Guwahati, previously spelled Gauhati is a major city in eastern India, with a population of 818,809 (2001 census). The largest city in the North-East Region of India, it is considered by some to be the "gateway" to the region. Dispur, the capital of the Indian state of Assam, is located within the city. Guwahati is one of the most rapidly growing cities in India; during the past few decades it has experienced expansion and also a steep rise in population. According to a survey done by a UK media outlet, Guwahati is among the 100 fastest growing cities of the world, and is the 5th fastest growing among Indian cities.
|Best time to visit
||October to April
||Assamese, Hindi, English, Bengali
The city is situated between the southern bank 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. The city is gradually being expanded as North Guwahati to the northern bank of the Brahmaputra. The Guwahati Municipal Corporation, the city's local government, administers an area of 216 km², while the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority, the planning and development administers an area of 340 km².
Guwahati is a major commercial and educational center of North-East India and is home to world class institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. The city is also a major center for cultural activities and sports in the North Eastern region and for the administrative and political activities of Assam. The city is also an important hub for transportation in the North East Region.
The name Guwahati is derived from two Assamese words: 'guwa' (areca nut) and 'haat' (market place). The name used to be spelled as Gowhatty (pre-colonial and colonial), standardized to Gauhati (colonial-British), which was then changed to the present form in the late 1980s to conform to the local pronunciation.
Guwahati's myths and history go back several thousands of years. Although the date of the city's beginning is unknown, references in the epics, puranas, and other traditional histories, 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 mythological kings Naraka and Bhagadatta according to the Mahabharata. The ancient sakti temple of Goddess Kamakhya located in Nilachal hill (also important seat of Tantric and Vajrayana Buddhism), the ancient and unique astrological temple Navagraha located in Chitrachal Hill, and archaeological remains in Basista and other locations support the mythological assertions of the city's ancient past.
During medieval times between the 12-15th century AD, after the destruction of the Kamata kingdom, the city lost its earlier glory and became mainly a strategic outpost of the Koch Hajo and Ahom Kingdoms of western and eastern Assam. 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 actual border between both powers (Ahoms and Mughals) fluctuated between the Kartoya river (now in North Bengal) to the Manas and Barnadi rivers, Guwahati remained an important outpost.
The city was the seat of the Borphukan, the civil and military authority of the lower Assam region appointed by the Ahom kings. The Borphukan's residence was in the present Fansi Bazaar area, and his council-hall, called Dopdar, was situated 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 (Baruah 1992:200-201).
The Mughals attacked Assam 17 times and Guwahati was captured many times. The Battle of Saraighat fought close to Guwahati in 1671 is the most well known war, in which the Mughals were over-run due to the strong leadership of Lachit Borphukan and hard work of the Assamese Army.
Guwahati is one of the most rapidly growing cities in India. The city's population grew from just two-hundred thousand in 1971 to more than five-hundred thousand in 1991, and in the census of 2001 the city's population was found to be 808,021. By 2011, it is estimated that Guwahati will boast more than a million residents.
PLACES TO VISIT IN GUWAHATI
|Rest Camp Kalibari
||G S Road (Multiplex, Malls)