Pragjyotishpura (Ancient), Gauhati (Modern)
|Nickname(s): Gateway To Northeast India, City Of Temples, Light Of The East|
|District||Kamrup Metropolitan district|
|• Body||Guwahati Municipal Corporation|
|• Mayor||Abir Patra
(Indian National Congress)
|• Deputy Commissioner||Dr. M Angamuthu, IAS|
|• Police Commissioner||Mukesh Agrawal, IPS|
|• Metropolis||216 km2 (83 sq mi)|
|• Metro||1,528 km2 (590 sq mi)|
|Elevation||55.5 m (182.1 ft)|
|• Density||4,400/km2 (12,000/sq mi)|
|• Official||Assamese, English|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||+91 - (0) 361 - XX XX XXX|
|Vehicle registration||AS-01 (Kamrup Metro) / AS-25 (Kamrup Rural and Dispur)|
|Planning agency||Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority|
The ancient cities of Pragjyotishpura and Durjaya (North Guwahati) were the capitals of the ancient state of Kamarupa under the Varman and Pala dynasties. Many ancient Hindu temples are in the city, giving it the name "City Of Temples". Dispur, the capital of Assam, is in the circuit city region located within Guwahati and is the seat of the Government of Assam.
Guwahati 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 (GMC), the city's local government, administers an area of 216 square kilometres (83 sq mi), while the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is the planning and development body of greater Guwahati Metropolitan Area. With an area of 1,528 square kilometres (590 sq mi), Guwahati is the second-largest metropolitan region in eastern India, after Kolkata.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Geography
- 3 History
- 4 Urban morphology
- 5 Administration & Governance
- 6 Police
- 7 Judiciary
- 8 Infrastructure
- 9 Demographics
- 10 Culture, Arts & Entertainment
- 11 Cuisine
- 12 Economy
- 13 Education & Health facilities
- 14 Transport
- 15 Tourism
- 16 Sports
- 17 Media & telecommunications
- 18 Growth issues
- 19 Notable people
- 20 See also
- 21 References
- 22 External links
Lying between the Brahmaputra river and the Shillong Plateau, Guwahati straddles the valley of the river Bharalu which is a small tributary of the Brahmaputra. The city is surrounded by hills, except where the Bharalu discharges into the Brahmaputra. To its west lies the Nilachal Hill on the southern banks of the Brahmaputra, to the north is the Chitrachal Hill and to the south lies the Narakasur Hill. Overall, a total of 18 hills exist in and around the city, thus providing a unique landscape. To the south-west of the city lies Dipor Bil, also spelt Deepor Beel, a permanent freshwater lake with no prominent inflows apart from monsoon run-off from the hills that lie to the south of the lake. The lake drains into the Brahmaputra, 5 km (3.1 mi) to the north, and acts as a natural stormwater reservoir for the city.
Guwahati has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cwa), falling just short of a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw). The average annual temperature is 24.2 °C with extremes ranging from 40.6 °C recorded on April 24, 2014 to 3.0 °C recorded in January, 1964.
|Climate data for Guwahati (Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport) 1971–1990|
|Record high °C (°F)||29.6
|Average high °C (°F)||23.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||17.1
|Average low °C (°F)||10.5
|Record low °C (°F)||3.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||8
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||1.4||2.8||5.2||12.5||15.1||16.6||20.0||15.4||13.3||5.9||2.2||0.9||111.3|
|Average relative humidity (%)||79||65||57||68||75||81||83||82||83||82||82||82||77|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||225.5||213.8||220.1||200.6||191.1||133.1||123.7||161.6||139.0||205.8||230.9||231.7||2,276.9|
|Source #1: NOAA|
|Source #2: India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to 2010)|
Guwahati's myths and history go back several thousands of years. Although the exact date of the city's beginning is unknown, references in the epics, Puranas, and other traditional histories of India, lead many to assume that it is one of the ancient cities of Asia. 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. Located within Guwahati is the ancient Shakti 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 Basistha and other archaeological locations of mythological importance.
The Ambari excavations trace the city to the Shunga-Kushana period of Indian history, between the 2nd century BC and the 1st 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 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 or 9.3 mi). It 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 during construction of the present Cotton College's auditorium suggest the city was of economic and strategic importance until the 9th-11th century AD.
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.
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. The great embankment called ‘Mumai-Kota Gorh’, named after an incident in which Lachit had to slay (Kota) his own maternal uncle (Mumai) for being lazy in building the embankment (Gorh) that runs along the outskirts of the city, stands as a proof of the hard work and war-readiness on the part of the Ahoms. There was an ancient boat yard in Dighalipukhuri, probably used by the Ahoms in medieval times. Medieval constructions include temples, ramparts, etc. in the city.
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 Treaty on 24th Feb 1826. Later, the city was an active site of the Indian Independence Movement, being the birthplace of many independence activists such as Tarun Ram Phukan.
