A Travel Guide to Guwahati

Guwahati Airport Directory (GAU)
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7Kg
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Stretching along the south bank of the mighty river Brahmaputra, Guwahati was once Pragjyotishpura, capital of Kamarupa or Assam's ancient state, named after the local Ahom kings. The largest city of Assam, Guwahati, is a major riverine port and entry to northeast India. The bustling city takes its name from gua (areca nut) and haat (marketplace). Its ancient temples, the Brahmaputra river and Assamese cuisine, makes it more than a strategic stopover.

Best time to visit

The best time to explore Guwahati is from October to March. The weather remains quite pleasant and ideal for exploration the attractions in and around the city.

How to reach Guwahati

  • By air: You can book your flights to Guwahati and arrive at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport located 20km away from the west of the city centre. IndiGo operates over 150 non-stop weekly flights between Guwahati and other vital locations.
  • By train: Guwahati Junction is the central railway station in Guwahati, connecting all the major cities through various rails.
  • By bus: Guwahati is well-connected with neighbouring cities and towns through several private and public bus services.

Getting around Guwahati

Bus is the most economical means of transportation in Guwahati. Auto-rickshaws, taxis and rented motorbikes are other modes that you can use to travel around.

Most spoken languages in Guwahati

  • Assamese
  • Bengali 
  • Hindi 
  • English
Baggage Allowance
15Kg
7Kg
Min °
Max °

Places to visit in Guwahati

  • Kamakhya Temple: One of the most famous and revered temples in Guwahati, Kamakhya Temple is dedicated to the goddess Kamakhya. It is located on the Nilachal Hill and offers panoramic views of the city. The temple is known for its unique architectural style and religious significance.
  • Umananda Island: Situated in the middle of the Brahmaputra River, Umananda Island is a small river island and a popular tourist spot. It is home to the Umananda Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Visitors can reach the island by boat and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
  • Assam State Museum: This museum is a treasure trove of Assamese culture and history. It houses a vast collection of artifacts, sculptures, paintings, and manuscripts that depict the rich heritage of Assam. The museum also has a section dedicated to the indigenous tribes of the state.
  • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary: Located about 50 kilometers from Guwahati, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its dense population of one-horned rhinoceroses. Visitors can take a jeep safari to spot these magnificent creatures and other wildlife like wild buffaloes, deer, and various bird species.
  • Assam State Zoo: Also known as Guwahati Zoo, this zoo is home to a wide range of animals, including tigers, elephants, rhinoceroses, and various species of birds. It provides a great opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts to observe and learn about the diverse fauna of the region.
  • Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra: It is a cultural institution that showcases the art, culture, and traditions of Assam. The complex includes a museum, an open-air theater, an art gallery, and a heritage park. Visitors can explore the exhibits and enjoy cultural performances.
  • Guwahati Planetarium: Situated in the heart of the city, the Guwahati Planetarium offers educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and space. It has a dome-shaped theater that provides a unique and immersive experience of the night sky.
  • Navagraha Temple: Located on the Chitrachal Hill, Navagraha Temple is dedicated to the nine celestial bodies of Hindu astrology. The temple offers a panoramic view of Guwahati and is a popular pilgrimage site for devotees.
  • Nehru Park: Situated on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, Nehru Park is a beautiful garden and recreational spot in Guwahati. It offers lush greenery, walking paths, boating facilities, and a children's play area.

Places to eat in Guwahati

Parampara Paradise, Silphukhri
Parampara Paradise, Silphukhri

Parampara on Maniram Dewan Road offers authentic Assamese cuisine and excellent thalis served on a brass plate and utensils. If you come here, make sure to try the chicken bamboo, it is delicious!

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Khorikaa, GS Road
Khorikaa, GS Road

Named after the thin bamboo skewer (khorika) used to chargrill meats; the restaurant serves excellent thalis with side orders of pork, chicken, mutton, duck, pigeon meat and local fish, all served with piquant mustard chutney.

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Maihang, GS Road
Maihang, GS Road

A northeast speciality restaurant serving mostly regional cuisine from Assam—pork patot diya, duck curry with kumura, black rice, fermented soya, smoked sesame pork, mutton curry, besides thalis.

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Crackling Mustard, Beltola
Crackling Mustard, Beltola

Catering to a strong resident Bengali population, Crackling Mustard serves excellent vegetarian thalis and the classic Kosha Mangsho with Luchi (thick mutton curry with puri).

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Kasturi Restaurant, Ulubari
Kasturi Restaurant, Ulubari

Serving excellent Dhakai or Bangladeshi cuisine of East Bengal, try unusual delicacies like kachu pata chingri (prawn with colocasia leaf), bhapa chingri (steamed prawns), posto, rice-fish kofta, bhetki paturi, chital and mishti doi (sweet curd). A must-visit if you are a fish lover.

