. 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  27. ^ "Guwahati to get metro rail and feeder Bus Rapid Transit System - The Economic Times". Economictimes.indiatimes.com. 2013-01-11. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  28. ^ Johnson, Marc (2013-01-22). "Assam Government discusses Guwahati metro proposal - Rail News from". rail.co. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  29. ^ MustSeeIndia.com. "GUWAHATI Travel Guide, Tourist places, Guwahati Hotels, Guwahati Tourism". Mustseeindia.com. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  30. ^ http://www.niperguwahati.org/
  31. ^ http://www.nluassam.ac.in
  32. ^ "Major SHOPPING MALLS of Guwahati(Assam) - Assam". Assamspider.com. 2010-07-18. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  33. ^ "Shine Realtors Private Limited". Shinerealtors.com. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  34. ^ intelo solution
  35. ^ Hewson, Eileen (2007). Guwahati War Cemetery Assam India, ISBN 978-1-906276-05-8
  36. ^ The Hindu 19 January 2012 Article Graves of Japanese martyrs of WWII dug up
  37. ^ Dhamini Ratnam (10 Jun 2012). "Art hub that floats on the Brahmaputra". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 June 2012. 
  38. ^ Reporter, Staff (30 May 2011). "Scheme for Basistha temple facelift". The Assam Tribune. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  39. ^ Bhatt, Bhargava, S.C, Gopal, Land and People of Indian States and Union Territories, p. 256 
  40. ^ "News About Shine Realtors". Shinerealtors.com. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
Bibliography

External links[edit]