Guwahati is the biggest city in the North- East states of India and also the capital of Assam and often regarded as ‘The Light of the East’. Straddling on the banks of Brahmaputra, this former capital of the Kamrup kings (when it was ancient Pragjyotispur) is a crowded, busy river town and a major commercial hub of the region. Surrounded by paddy fields and ancient rain – forests. The word Guwahati comes from the Assamese word ‘guwa’ and ‘hati’, which directly translates to ‘betel nut market’. Guwahati was immortalized in history when the brave Ahom General Bir Lachit Borphukan defeated the mighty Mughal army in the Battle of Saraighat (1671) on the outskirts of the city. As per its geographical location, Guwahati is one of the main entrances to a number of destinations in the north-eastern states. To the right side of Guwahati station there is Paltan Bazaar and towards Reserve Bank to its left side there are offices and market area named as Pan Bazaar. Most of the tourists prefer to stay at Paltan Bazaar because it is closest to the station. Guwahati houses many temples located all over the city that date back to Vedic and Puranic times. In the past Chitrachal Hills was the center of astrology and astrological studies. Guwahati has a pleasurable climate and a reasonably developed infrastructure. Wide roads and lush green landscapes have added to the beauty of Guwahati. One gets warm welcome on reaching here. At Guwahati tourists can take part in adventure sports like ‘Sundown River Cruise Alfresco’ which is done between 05.30 pm to 06.30 pm. A River Cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra is a wonderful opportunity to get a feel of this legendary river. Catch the ferry traveling between Sukheshwar Ghat and North Guwahati or travel a little more stylishly in one of the state tourism- run vessels.
Major Tourist Spots around Guwahati:
Kamakhya Devi Temple: Kamakhya Temple is set atop the Nilachal hills at an elevation of about 525 feet and is also one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. Kamakhya temple is regarded as one of the popular pilgrimage destinations in India located around 09 km from the main city of Guwahati. The construction of this temple was started during 1665 by King Naranarayan of Coochbehar. The Kamakhya temple is itself a great example of architectural significance. Kamakhya Devi Temple remains open from 08.00 am to 01.00 pm and from 03.00 pm till sunset. At the complex of Kamakhya Devi there are shrines of ‘Dasam Maha Vidya’ which are of Bhubaneshwari, Bagalamukhi, Chinnamasta, Tripura Sundari, Maa Tara, Devi Kali, Bhairav, Matangi and Kamala. The name of Kamakhya temple is found in many mystical and magical texts and religious and ritualistic doctrines to name but a few are Kalikapuran, Joginipuran, Devipuran and others. As per legends it is said that the genital part (Yoni) of Sati falls on this spot, from then onwards it is worshiped at Kamakhya temple and is an important location for practicing different rituals and tantras. From Guwahati direct bus services are comparatively lesser in number, tourists are advised to avail mini bus service and reach Kamakhya Gate bus stop and from hired taxis are available to reach the hilltop. From the main town of Guwahati auto and taxis services are also available those reach Kamakhya Gate bus stop. The route that goes uphill from Kamakhya gate bus stop to the top of Nilachal Hill was built in 1958.
Umananda Temple: Umananda temple is situated in the middle of Peacock Island on Brahmaputra River. From Fancy Bazaar at Guwahati tourists can reach Peacock Island which is a river island of River Brahmaputra. Inside the main sanctum of Umananda Temple there is a shrine of Lord Shiva that dates back to around the 17th century along with an idol of Umananda built in silver. From Umananda Temple tourists will get an admiring view of the river Brahmaputra. The periphery of Umananda Temple offers a stunning view of sunset. In the past Peacock island was named as Bhasmachal and this is a common habitat of Golden Langurs. Peacock Island is the smallest river island in the world. Tourists need to avail boat service upto Khachari Ferry Ghat and from there within a very short distance this island is located. Umananda Temple remains open from 06.00 am to 12.00 Noon, 01.00 pm to 05.00 pm.
Assam State Museum: Assam State Museum is another point of tourist attraction in Guwahati. The historical coins and other things are worth watching. The historical things collected not only from Assam but also through North – Eastern India are depicted in this museum. The galleries depicting the lifestyle of the tribal people of Assam and sub caste people along with their cultures are worth mentioning. There is a separate galley in this museum about Mahatma Gandhi. The museum was established in 1940 and probably is the biggest of its kind. It has been exhibiting archeological findings to wooden bell-metal objects, from tribal items, terracotta, and ivory to pith through its four sections – iconography, numismatics, archeology and epigraphy.
