Complete Travel Guide to Guwahati, Assam 2023

Guwahati, the gateway to Northeast India! This bustling city, nestled on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, is the largest metropolis in the region and offers a unique blend of traditional culture and modern vibrancy.

In this guide, we will explore the multifaceted attractions of Guwahati, from its rich history and natural beauty to its culinary delights and cultural highlights.

Getting There

  • By Air

Guwahati is well-connected by air, with Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport serving as the primary gateway. The airport is well connected to major Indian cities and some international destinations. Pre-paid taxi services and app-based cabs are readily available for a convenient ride to the city center.

  • By Train

Guwahati Railway Station is a major hub in the Northeastern railway network. Trains from all over India, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata, regularly service this station.

  • By Road

A network of national highways connects Guwahati with major cities in the Northeast as well as the rest of India. State-run buses, private coaches, and taxis offer various options for road travel.

Accommodation

From luxurious hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses, Guwahati offers a range of accommodations.

  • Luxury: Enjoy high-end amenities at hotels like the Radisson Blu Hotel, Vivanta Guwahati, and Novotel Guwahati.

  • Mid-range: Hotels like the Ginger Hotel and Hotel Dynasty offer comfortable stays at reasonable prices.

  • Budget: For backpackers and those on a tight budget, guesthouses and hostels like Zostel Guwahati provide basic facilities at low costs.

Exploring the City

1. Kamakhya Temple

Kamakhya devi templeOne of the most sacred Hindu shrines, the Kamakhya Temple is a must-visit. Located atop the Nilachal Hill, the temple is a fine example of Assamese architecture and is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas.

2. Brahmaputra River Cruise

River Cruise GuwahatiA river cruise on the Brahmaputra is a memorable way to witness the scenic beauty of Guwahati. Sunset cruises offer spectacular views and sometimes include cultural performances.

Read on: Majuli, Assam - Everything you need to know

3. Assam State Museum

Assam MuseumImage Source: Wikipedia

Dive into the history and culture of Assam at this museum, which houses a rich collection of artifacts, sculptures, and paintings.

4. Umananda Temple

Shiva Temple  BrahmaputraImage Source: Wikipedia

Situated on Peacock Island in the Brahmaputra river, this Shiva temple is accessible by ferries and offers a serene experience amidst nature.

5. Guwahati Zoo

Monkey ZooThe Assam State Zoo and Botanical Garden is a delight for wildlife enthusiasts, home to various indigenous and exotic animal species.

6. Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra

A cultural institution named after the medieval poet-playwright Sankardeva, it showcases the art and culture of Assam.

Read on: 10 Things to do in Silchar, Assam

Local Cuisine

Guwahati’s culinary scene is a tantalizing blend of traditional Assamese flavors and diverse influences.

Assamese Thali

A must-try is the traditional Assamese thali. For all the non-veg lovers, there is a variant which offers a variety of dishes like masor tenga (tangy fish curry), dal, and rice.

Street Food

Explore local snacks like momos, pitha (rice cakes), and jhal muri.

Restaurants

For a fine dining experience, visit places like Paradise, Gam's Delicacy, or Khorika for authentic Assamese cuisine.

Shopping and Markets

Shopping in Guwahati is a delightful experience for those looking to take a piece of Assam back home.

Local Handicrafts Assam Guwahati

  • Fancy Bazaar: A bustling market area known for its variety of goods ranging from garments to electronics.

  • Paltan Bazaar: Ideal for buying Assamese silk, handicrafts, and traditional items.

  • Local Handicrafts: Don’t miss the Assam State Handloom & Handicrafts Emporium for authentic Assamese crafts.

Cultural Experiences

Bihu Dance Performance

BihuImage Source: Wikipedia

Try to catch a Bihu dance performance, an energetic and colorful dance form integral to Assamese culture.

Tea Gardens Visit

Tea Plantation Guwahati AssamA visit to nearby tea gardens like Jorhat can be arranged, where you can see tea being plucked and processed.

Read on: 10 Hidden Destinations In Northeast India

Nearby Attractions

Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary

Assam SanctuaryLocated around 56 km from Guwahati, this sanctuary is known for its dense population of the Great Indian One-horned Rhinoceros.

Shillong

Shillong Mountains Meghalaya Just a few hours’ drive from Guwahati, Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, offers stunning landscapes and a refreshing climate.

Majuli Island


A bit farther away but worth the journey, Majuli, the world’s largest river island, offers a peek into the unique cultural and natural environment of Assam.

Practical Tips

  • Best Time to Visit: October to April is the ideal time to visit Guwahati when the weather is pleasant.

  • Local Transport: Auto-rickshaws and local taxi services are readily available for local transportation.

  • Language: Assamese is the local language, but Hindi and English are widely understood.

  • Connectivity: Mobile networks and internet connectivity are generally good in Guwahati.

Festivals

Guwahati’s calendar is dotted with vibrant festivals that are a window into the region's rich cultural tapestry.

Bihu

Image Source: Wikipedia

Celebrated thrice a year, Bihu is the most important festival of Assam. It marks the change of seasons and is filled with folk dances and music.

Ambubachi Mela

Image Source: Current Affairs

Held at the Kamakhya Temple, this annual festival attracts thousands of pilgrims and is a unique cultural experience.

Durga Puja

Assam Durga Pooja

Witness the grandeur of Durga Puja, which is celebrated with much fervor in Guwahati.

Day Trips from Guwahati

Few places to visit from Guwahati within a day are:

Hajo

Hajo AssamImage Source: Wikipedia

An ancient pilgrimage center for Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists, located about 24 km from Guwahati.

Sualkuchi

Image Source: Assam Govt

Known as the 'Weaving Village,' Sualkuchi is famous for its silk weaving, particularly Assam silk and Muga silk.

Adventure Activities

For the thrill-seekers, Guwahati offers several adventure activities such as:

River Rafting

River Rafting AssamThe Brahmaputra river provides exhilarating options for river rafting.

Trekking

The hills around Guwahati offer fantastic trekking trails, such as the Garbhanga Forest Reserve trek.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Guwahati’s nightlife may not be as vibrant as larger metros, but there are several spots for evening entertainment.

  • Bars and Pubs: Check out places like Terra Maya, Underdoggs Sports Bar & Grill, and The Lounge Bar for a relaxing evening.

  • Cultural Shows: Some hotels and cultural centers host traditional dance and music shows.

Additional Travel Tips

  • Healthcare: Guwahati has well-equipped hospitals and pharmacies. However, carrying a basic medical kit is advisable.

  • Safety: Guwahati is relatively safe, but like any other city, it's wise to take usual safety precautions.

  • Local Etiquette: Respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites.

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Departing from Guwahati

As your journey in Guwahati comes to an end, make sure to check your travel documents and transport bookings. The city’s airport and railway station have facilities for comfortable transit.

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