The land of red rivers, blue hills, the one-horned rhino, rich in flora and fauna, home to over 200 ethnic tribes and communities, national parks, forest sanctuaries, and lush-green tea gardens, Assam is a land of untapped opportunities and unexplored potential.
the capital city of Assam, is the gateway to the North-Eastern states of India. It is situated on the southern bank of the River Brahmaputra. The city is dotted with many places of tourist interest.
Inside the city:
Situated on top of Nilachal Hill, it is a famous shrine for the Hindus and the Tantric worshippers and draws pilgrims from all over India. One of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas, Kamakhya temple building dates to the 16th century, and its origin can be traced back to the 6th century.
Situated in the middle of the Brahmaputra River at the Peacock Island, the 17th-century temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. One has to take a ferry or boat to go to this temple, which also is a great spot to enjoy the beauty of the mighty Brahmaputra. The island is also a sanctuary for the endangered population of Golden Langurs.
Located close to the conference site, a freshwater lake, Deepor Beel has been declared wetland under Ramsar convention as Ramsar site
for conservation measures in 2002
. This is a popular picnic spot and a great place to enjoy bird watching including resident & migratory birds like kingfishers, varieties of ducks, Pelicans, etc.
Other popular tourist spots and places inside the city:
- Assam State Museum – One of the biggest multipurpose museums in the country, exhibiting rare collections like epigraphy, sculptures, crafts, natural history, and folk art forms.
- Guwahati Planetarium – An excellent destination for universe lovers; the only planetarium in entire North-East India.
- Regional Science Centre – Also known as the Science Museum, where the visitors are enlightened and entertained through the medium of science and technology.
- Assam State Zoo and Botanical Garden – Located in a densely vegetated forest area, the zoo is referred to as the ‘lung of the city'.
- Sankardev Kalakhetra – This is a cultural institution including a cultural museum, library, and facilities for preserving, demonstrating and performing ethnic cultural items of Assam.
- Purba Tirupati Balaji Temple – The pure white temple built in South Indian style is set amidst a beautiful green park.
- Basistha Temple – Located in the outskirts of the Guwahati city, the temple dates to the 18th century and is located in the ashram that is said to have been founded by the great saint Vasishtha.
- Ugratara Temple – It is an important Shakti Temple, which was built by an Ahom ruler during the early 18th century.
- Saraighat Bridge – The first ever rail-cum-road bridge built over the Brahmaputra, and also one of the longest river bridges in India.
- Guwahati War Cemetery – This landmark location contains over 500 graves of soldiers from at least five countries – India, UK, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, from the World War II.
- ISKON Temple – The temple has two beautiful figures of Lord Krishna and his wife Rukmini, and the complex is surrounded by lush green gardens for a peaceful ambience.
- Accoland Water Park – A well-known amusement and water park on the outskirts of the city with a wide range of rides as well as dining options.
- Bheema Sankar Jyotirlinga – Situated just beside the Deepor Beel, it is one of the Jyotirlingas of Shiva where a hill stream flows through the lingam.
- Sunset Cruise and Dinner cruise in river Brahmaputra – One can behold the magic of amazing sunset followed by a delicious dinner on a cruise ride in the mighty River Brahmaputra.
In the outskirts of the city:
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
is 48 km away from Guwahati. Nestled in grasslands, it is home to the densest population of the One-Horned Rhinos in the world coupled with an amazing birdlife and other animal species.
is a beautiful village which can be visited on the way to Pobitora. It is situated between the river Brahmaputra on one side and rocky hills on the other side. To go to this village, one has to cross the canopy of huge rocks. A cave and few monoliths can also be seen here with diverse flora and fauna.
is situated 64 km from the city, not far from the conference venue. It is a natural lake with beautiful views at the foothills of Garo hills bordering Assam and Meghalaya. One can cross the lake by boat and trek for about 3 km to a village and a small waterfall to get the taste of village life in Assam. This is also a land of birds and butterflies.
has religious significance for Muslims, Hindus and the Buddhists. Powa Mecca Mosque, Haygrib Madhab temple are some of the significant tourist attractions. Hajo is 36 km from the centre of the city.
is famous for its silk.
Three major types of indigenous wild silk are produced in Assam – the Golden Muga
, the white Pat
and the warm Eri silk
, 35 km away from the centre of Guwahati, popularly known as the "Manchester of Assam", is the finest silk-producing centre in the state.
is also famous for bell-metal,
which is an alloy of copper and tin. Bell-metal or Kah
is the second largest handicraft industry in Assam after the bamboo industry. Objects made of this metal are usually used as utensils for the domestic and religious purpose. Sarthebari
is 100 km away from Guwahati.
Assam has 5 National Parks and 18 forest sanctuaries
KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK AND TIGER RESERVE:
Situated 200 km away from Guwahati, Kaziranga hosts 2/3rd of the world's one-horned rhinoceros and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides, this national park has one of the highest densities of Royal Bengal Tigers on earth. The park also shelters wild water buffalos, wild elephants, leopards, holok gibbon, swamp deer, wild boars, etc. The park was declared an important bird area by Birdlife International for the conservation of Avifaunal species.
MANAS NATIONAL PARK AND TIGER RESERVE:
At the base of the foothills of Bhutan-Himalayas in Assam, 128 km away from Guwahati, the Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve
has recorded around 55 species of mammals, 380 species of birds, 50 reptiles and 3 species of amphibians. The Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian rhinoceros, wild elephants, and Indian peafowl are the main attractions. It is also a paradise for bird watchers.