Guwahati's 'urban form' radiates from a central core with growth corridors radiating and extending towards the south, east and west. In the past few decades, southern Guwahati areas such as Ganeshguri, Beltola, Hatigaon, Six Mile and Panjabari began forming a southern sub-center surrounding the capital complex at Dispur. The core area 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 hotels and a vital nodal point for transport services, Pan Bazaar is centered on educational, administrative and cultural activities, in addition to offices and restaurants. Fancy Bazaar is the hub for retail and wholesale commercial activities in Northeast India, and Uzan Bazaar mainly contains administrative, retail, dining and residential areas. With these bustling areas, the city core is a busy and lively part of Guwahati. Ulubari, Lachit Nagar, Silpukhuri, Chandmari and Zoo Road (R.G. Baruah Road), which have a mix of retail-commercial and residential areas, can be considered as additional parts of the core.
Among the city corridors, the most important is the corridor formed along the Guwahati-Shillong (GS) Road towards the south (almost 15 km [9.3 mi] from the city-center). The GS Road corridor is an important commercial area with retail, wholesale and commercial offices developed along the main road; it is also a densely built residential area in the inner parts. The capital complex of Assam at Dispur is situated 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 [19 mi] from the city-center) contains a rail-road linking not only Guwahati but also other parts of the northeastern region east of Guwahati to western Assam and the rest of 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 via the Saraighat Bridge and the other continuing west towards LGB International Airport via Gauhati University (Jalukbari). There are also many river ports/jetties along this corridor.
The third major corridor extends towards the east (around 15 km from the city-center) linking Noonmati (Guwahati Refinery) 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.
Guwahati is one among 98 Indian cities which will be upgraded to Smart Cities under a project embarked on by Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. With the grade of a Smart city, Guwahati will have highly up-to-date and radical provisions like regular and continuous electric supply, first-rate traffic and transport system, superior health care and many other prime utilities. Under this scheme, the city will use digital technology that will act as the integral mechanism of the aforesaid facilities and thereby further elevate the lifestyle of the citizens of Guwahati.
Administration & Governance
Dispur, the capital of Assam, lies in Guwahati. The passing of North Eastern (Reorganization Areas) Act in 1971 by the Indian Parliament accorded Meghalaya the status of a full-fledged state. After the creation of Meghalaya as a separate state, Shillong continued to be the joint capital of both Assam and Meghalaya. However, in 1972, the Government of Assam decided to shift the capital to Dispur. Accordingly, the first sitting of the Budget Session of the Assam Legislative Assembly was held at Dispur on 16 March 1973. Dispur houses the Secretariat of Assam Government, the Assam Assembly House, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Regional Office, the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) House and the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC).
Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) is the local body responsible for governing, developing and managing the city. GMC is further divided into 31 municipal wards. Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is an agency responsible for planning and development of the greater Guwahati Metropolitan Area and for revising the Guwahati Master Plan and Building Bylaws to cover an area of 3,214 square kilometres (1,241 sq mi) by 2025. Guwahati Development Department, a special department of the Government of Assam, was formed for Guwahati's overall development.
Guwahati is the headquarters of Assam Police. The city is under the Police Commissionerate of Guwahati headed by the Commissioner of Police, Guwahati. It is divided into three districts: East Police District, Central Police District and West Police District, each headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police. Each police district consists of officers, not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, functioning as executive magistrates within a said metropolitan area.
Guwahati is the principal seat of the Gauhati High Court. It acts as the High Court of Assam and also of Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh with their outlying benches of Kohima, Aizawl and Itanagar respectively. Gauhati High Court came in effect from 5 April 1948. It initially had its sittings at Shillong but was shifted to Gauhati from 14 August 1948.
Guwahati also houses the Court of the District & Sessions Judge, Kamrup established in 1920. It is a lower court of the district judiciary having territorial jurisdiction over the greater Guwahati area only.
The city has a comparatively high quality of life. A 2006 survey ranked Guwahati 17th among all the large and medium-sized Indian cities. The city provides competitive residential and working environments with beautiful landscapes, pleasant climate, modern shopping areas, modern apartments and bungalows, and considerably developed social infrastructure. A centrally funded four-lane, ambitious East-West Corridor will pass through Guwahati and connect all the state capitals of Northeast India. Completion of the project will boost the vital upliftment of the whole region.
The city still needs attention to improve its infrastructure. Funding from the Asian Development Bank is providing assistance to improve Guwahati's transportation infrastructure along with a substantial amount from JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) for its development.
Guwahati is one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city's population grew from just 200,000 in 1971 to more than 500,000 in 1991. In the 2001 census, the city's population was 808,021. By 2012, the population of the rapidly growing metropolitan area had risen to 1.5 million. It is estimated that Guwahati metro will house 2.8 million residents by 2025.
The percentage of child population of Guwahati is 9.40%. The average literacy rate is stated to be 91.47% with male literacy at 94.24% and female literacy at 88.50%. The sex ratio has been recorded to be 933 females per 1000 males and child sex ratio to be 940 girls per 1000 boys.
