Said to be among the fastest growing cities in India, Guwahati, the capital of Assam is also the largest city in the state. Although many people come here as a transit point or beginning to their north east journey, there are several places to visit in Guwahati too. Historic temples are one of the reasons why people like to visit this city by the Brahmaputra River. But apart from that, there are also several other tourist places in Guwahati that visitors seem to crowd all the time and it’s easy to see why.
Museums, zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, along with nearby islands, nature spots and more such delightful places are some of the reasons people choose to come here for a respite from their own crowded cities. But this city is also an epitome of the balance that most Indian cities are trying to strike, between its urban sprawl and stylish nightlife and its tradition and culture. Here are some of the must visit places in Guwahati.
One of the most famous places to go in Guwahati is the Kamakhya Temple. It is considered to be one of the most revered shrines of Goddess Shakti in India. There are four important Shakti Peethas in India and this is one of them. Kamakhya is considered to be an auspicious sect among the Tantrik sect of Hinduism.
This is a beautifully decorated temple with simple, elegant designs of flowers and there is a big dome as part of the temple’s construction that overlooks the Nilanchal Hills in the background. During the month of June, the celebrations of Ambubachi Festival are held here for 3 to 4 days and the temple is decorated beautifully for it.
The Brahmaputra River has an island called Peacock Island where Umananda Temple can be found. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this serene temple is surrounded by the beautiful island and is certainly one of the loveliest places to visit in Guwahati. There’s a sense of peace and divinity that is apparent about the temple.
Located on top of the Bhasmakala Hill, the temple was built by skilled Assamese workers. Apart from Lord Shiva, there are also 10 other Hindu gods whose idols are here. Not only is this a place for devotees, but it’s also perfect for people who love the bounties of nature.
Guwahati Zoo is certainly one of the top tourist places in Guwahati as proven by the numerous visitors who come here, every year. This wildlife paradise is extensive and spread over 430 acres and is located in a densely forested area at the centre of Guwahati called Hengrabari Forest Area. Stepping into the zoo makes you feel like you have stepped into a different era altogether, especially when you see so much greenery in the middle of the city.
There are more than 113 species of the animal kingdom here and more than 900 animals, birds and reptiles that reside in the zoo. Tourists and wildlife enthusiasts are equally enchanted with this zoo when they come across the one-horned rhinoceros, as well as giraffes and ostriches from Africa and even kangaroos from Australia.
One of the top tourist places in Guwahati is the Guwahati Planetarium. This is the place you need to visit if you are keen to decode the mysteries of the universe. There are sky watching sessions that are conducted here regularly but the best part has to be the special shows that are projected on the dome shaped overhead screen.
These are multi-lingual shows – English, Hindi and Assamese and there are various timings for them. Since the shows are held every two hours, it’s convenient for tourists to catch at least one show.
One of the places to visit in Guwahati is Dipor Bil, a freshwater lake that is around 18kms away from the city. The lake extends to an area of 40 square metres and in 1989 it became a bird sanctuary thanks to the numerous exotic bird species that made it their home. People are always coming here for the amazing views, the rich biodiversity and undisturbed beauty of the place.
There are as many as 19000 different species of rare and endangered birds which can be seen here. It’s a good idea to visit this during the winters as many hibernating birds come here from various parts of the world. The lake has been declared an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International to ensure that the rich culture and environment are preserved.
The Guwahati War Memorial is dedicated to those who lost their lives while fighting for the nation. Located in Latasil’s Dighalipukhuri Park, the memorial aims to infuse everyone with patriotic feelings. Thanks to its architecture and the way it was planned and designed, it is one of the popular tourist spots here in Guwahati.
The guru Vashishtha or Basishta who is credited with writing Vashishtha Ramayana is believed to have constructed this ashram and even died here. This site is a popular tourist place in Guwahati and with good reason too. Everything about this place is peaceful and it certainly deserves the attention it gets. The construction of this ashram, as well as its architecture and its beautiful locale adds to its serenity and beauty.
If you would like to visit Guwahati, do make time to visit the SOTC website for excellent offers and deals on Guwahati tour packages.