NAMERI NATIONAL PARK:
Situated near Tezpur
, an ancient town of Assam with remnants of historic monuments and temples, this park is home to the Deohah (White-winged wood duck),
an endangered species and State Bird of Assam
. It is also home for tigers, leopard, sambar, pygmy hog, etc. and many other species of resident and migratory birds during winter.
DIBRU SAIKHOWA NATIONAL PARK:
This river-island park is situated in Tinsukia District and is famous for feral horses, river dolphins and many species of resident and migratory birds. It is one of the 19 biodiversity hotspots in the world and well connected by road, train, and air.
ORANG NATIONAL PARK:
Situated 3.5 hours away from Guwahati on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River, the main attractions of the park are Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian Rhinoceros, Pygmy Hog and different species of birds.
OTHER PLACES THAT ATTRACT TOURISTS ARE:
Assam is famous for its tea gardens, and many of the tea garden bungalows have now been converted to tourist resorts for visitors to have the first-hand experience of tea gardens. To name a few, Thengal Manor, Bura Sahib Bungalow, Banyan Groves, Chameli Memsahab Bungalow, Wild Mahseer, etc.
, the world's largest river island
is situated in Jorhat district. A drive of 6 hours by road or air travel from Guwahati to Jorhat and then a ferry ride of about 01 hour is needed to reach this place. This place is famous for Neo-Vaishnavite Satras. These satras are also centre for culture, literature and classical studies. Samoguri Satra is famous for Mask making
. Satras are also famous for Satria dance, musical instruments, Bhaona's and Raasleela, etc. Majuli is famous for handlooms and handicrafts too.
The historical city of Sivasagar
(previously spelled Sibasagar)
is 6-7 hours journey by road from Guwahati. It was the capital of ancient Ahom kingdom
. Some of the ancient structures like Talatal Ghar, Rang Ghar, Kareng Ghar, Joy Dol, Shiva Dol, and Joysagar Pukhuri are the main tourist attractions.
India's North East is a land of undulating hills and plains with a luxuriant green cover and a wide variety of rare and exotic flora and fauna. Interested tourists also can travel to different places of Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, etc., from Guwahati.
one can also travel to Shillong
, the capital of Meghalaya which is a picturesque hill station known as "Scotland of the East" at just 3 hours' drive. Home to numerous waterfalls, beautiful golf courses, scenic mountain peaks, and stunning landscapes, shilling is a major tourist attraction from Guwahati.
in Sikkim is the second biggest tourist destination after Gangtok. The place offers the breathtaking sight of the world's highest peak Kanchenjunga and the neighboring peaks. One can enjoy the city's rich heritage and culture at its ancient monasteries and other attractions while adventure enthusiasts can opt for numerous treks and hikes.
Located on the Old Silk Route, Nathu La Pass
in Sikkim is an important mountain pass on the Indo-China border at an elevation of 14,140 feet. It is also one of the highest motorable passes and is a must-see site.
The capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok
is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. It is a Buddhist haven dotted with beautiful monasteries. Abundant in natural attractions such as the Tsomgo Lake, Ban Jhakri falls, Tashi viewpoint, and the stunning panoramic views of snow-capped Mt. Kanchenjunga, all adding to Gangtok's charm.
is the only hill station in Assam, 7 hours' drive from Guwahati. It is known for its majestic view of mountain ranges, vibrant green forests, rich wildlife, and trekking adventures.
is a high-altitude town in Meghalaya, credited as one of the wettest places on earth owing to the highest rainfall received. The region is abundant with forests, dramatic waterfalls, natural caves, and thriving flora and fauna.
The emerald crystal waters of the Umngot River make Dawki
in Meghalaya a virtual paradise. A town on the international border between Bangladesh and India, its main highlight is the stunning British-era suspension bridge over the river, which makes it one of the most popular places to visit near Guwahati.
is an ancient village in Nagaland and the home of the ethnic Ao Naga tribe. It is part of the most culturally rich and intellectual district of Nagaland. This hill station is a refreshing break away from the bustling city where you can feel close to nature.
Founded by the British Empire in 1878, Kohima
is the picturesque capital city of Nagaland. It is home to the Angami Naga tribe. One of the most popular sites to explore includes the Commonwealth War Cemetery which houses thousands of the soldiers of World War II. The town is located 339 km from Guwahati.
Located near the Indo-Myanmar border in Nagaland, Mon
is a solitary place famous for the historic tradition of head-hunting. It is home to the Konyaka Nagas known for their tattooed faces wearing feathers; their rich culture and traditions have been attracting visitors from far and wide.
Located approximately 10,000 feet, Tawang
in Arunachal Pradesh is both naturally and historically endowed. Famous as the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, there are many important and beautiful monasteries to visit. The Tawang Monastery here is one of the biggest and most sacred Buddhist monasteries.
The capital city of Tripura, Agartala
is the perfect amalgamation of natural beauty combined with rich history and diverse culture. The Ujjayanta Palace, a museum and former palace of the Kingdom of Tripura, is a must-see attraction among others.
The cultural and religious capital of Manipur, Bishnupur
is dotted with dome-shaped terracotta temples and is home for the famed and the rare brow-antlered deer – Sangai. The 15th century Vishnu temple and the Keibul Lamjao National Park (the only floating park in the world) are some of the main attractions.
Nestled beautifully in the hills of Mizoram, Aizawl
is a peaceful little town offering breathtaking views. It is home to the Mizoram State Museum and other tourist complexes, along with being the cultural and religious capital of the Mizo people.