According to 2011 census, Hinduism is the majority religion in Guwahati with 84.74% followers; followed by Islam with 12.45% followers. Christianity is followed by 0.93%, Jainism by 0.96%, Sikhism by 0.36% and Buddhism by 0.16%.
Culture, Arts & Entertainment
Guwahati is known for its rich cultural heritage and tradition and is the main centre of cultural activities in Assam. The colourful culture of the city can be seen in its art and craft forms, music and dance, fairs and festivals. Dance and music form an integral part of the culture of Guwahati. Bihu dance is the most important folk dance of Assam and is performed during various cultural activities in the city. Sattriya dance is another classical dance form introduced by the Vaishnava saint of Assam Shrimanta Sankardeva. The city hosts different festivals and fairs annually. There are several communities residing in Guwahati and hence many festivals are celebrated throughout the year. Bihu is one of the most important festivals in Guwahati and consists of three types, namely Bohag Bihu, Kati Bihu and Magh Bihu, celebrated in different times of the year. Other important festivals include Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Kali Puja (Diwali), Vishwakarma Puja, Ambubachi Mela, Brahmaputra Beach Festival, Metropolis Urban Winter Festival etc. The richness of tradition and culture of the city is also portrayed by various painting forms, handicrafts, handloom, traditional art forms and weaving forms. The Shrimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra is the most significant art and craft gallery in Guwahati. The Guwahati Artists' Guild is one of the leading galleries which showcases various paintings by artists of Assam.
Guwahati is known for its mobile theatres, popularly known as 'Bhraiymoman' theatres. These showcase the unique culture of Assam and provide entertainment in both rural and urban areas. Some famous mobile theatre groups include Aawahon, Bordoisila, Hengool and Kohinoor. Other than mobile theatres, the city also hosts various plays and dramas. The traditional form of Assamese drama is called the 'Bhaona'. It is a religious play written by Shrimanta Sankardeva and is usually performed in 'Naamghars' or at some religious functions.
The cuisine of Guwahati reflects the culture of the city. Food is basically simple with the use of fewer spices. Rice is the staple food of the people of Guwahati and is also used to make a variety of Assamese snacks, sweets as well as beer. The traditional meal of Guwahati is strongly influenced by the use of local ingredients. An authentic Assamese meal begins with 'Khaar' (an alkaline dish), followed by the main course such as meat, 'Maasor Tenga' (sour fish curry), green leafy vegetables and complimented by 'Aaloo Pitika' (mashed potato). 'Tamul' (betel nut) and 'paan' generally conclude the meal.
Guwahati metro has a Gross Domestic Product of $1.5 billion. Important economic activities of the place include transportation, commerce, trade and services. Guwahati is the major retail and marketing hub of the region and also a wholesale distribution center. Malls, multiplexes, offices, restaurants and commercial complexes have mushroomed in many parts of the city over the past decade. Some of the essential industries and sectors influencing the economy are oil (Guwahati Refinery), tea (Guwahati Tea Auction Centre), tourism, hospitality, banking and financial services, real estate, pharmaceuticals, electronics, textiles and handicrafts, print and electronic media.
Pandu, located on the banks of the Brahmaputra at the western part of the city, is an ancient urban area that acted as the chief military base for the Ahoms against external invasions. Due to extensive fortification ('Gorh') surrounding Pandu, it acts as a natural river harbour and is formally called Gar-Pandu. Pandu port falls under Dhubri-Sadiya National Waterway-2 and is an important terminal cum transit point for goods and cargo as well as passenger and tourist vessels. Construction of both low-level and high-level jetty of fixed terminal, capable of handling container vessels, has been completed and has further enhanced revenue generation for the city.
Manufacturing sector in Guwahati contributes a substantial share to the economy of the city. Petroleum manufacturing is an important economic activity of the city. The Guwahati Refinery is the most important manufacturing industry in the city. Located at Noonmati, the refinery was set up by the Indian Oil Corporation Limited as the first public sector refinery of India as well as the refinery of Indian Oil since 1962. It was built with an initial crude processing capacity of 0.75 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA) at the time of its commission which was gradually increased to 1.0 MMTPA. It produces various products and supplies them to the other northeast states and also beyond to Siliguri through the Guwahati-Siliguri pipeline. The various products produced by the refinery include Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Kerosene Oil, Turbine Fuel (aviation use), Motor Spirit, High Speed Motor Diesel, Light Diesel Oil and Raw Petroleum Coke. There is also an LPG bottling plant in the city.
Tea manufacturing and processing is another important activity of Guwahati. Assam is one of the highest tea-producing areas in the world, contributing 80% of India's export and 55% of the country's total tea production. So high is the production of tea in Assam that it is the biggest industry of the state. The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC), located adjacent to the capital complex at Dispur, is the world's largest CTC tea auction centre and the second largest in terms of total tea auctioned. The inaugural sale took place on 25 September 1970 and the first lot of tea was auctioned at the price of Rs. 42.50 which, during those days, was a big achievement.