Guwahati Zoo: Guwahati Zoo is also counted among the must visit tourist spots around Guwahati. The captive species in this zoological garden are Rhinos, Golden Monkey, Black Leopard, Clouded Leopard, and Golden Cat along with different species of Deer, Himalayan Bear, Tiger, Lion and Wild Cat. The wide species of birds and reptiles in this zoo are worth mentioning. Inside the zoo there is a museum of Assam Forest Department. Mini bus services are available to visit the zoo. It was established in 1957 as a home to many endangered species of reptiles and mammals. It is the biggest zoo in the North-East that stretches over an area of 130 hectares. The Botanical Garden of Guwahati with the zoo periphery has some of the rare species of Orchids and plants and is also known as ‘Guwahati’s Green Retreat’. It is located at Near RG Barua Road, closed on Fridays, and it remains open from 08.00 am to 05.00 pm, Garden: 08.00 am to 06.00 pm.
Basistha Ashram: Basisht Muni Ashram situated on the Sandhyachal Hills and located around 22 km from the main city of Guwahati. City buses are available that reach this temple. By the curse of Nimi King, body less Basisht Muni started deep meditation of Lord Vishnu by the order of Lord Bramha on these hills surrounded by dense wilderness, which resulted in the emergence of three water streams from the hills namely Sandhya, Lalika and Kanta and the convergence of three streams attracts numerous tourists. These three water streams confluence and gave birth to Basisht Ganga. The surrounding wilderness and the natural ambience of the ashram is worth admiring. In the ashram there is a footprint of Lord Basisht. The ashram also has a Shiva Temple that was built by the Ahom King, Rajeshwar Singha. The serene atmosphere of the temple and the forest attract a lot of picnickers.
Guwahati Planetarium: Guwahati Planetarium is one of its kind centers of astronomical education and research in Assam and the entire North-Eastern region of India. The Guwahati Planetarium is unrivaled in Assam and rest of northeast India with its distinctive dome and sloping walls that sets it apart in the skyline of the area. Guwahati planetarium is a small building near high court. It remains closed on the 1st and 15th of every month. 2 English shows, 12.00 noon and 4 pm. 4 Assamese shows. No photography allowed inside.
ISKON Temple: In Guwahati the Jagannath Ratha Yatra, organized by the ISKCON Temple is celebrated with a huge pomp and show. The ornamented carriages of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are ceremoniously driven through the lanes of Guwahati, followed by Kirtan and Prasad distribution.
Bhubaneshwari Temple: The abode of Devi Bhubaneshwari stands about 165 ft and is located within close proximity from the Kamakhya Devi Temple. Though the temple is much smaller in size, devotees who visit Kamakhya Temple also pay obeisance to the divine mother’s red idol cut from a rock slab. Bhubaneshwari temple at Guwahati offers a bird’s eye view of Brahmaputra River along with a great sunset view from its periphery. It remains open from 06.00 am to 12.00 noon and 01.00 pm to 06.00 pm.
Regional Science Centre: Regional Science Center at Guwahati situated at Jawharnagar, Khanapara is an activity driven non formal science education destination for all the spectrum of the population. Here science comes alive with a vibrant science park with an adjacent Prehistoric park, 3D science movies, science shows. The indoor and outdoor expositions like the mirror magic, Fun science, Children’s corner, Butterfly corner, large aquarium, and many more offered to tourists is an experience based on science education is worth remembering.
Nabagraha Temple: The Nabagraha temple at Guwahati is located on Chitrachal hills. It was built by the Ahom King, Rajeshwar Singh in the later phases of the 18th century and is a dedication to the nine planets, more popularly known as ‘Nabagrahas’. The structure that stands now is a reconstruction of the former that was laid in rubble after an earthquake. The Nabagraha Temple remains open from 06.00 am to 12.00 Noon and 01.00 pm to 08.00 pm.