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Gopal Maharaj, Fancy Bazaar
Gopal Maharaj, Fancy Bazaar

While the location in the cramped market may not be great, it is one of the oldest food joints in Guwahati. Locals make a beeline for its pure vegetarian fare—yellow dal fry, paneer bhurji, tandoori roti and Gopal Maharaj Special Pulao.

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Hotel Sagar Restaurant, Paltan Bazaar
Hotel Sagar Restaurant, Paltan Bazaar

A multi-cuisine restaurant that serves south Indian, north Indian, Chinese and the best masala dosa and vada in town.

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Shopping places in Guwahati

  • Sohum Emporia
  • The Hub
  • Central Mall
  • City Center Mall
  • Anil Plaza Mall
  • Matrix Mall
  • Rudraksha Mall

Guwahati also has several markets that sell amazing local items, from clothing to jewellery, and even furniture.

  • Ganeshguri Market: Named after the Ganesh temple nearby, it is close to the state capital Dispur and considered the main commercial precinct (the two cities are only 8km apart). It's an excellent place to buy Assam's famed silk products like mekhela chadar.
  • Pan Bazaar: Guwahati's academic hub Pan Bazaar sells everything from clothes, jewellery, furniture, souvenirs, home décor items to accessories.
  • Fancy Bazaar: Located in old Guwahati, it is excellent for traditional Assamese items like jaapi, gamosa, tribal art, handicrafts and ethnic clothes.
  • Assam Silk's Tatkala Outlet: While here, drop by at Assam Silk's Tatkala Outlet on JC Das Road, Lakhtokia. River People at Mishra Building on AK Azad Road opposite Lahkar Guest House in Rehabari sells locally made cane and bamboo artefacts.

Nightlife in Guwahati

  • Octave - Vivanta by Taj 
  • Reign - Bar & Lounge - Hotel Radisson Blu
  • The Zone Liquid Lounge - Mayflower Hotel
  • Lords Bar - Hotel Nandan
  • The Lounge - Hotel Dynasty 
  • Cafe Hendrix 
  • Utopia Sky Lounge & Restaurant 
  • Mocha

Where to stay in Guwahati

Vivanta

Vivanta by Taj Its location in the heart of the administrative district works well for corporate travellers, while tourists will enjoy its proximity to the Brahmaputra river cruise. The restaurants here offer pan-Asian cuisine, including Japanese, while Octave, the bar, has live music to help you unwind.

Prabhakar

Prabhakar Homestay Set in the hills above the busy town, this charming B&B run by Shiela and Mahesh Bora comes with five en-suite bedrooms along with a peaceful environment. The property has an excellent collection of nearly 250 orchids.

Hotel Brahmputra

Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok A 3-star hotel opposite the High Court it has an excellent restaurant called Ushaban and a lounge named Kaziranga.

Mayflower

Mayflower Hotel A budget luxury hotel close to the railway station, it has well-fitted rooms, a nice multi-cuisine restaurant called Aurora and an in-house bakery and confectionery.

HotelNanadan

Hotel Nandan Located in the city’s central business district, Nandan is a landmark hotel that started in 1981. The first certified 3-star hotel in the northeast, it offers multi-cuisine at Transcurry and international fare at Mexitthachi.

More reasons to visit Guwahati

  • Guwahati city is an excellent base to cover nearby sights like the silk-weaving centre of Sualkuchi and Hajo, a pilgrim centre for Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims, where the Brahmaputra is at its narrowest (1km).
  • Go on a heritage walk of Old Guwahati–from the Courthouse shaped like a beehive dome to Dighulipukhuri Park, once the fortified jetty of the Ahom kings. Guwahati Planetarium nearby screens show on outer space projected on a dome-like screen. A short walk northwest leads to the riverbank, an excellent place to watch the sunrise or sunset.
  • Though steeped in tradition, there's a quirky side to Guwahati too. Experience the Brahmaputra's beauty; locals take great pains to explain that it is a 'nad, not a nadi' being a rare male river. 
  • See the sunrise across the Brahmaputra from Fancy Bazaar, enjoy boat rides or catch the serene sunset after a day's explorations.

Festivals in Guwahati

  • Ambubachi Mela: Try to time your visit in the monsoons to see the Ambubachi Mela, a week-long festival at Kamakhya Temple attended by mystics and tantriks. When the Brahmaputra is in spate during the rainy season, the creek flowing over the stone shrine turns red with mud, symbolising the goddess Kamakhya. The sanctum is out of bounds for three days and reopens after the goddess gets purified with a ritual bath. Devotees collect holy spring water and shreds of the angabastra (stained red cloth) as prasad. It is one of a kind fair and the biggest carnival in the whole of Assam.
  • Brahmaputra Beach Festival: The Brahmaputra Beach Festival is an annual festival that falls during the spring season along the Brahmaputra river's shores. It is a three months event and an assortment of cultural events, dancing, crafts, and water sports.

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