Tourism in Guwahati contributes a lion's share to the economy of the city and of the state, as a whole. Being an ancient as well as a picturesque city and nicknamed as "Gateway To Northeast India", Guwahati has a flourishing tourism industry with revenue generated from various tourist attractions in and around the city.
The beautiful handicrafts of Assam and its various art forms are the identity and culture of its people. Guwahati is known for its flourishing handicrafts business. The city trades superior quality Assam silk called 'Muga' and 'Pat'. Bamboo and cane products are also popular among buyers along with beautiful terracotta products, ethnic jewellery, brass and bell metal crafts, woodcraft, pottery products, toys and traditional paintings.
Being the premier business hub of Northeast India, Guwahati has outlets of many national and global retail chains which boost the city's economy and also create vacancies in many sectors. Maniram Dewan Trade Center, located at Ahom Gaon suburb near NH-37, is an important centre for trade, business fairs, economic conferences, shows and seminars. Guwahati is a city of malls, multiplexes and fine dining joints with 'mall culture' being a primary shopping aspect of the citizens. Many centralized, private and international banks have set up their branches in the city with the Reserve Bank Of India having one of its own at Pan Bazaar.
All these have led to a massive rise in demand for real estate in both commercial and residential sector. The real estate market has flourished considerably in the past decade with a number of developers now operating in the market. According to a report released by National Housing Bank in February 2014, Guwahati had registered a steady rise in prices of residential properties at the end of 2013 and came second only to Nagpur in India. In Nagpur it was around 8% while it was 7.4% in Guwahati. The growth of real estate is linked to the infrastructure growth and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that is pouring into the state. Luxury real estate has also picked up in the city. The market was around Rs 1,500 crore in 2012 and has picked up considerably in recent times. Some of the developers in the luxury home market are Gajpati Homes, Protech, Subham and Infinity. The real estate hubs of the city are Chandmari, Kharguli Road, Ambari and GS Road. Kahilipara, Ganeshguri and Lalganesh are also witnessing a surge in realty development, whereas places like Jalukbari, Adabari and Maligaon are extremely popular with middle class home-buyers. Also, tourism and business have raised the hospitality sector to greater heights with both elite and emerging hotel chains establishing their brand of hotels in the city. Businesses related to transportation have also intensified with many courier agencies and moving companies operating in the city.
Education & Health facilities
Guwahati is the major commercial and educational hub of Northeast India. Among the esteemed institutions is the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT), an autonomous institute dedicated in the field of technical studies in India. The Cotton College is yet another century-old autonomous institution consistently delivering quality education in the fields of Science and Arts. The institute is now set to become a Deemed University having a PG institute independently. Apart from these are Gauhati Commerce College, College of Veterinary Science, Government Ayurvedic College, Arya Vidyapeeth College, B. Borooah College, Handique Girls College (the latter two have both Arts and Science streams), Assam Engineering Institute, Institute of Co-operative Mnanagement, Assam Institute for Management, Gauhati Institute for Management, Indian Institute for Hotel Management (IIHM) Guwahati.
The sixth Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) was established in 1994 at North Guwahati as part of the Assam Accord. At present the institute offers various subjects in eleven departments covering all the major engineering and science disciplines, offering B. Tech., M. Tech., Ph.D. and M.Sc. programs. The departments are Biotechnology, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Humanities and Social Science, Design, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Within a short period of time, IIT Guwahati has been able to build up the necessary infrastructure for carrying out advanced research and has been equipped with state-of-the-art scientific and engineering instruments.
Gauhati University, established at Jalukbari on 26 January 1948, is the first university in Northeast India. National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of UGC has accredited this university with a 4-star rating. Gauhati University is offering almost all courses in all subjects including professional and technical courses.
The century-old Cotton College in the heart of the city is one of the most glorious colleges in eastern India. This college possesses great scholastic and cultural value. Spread over a sprawling campus covering an area of 33.474 acres, Cotton College is located about 25 km (16 mi) away from the LGB International Airport, Borjhar and is about 1 km (0.62 mi) away from the Assam State Transport Corporation office and Guwahati railway station. Assam Engineering College(AEC), established in 1956, is the first undergraduate technical college in Northeast India. With a well spread out lush green campus, AEC has been the hub of many intellectual and extra-curricular activities in Assam for almost half a century. Gauhati Medical College, the first health institution of Assam was established in 1960. Among other educational institutes are Gauhati Commerce College, College of Veterinary Science, SJN Government Homeopathic College etc. There are three nursing colleges in Guwahati, namely Arya Nursing Collage, Regional College of Nursing and Sankar Madhav College of Nursing. In 2006 under the affiliation of Gauhati University, Girijananda Chowdhury Institute of Management and Technology was opened. The Guwahati center for Indira Gandhi Open University started in 1987 and in 2006 the Krishna Kanta Handique Open State University started. Guwahati Branch of International Ramayani Research Institute has been set up recently.