Shrimanta Shankaradeva Cultural Center: Srimanth Shankardev Cultural Center or the museum has been constructed in the name of Srimanta Sankaradeva, a famous social reformer who was a tool in the promotion of the socio – cultural heritage of Assam. It has been exhibiting books, sculptures, paintings, costumes and other belongings of the tribal communities of Assam. It remains open 08.00 am to 08.00 pm.
Surukeshwar Temple: Sukreshwar or Sukhleshwar Shiv Temple is located near Pan Bazar area of Guwahati on Sukreshwar Hills and is renowned for its massive Shiva Linga that enshrines the garbhagriha. It is believed that the Shiva Linga at Sukreshwar Shiv Temple was set up by Guru Sukhracharya. On this hill there is an ancient idol of Lord Buddha which is carved out of stone. The Ahom King, Swargadeo Paramatta Singha constructed and later reconstructed this temple in 1744 as a dedication to Lord Shiva. It remains open from 06.00 am to 12.00 noon and 01.00 pm to 08.00 pm.
Guwahati War Memorial: Guwahati War Memorial is a small park with a lake in Uzan bazaar area near Prashaanthi Udyan and tourists will good transport access to this park. The War Memorial houses a couple of Army equipment like Fighter jets. Tourists can opt for boating facilities on the lake. There are some fighter tanks, planes and missiles placed in this park. Park is closed on Tuesdays.
Ugra Tara Temple: The temple of Devi Ugratara is located at Ujjan Market at Guwahati beside Jorapukur. According to Hindu mythology, this is supposedly the place where Sati’s navel fell. One peculiar feature about the temple is that there is not a single idol that has been enshrined in the temple. It remains open from 06.00 am to 12.00 Noon and 01.00 pm to 06.00 pm.
Nehru Park: Neheru Park has been built to cater to people from every walk of life, offers tourists and locals a well paved track for jogging along with a playground for toddlers, open Air Theater, rock garden, musical fountain and much more. Neheru Park offers stunning views of the sunset to the opposite side from the banks of Brahmaputra river. It remains open from 08.00 am to 07.00 pm.
Purva Tirupati Sri Balahi Temple: (Betkuchi: 06.00 am to 12.00 Noon and 01.00 pm to 05.00 pm): Spread over a region of two acres, Purva Tirupati Sri Balaji Temple at Guwahati enshrines an idol that is carved out of a stone weighing more than four tons. It is noted for its architectural similarity to the renowned Tirupati Temple of Andhra Pradesh, the main Prasad offered here is the ladoo.
Deepor Beel: (Jalukbari Khanapara bypass): Deepor Beel is a freshwater lake that spreads over an area of more than 400 hectares and is a habitat of over 200 species of migratory birds. Deepor Beel is situated close to the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport.
Saraighat Bridge: Saraghat Rail Bridge is positioned at the narrowest part of the Brahmaputra River and was named after the battle of Saraighat between the Ahom dynasty and the Mughal Army. It was finished in 1962, as India’s first road cum Rail Bridge.
Doul Govinda Temple: (Rajaduar: 06.00 am to 12.00 noon and 01.00 pm to 05.00 pm): The temple has its foundations on the northern banks of the Brahmaputra River and is undoubtedly one of the biggest temples in the world, with over thousand pilgrims visiting a day. The temple is renowned for the idols of Lord Shyamaray and Lord Govinda and the festivals of Dol and Holi.
Digholi Pukhuri: According to the myth that follows, it is believed that the King of Pragjyotispur, Bhagadutta excavated this rectangular shaped pond, which was later used as a port of worship. The name directly translates to ‘long pond’ and is also referred to as Digholi Pukhuri of Guwahati. Tourists can opt for a boat ride.
Jor Pukhuri: It has been said that the river originated from an unknown source of the Brahmaputra River and was used as a water source for Ugrata Temple during the Koch dynasty. It has now become a go-to place for true bird-watch enthusiasts. The water-body of Jor Pukhuri was built by Ahom King Shiv Singha during 1738.
Shopping around Guwahati:
Fancy Bazaar: Previously known as Phansi Bazaar, the Fancy Bazaar of today is a humming commercial space where almost everything you need is available at a fair price.
Pan Bazaar: Situated on the southern banks of the Brahmaputra River, Pan Bazaar is an active market at Guwahti with shops selling books to tribal artifacts. Now with the construction of modern malls, the brand-conscious consumers can buy their share of happiness as well.