Guwahati has a number of esteemed law colleges including National Law University And Judicial Academy, Assam and those affiliated to Gauhati University such as University Law College, NEF Law College, JB Law College, BRM Government Law College (oldest law college in Northeast India) and Dispur Law College.
Guwahati also has branches of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI). There are newly opened private higher education institutes like Royal Group of Institutions (RGI) and Don Bosco University, the first state-approved private university in Assam and Northeast India. National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) Guwahati, under the aegis of Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers (Government of India), was established in 2008.
Guwahati has a number of government and private hospitals as well as medical clinics across the city. The hospitals include maternity hospitals, eye hospitals, fertility clinics, dental hospitals and cancer hospitals for cancer diagnosis and treatment. Major hospitals of the city include Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital, Government Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya Hospital, Guwahati Eye Hospital and Research Center, Regional Dental College and Hospital, Dr. B Borooah Cancer Institute Hospital, North East Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, International Hospital, Nemcare Hospital, Down Town Hospital, Guwahati Neurological Research Centre Hospital, Marwari Maternity Hospital, Dispur Hospitals, Arya Hospital, Hayat Hospital, Sanjevani Hospital, Rahman Hospitals, Swagat Super Speciality Centre Hospital, Central Railway Hospital, City Heart Hospital, Military Hospital and Pratiksha Hospitals.
Guwahati is served by the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, situated at Borjhar, about 20 km (12 mi) west from the heart of the city. With all major domestic airlines flying into Guwahati, it is the ninth busiest airport in India in terms of traffic.
The city of Guwahati and the northeastern region falls under the Northeast Frontier Railway(NFR) Zone of the Indian Railways. The Guwahati Junction, located in Paltan Bazaar area of Guwahati, is the major railway station of the city. There are three more railway stations in the city - the Kamakhya Junction for passenger and goods services, the New Guwahati Junction (near Noonmati) for only freight services and Azara Railway Station, also primarily used for freight services. There are regular trains connecting Guwahati to and from other major cities of the country. Rajdhani Express, Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express, Brahmaputra Express, Kamrup Express, Northeast Express, Saraighat Express and Garib Rath are some significant trains running to and from Guwahati. The train with the longest route in India, Vivek Express, which runs from Dibrugarh in Upper Assam to Kanyakumari in southern tip of India passes through Guwahati Junction.
The length of surfaced roads within the city is 218 km (135 mi). 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.
- Public transport
Public transportation is well developed in the city. Buses are the major means of public transport in Guwahati. The buses are either run by The Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) or privately owned buses that transport passengers from one destination to another within the city. Guwahati is the first city in Northeast India to introduce low-floor city buses, airconditioned and non-airconditioned, under JNNURM scheme. The city has also introduced night city bus service on a daily basis at three major routes. In addition to this, there are a number of bus operators which regularly run day and night buses from Guwahati to neighboring towns and cities. Rupnath Brahma Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), located at Betkuchi area on NH-37, is the most significant terminal cum transit point for buses plying between Guwahati and other destinations in Assam and Northeast India. The areas of Adabari and Paltan Bazaar also act as nodal points in providing bus services to towns and cities in Assam and adjoining states.
Apart from city buses, cab services of various operators also provide public transport facilities along major roads in the city. Three-wheeler auto-rickshaws are available throughout the city, but there is no organised taxi service in Guwahati for intra-city travel; although cars are available on rental basis from numerous travel agencies operating in the city.
The Inland Water Transport Department is headquartered at Pandu port in Guwahati. The waterways transportation services in Guwahati are used for transporting bulk goods and cargo, and for movement of passenger and tourist vessels. Ferry services are availalable for transportation of people from different ports along the Brahmaputra to Pandu port.
Guwahati is one of the main tourist hubs in Northeast India. The city boasts of a centuries-old Kamakhya Temple atop Nilachal Hill, an ancient Umananda Temple located at Peacock Island in the middle of the Brahmaputra river and the Brahmaputra itself which is one of the largest rivers in the world. The city has many ancient Hindu temples, along with newly built ones, earning it the sobriquet "City Of Temples". Hence the city is aesthetically, culturally and commercially developed. Tourism in Guwahati includes heritage sites, ancient temples, museums, historical monuments, archaeological sites, lakes and ponds. The major tourist attractions in Guwahati include:
- Kamakhya Temple
One of the Shakti Peeths in India, Kamakhya temple is the most important temple and pilgrimage destination in Assam. Situated atop Nilachal Hill in western part of Guwahati, the presiding deity in the temple is Goddess Kamakhya and her other forms such as Tripura Sundari, Kamala and Matangi. The Brahmaputra flows through the northern banks of the temple. Temples of Bhubaneswari, Chinnamasta, Bagalamukhi, Kali, Dhumavati, Bhairabi and Tara are located in the vicinity of Kamakhya Temple. There are also temples of Shiva and Vishnu situated nearby the temple. Kamakhya temple is the seat of Hindu and Tantric ritualism. Daily puja is offered to Goddess Kamakhya apart from various festivals celebrated throughout the year. Among the most important festivals is the Ambubachi Festival which is held every year during monsoon to celebrate the annual menstruation of Goddess Kamakhya. This festival is related to the Tantric cult and is also known as Ameti or Tantric fertility festival. During this time, the temple remains closed for three days and reopens on the fourth day. Durga Puja is another important puja performed in the temple. Goddess Durga is worshipped for sixteen days in the Asvina month of the temple. Other pujas celebrated are Durgadeul, Pohan Bia, Basanti Puja, Manashaa Puja and Madandeul.
- Umananda Temple
The Umananda Temple is a Shiva temple located in the middle of the Brahmaputra at Peacock Island which is the smallest inhabited riverine island in the world. The temple is situated atop Bhasmacala Hill in the island. Boat facilities in the form of motor boats and ferries are available to take visitors to the island and the temple. Built by the Ahom King Gadadhar Singha during 1681-96, the temple is famous for the festivals of Shiva Chaturdashi and Maha Shivratri which are celebrated with much fanfare.
- Basistha Temple
Basistha or Vasistha Temple is located on the outskirts of Guwahati atop Sandhyachal Hill. The temple is situated near Garbhanga Reserve Forest which is famous for Asian elephants. Constructed by the Ahom King Rajeshwar Singha during 1751-69, the temple is located on the Basistha Ashram and was the abode of sage Basistha. The presiding deity of the temple is Shiva. The temple stands on the banks of mountain tributaries of Sandhya, Lalita and Kanta which originates from the hills of nearby Meghalaya state. The meeting point of the tributaries called Amrutha Kunda gives rise to rivers Basistha and Bharalu which flows through the city. The ashram area has tiny waterfalls and is also famous as a picnic spot.
- Navagraha Temple
Navagraha or Nabagraha Temple is situated atop Chitrachal Hill in the heart of the city. It is the abode of Lord Surya and is a centre of astronomical and astrological research. The temple is dedicated to the nine celestial bodies (Navagraha) of Hindu mythology. There are nine Shivalingams covered with colored cloths to depict the celestial bodies along with a Shivalingam at the centre, symbolising the Sun. It was due to this temple that Guwahati was formerly known as Pragjyotishpura.
- Ugratara Temple
Ugratara Temple is a Devi temple located in Latasil area on the western side of Jorpukhuri tank in Guwahati. It is an important Shakti shrine related to Sati, the first consort of Lord Shiva. Built by the Ahom King Siva Singha in 1725, the temple is situated nearby a tank (Jorpukhuri) excavated by the same king years before. The unique aspect of this temple is that inside the Garbagriha (sanctum sanctorum) of the goddess, there is no idol or image worship but a small pit filled with water is considered as the goddess. Durga Puja is the major festival celebrated in the temple.
- Sukreswar Temple
One of the famous Shiva temples in Guwahati, Sukreswar Temple is located on Itakhuli hill in the city. The temple is located on the southern banks of the Brahmaputra and provides a picturesque view of the mighty river flowing alongside its banks. Built by the Ahom King Pramatta Singha in 1744, the temple also houses a Vishnu temple and has two halls adjacent to it for conducting marriages, pujas and post-death rituals. The Shivalingam inside the temple is one of the largest in India. Maha Shivratri is the major festival of the temple.
- Aswaklanta Temple
The famous Aswaklanta Temple is located on the banks of the Brahmaputra in North Guwahati. A Vishnu temple built by the Ahom King Siva Singha in 1720, the temple premises consist of two temples. One is situated at the foot of a hill and known as Kurmayanardan; the other is on top of the hill and known as Anantasayi. Janmashtami and Ashokashtami are the two main festivals celebrated in the temple.
- Dirgheswari Temple
Dirgheswari Temple is one of the most significant Devi Tirtha (pilgrimage) dedicated to Goddess Durga. It is located on the northern banks of the Brahmaputra at Dirgheswari or Sati Parbati hill. The great hermit Markanda had his hermitage in this hill. Built during the reign of the Ahom King Siva Singha in the 11th century, the temple has several rock cut images of that era. At the foothill of Dirgheswari, there is also a Ganesh temple. Durga Puja is the major festival of Dirgheswari Temple.
- Doul Govinda Temple
Doul Govinda Temple temple is situated on the northern banks of the Brahmaputra on the foothills of Chandrabharati hill. The presiding deity in the temple is Lord Krishna and it is one of the most revered shrines of Krishna in Assam. Known for its immense scenic beauty, the temple premises also has a Naamghar (Assamese place of worship). The first original structure of the temple is dated to have been built over a hundred and fifty years ago and was again renovated in 1966. The temple is famous for celebrating the festivals of Lord Krishna. Holi, Janmashtami and Magh Purnima are the major festivals of this temple.