Paltan Bazaar: The name literally translates to ‘military market’, because back in the daily Paltan Bazaar was a shopping Centre for British army sepoys. It is a very busy place and Guwahati Railway station and the main bus stand are within close vicinity.
Uzan Bazaar: Uzan Bazaar, previously known as Chowk Bazaar in the British Era is one of the oldest settlements of Guwahati. It derives its name from the azaan, or the muezzin’s call for the communal prayer, emanating from the old mosques in the area. Every morning, fishermen come into the ghats of the Brahmaputra River in Ujjan Bazaar and sell their catch.
Ulubari: A place for shopping malls and complexes of Guwahati that has in stores both branded and non-branded products to the consumers. It gains its popularity from bakeries and sweet shops that are among the best you could find anywhere.
Getting Around at Guwahati:
The most economical means of transportation is the bus; it is also easy and convenient because of its availability. Auto rickshaws are also budget-friendly and convenient modes of transport. For tourists taxis are ideal for sightseeing within the city or on the outskirts. One should refrain from using it frequently since they are usually a little budget heavy.
How to reach:
By Air: The international airport of Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi operates flights from Guwahati and has a good connectivity to the rest of the country. The convenience of a helicopter service is also available that goes to Shillong, Tura, Itanagar and Tawang. From Kolkata Netaji Subhas International Airport daily flight services are available for Guwahati. By flight it takes about 1.5 hours to reach Guwahati.
By Rail: The Guwahati Junction serves as the headquarters for the North-East frontier Railways that has two major stations namely, Guwahati Junction and Paltan Bazaar. Guwahati Junction is well connected by strong rail networks with Kolkata and other major cities of India like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and many others.
By Road: Guwahati has impressive road connectivity to the neighboring states of the rest of North-East. From the National Highway Systems, NH no.31, 37 and 40 are en route to all the destinations.
Area: 237 sq km
Altitude: 55 m above sea level
Temperature: Summer- Max: 32.1 degree Celsius, Min: 25.5 degree Celsius. Winter – Max: 23.6 degree Celsius and Min: 9.8 degree Celsius.
Average Annual Precipitation: 160 cm
Best Season: November to April
STD Code: 0361
Languages: Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, English
Distances of few tourist spots from Guwahati:
Barpeta: 90 km, Bongaigaon: 192 km, Dibrugarh: 445 km, Digboi: 541 km, Dimapur: 280 km, Diphu: 255 km, Jorhat: 314 km, Kaziranga: 217 km, Manas: 76 km, Sibsagar: 369 km, Silchar: 325 km, Sonari: 412 km, Tezpur: 181 km, Tinsukia: 476 km, Titabar: 309 km, Tura: 206 km, Udalguri: 122 km, 27 km is Hajo, and 46 km is Rangiya.
Hotel Realto is centrally located at the heart of Guwahati. Hotel Realto is always strives to offer the best possible services to its guests along with warm hospitality. Hotel Realto is located at GNB Road at Panbazar and within close proximity to the major tourist hotspots around Guwahati. Hotel Realto has standard, deluxe and executive rooms from where tourists can easily choose the rooms as per their budget. Hotel Realto also arranges for conference of large groups and corporate bookings. With all sorts of modern amenities available so far Hotel Realto welcomes each guest with a genuine smile on their face.
Rooms are well furnished with attached bathrooms.
All rooms have LCD TVs with multi channels.
Laundry services available.
24 hour security.
Pick up and drop facility available on request.
Car rental is also available on request for local sightseeing.
In house multi- cuisine restaurant.
Conference Hall available.
All bathrooms are equipped with western type toilets.
24 hours running water.
Standard AC Rooms: 1680/-
Deluxe AC Rooms: 2150/-
Executive AC Rooms: 2740/-
Extra person charge @ 700/- per person per night.
Taxes and GST as applicable, payable at spot.
HOW TO BOOK: Call 9831311606 , 9830381306 , 9830619422 and get the rooms availability status. Or visit our city office at: 8C Shanti Ghosh Street, Kolkata – 700003, Near Shyambazar Metro Railway station, Gate no. 03. Or use the query form furnished below. For distant booking can be done through NEFT/ Fund transfer/ cheque deposit.