- Balaji Temple
Purva Tirupati Balaji Temple is a beautiful temple located at Lokhra area of Guwahati. It is a replica of the famous Tirupati Venkateshwara temple in Tirumala of the state of Andhra Pradesh. The temple in Guwahati is also dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara and is situated 10 km (6.2 mi) away from the city center. Built in 1998 with pristine architectural structures, the temple complex is spread out across two acres of land. There are other temples housed in the complex such as temples of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Padmavathi, Goddess Durga and of Garuda. There is a garden located outside the main temple for tourists to enjoy the scenic and pristine beauty of the complex.
- Iskcon Temple
ISKCON or The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, also known as the Hare Krishna Movement, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organisation founded by Swami Prabhupada in the year 1966 at New York, USA. The Iskcon Temple of Guwahati is located atop a hill in the Ulubari area at the heart of the city. The presiding deity of the temple is Radha-Krishna. The preachings of the temple are based on Bhagavad Geeta, the spiritual teachings of Lord Krishna. Janmashtami and Holi are the major festivals celebrated in the temple.
- Dipor Bil
Situated in the southwestern part of Guwahati, Dipor Bil (also spelt as Deepor Beel) is a freshwater lake and one of the largest lakes in Brahmaputra valley. In ancient times, it was used as the dockyard for Tai-Ahoms and Mughals. It is a major tourist attraction because of the exotic variety of birds found there. The Assam Engineering College is located to the north of the lake and the NH-37 to the east and northeast part of the lake. The southern and western part of the lake are bounded by highlands. Formed against the backdrop of Rani and Garbhanga hills, the natural sources of the lake are the Basistha and Kalmani rivers. Rainwater also accumulates in the lake thus making it a natural stormwater reservoir of Guwahati.
- Chandubi Lake
Chandubi Lake is situated at a distance of 64 km (40 mi) from the city center of Guwahati. The Kulsi river surrounds the lake and it spreads across an area of 2000 hectares, including its tributaries. The lake was formed as a result of a massive earthquake that struck Assam in 1897. The lake, measured to be as deep as 8 meters, is situated at the base of the Garo Hills which borders Assam and Meghalaya. The exotic beauty and beautiful ambience of the lake attracts tourists throughout the year. It is a renowned picnic spot and getaway point for tourists. Fishing, boating and rowing are the major activities at Chandubi Lake.
Dighalipukhuri, located at the heart of Guwahati city, is a man-made pond that is rectangular in shape and about half a mile in length. It was engraved out of the Brahmaputra during the reign of King Bhagadatta of Pragjyotishpura. With the passage of time, it was gradually separated from the river. To the north of the pond is the Gauhati High Court and to the south is the Assam State Museum. The pond also beautifies the area around the campus and hostels of Handique Girls' College. Rowing and boating are the major actitivies at Dighalipukhuri.
- Brahmaputra River Cruises
Cruises on Brahmaputra river are offered by Assam Tourism and by private operators in the city. Some of these operate small tours along the city while some operators offer luxury services to Kaziranga National Park, Majuli and beyond. For wildlife enthusiasts, it offers exotic wildlife-viewing and bird-watching; whereas to the cultural traveller, it offers a glimpse of the varied and colourful ethnic mix of the state in addition to the Neo-classical colonial palaces, Buddhist archaeology, Hindu temples and Islamic architecture. Brahmaputra cruises feature attractions such as wildlife viewing (both by jeep and on elephant back), village walks, visits to tea gardens, barbecues on deserted river islands, dance performances, exploring country towns in cycle rickshaws and visits to craft workshops. The cruise services include Mahabahu River Cruise, Brahmaputra Cruise Private Limited, Alfresco Grand River Cruise and River Queen.
- Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden
Also known as Guwahati Zoo, it is located in the Hengerabari Reserve Forest of the city. The zoo occupies an area of 130 hectares and the botanical garden is spread across 82 hectares and is the largest natural zoo in India. Home to several endangered and rare animal and bird species, the zoo was established in the year 1957 and formally opened to the public in 1958.
- Assam State Museum
The Assam State Museum in Guwahati is one of the biggest multipurpose museums in Northeast India displaying the iconography, numismatics, epigraphy and archaeology of Assam. Situated in the heart of the city at the southern end of Dighalipukhuri, the museum exhibits a large collection of historic and pre-historic times and is operated by the Government of Assam. It has a large collection of sculptures and informative cultural displays of various tribal communities of Assam. There is also a small cottage industry museum, operated by the Department of Industries Assam, that displays colorful items from the indigenous art and craft of Assam.
- Regional Science Centre
It is a science museum located at Khanapara area of Guwahati that caters to the need of scientific inquiries of children. It was established in 1994 with the aim to promote science and technology. Housing both indoor and outdoor galleries, the museum has exhibits on science and about pre-historic life. The museum preserves rare instruments, machinery and documents that are evidences of the role played by science for the benefit of mankind. The museum imparts scientific education by organizing shows, camps, competitions and seminars.
- Guwahati Planetarium
Guwahati Planetarium is an important center of astronomical studies and scientific research. Located in MG Road near Gauhati High Court, the planetarium is the only one of its kind in Assam and entire Northeast India and is an advanced, well-equipped planetarium. It was inaugurated on August 17, 1994 and averages a footfall of 500 visitors per day. It organizes and conducts different programmes and shows in Hindi, English and Assamese languages. Workshops, conferences and seminars for students and children are organized by the planetarium from time to time. It also puts out telescopes and astronomical devices during eclipses for the public to view them.
- Shrimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra
Located in the Panjabari locality near Six Mile and named after the Vaishnava saint of Assam Shrimanta Sankardeva, the Shrimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra includes an art gallery, a children's park and a cultural museum. It houses number of structures and buildings abiding with ethnic Assamese designs. A replica of Rang Ghar (an Ahom amphitheatre in Sivasagar district of Assam) is housed there. The main attraction is the Cultural Centre that preserves some of the traditional articles and artifacts of Assamese culture. Cultural exhibitions and shows are organized from time to time to promote and depict the rich cultural heritage and tradition of Assam.
- Dr Bhupen Hazarika Memorial
Dr Bhupen Hazarika Memorial is a structure built in honour and memory of Dr Bhupen Hazarika, the cultural icon of Assam. Located at Jalukbari near Gauhati University, this multi-crore project involves a two-storey structure, the exterior of which is in the shape of the traditional Assamese 'Namaskar'. It comprises a glass dome inspired by the Kamakhya temple that gives visitors a 360-degree view. The structure houses a library with rare photographs of the legendary artist and an audio-visual room. The premises also houses an open-air theatre, a pen-shaped aluminium statue in the shape of Hazarika’s silhouette, a musical fountain and a souvenir shop.
Guwahati features the multi-purpose Nehru Stadium which hosts mainly cricket and football; while the Kanaklata Indoor Stadium in the R.G. Baruah Sports Complex (in the Ulubari locality) is one of the oldest sports complex in the city. There are smaller stadiums in Maligaon (the North-East Frontier Railway Stadium) and in Paltan Bazaar where the Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex is located.
The sporting infrastructure 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 at Khanapara, Rudra Singha Sports Complex at 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. Guwahati is also one of the host venues for the Assam State Premier League football championship.
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Cricket Stadium is a newly built cricket stadium located at Barsapara in Guwahati. The stadium has been constructed by the Assam Cricket Association (ACA). With world-class infrastructure and facilities, the stadium has a seating capacity of 60,000.
- Football clubs based in the city
Media & telecommunications
Assamese daily newspapers published from the city are Dainik Agradoot, Asomiya Pratidin, Asomiya Khobor, Amar Asom, Dainik Janambhumi, Janasadharan, Niyomiya 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 Northeast India. The Guwahati-based 24 hour regional news channels include News Live, DY 365, Pratidin Time, News Time Assam, Prag and News Network.
- Increase in population
Guwahati has seen a rapid rise in population in the past few years. People from other parts of the state and the region routinely migrate to the city chiefly for education and occupation resulting in undesirable expansion of population in the city, which further brings with it many collateral problems in the city.
- Price rise
One of the economic problems that the citizens of Guwahati have to put up with is the hike in prices of many essentials, chiefly vegetable, poultry and fish. The prices of these commodities keep escalating at an inordinate rate because of which the buyers find it difficult to buy these items. Vegetables are transported into Assam from West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra and Meghalaya and the truckers en route have to pay considerable amount of money as tax at various check posts. It is one of the causes of rise in prices of vegetables in the markets of Guwahati. The prices of locally available vegetables and fruits undergo large markup because of transportation expenses grounds, besides intra-State check posts taxes. In addition to these, the wholesale dealers as well as the retail sellers augment the prices of the commodities according to their own desires. The prices of poultry, mainly chicken that reach the city markets from places like Chaygaon and Barpeta have been soaring rapidly because of similar factors. There has been steep rise in the prices of fishes as well, the prominent varieties of which being Rohu ("Rou"), Catla ("Bahu"), Walking catfish ("Magur") and Monopterus ("Kuchia") among many others.
- Naraka, founder of Naraka dynasty
- Bhagadatta, ruler of Naraka dynasty
- Bhaskar Varman, ruler of Kamarupa
- Durgabar Kayastha, medieval litterateur
- Himanta Biswa Sarma, politician
- Tarun Ram Phukan, politician
- Nabakanta Barua, poet/educator
- Indira Goswami, novelist/educator
- Dipankar Bhattacharjee, badminton player and Olympian
- Angaraag Mahanta, singer and composer
- Arnab Goswami, journalist
- Jim Ankan Deka, music composer, songwriter, singer, documentary film maker
- Jayanta Talukdar, archer and Olympian
- Shiva Thapa, boxer and Olympian
- Gokul Sharma, cricketer
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