Guwahati! The sudden mention of this place brings to mind a stunning landscape with beautiful surroundings.
The place has something special about it. There is wilderness around, the chirping of birds creates an enchanting sound, there are whispers of the wind and you can also lend your ears to the gushing sound of flowing rivers. Undoubtedly, Guwahati is a paradise for nature lovers.
While the sky touching Himalayan ranges give it a picturesque view at the backdrop, the Brahmaputra River adds more to its beauty by giving a pretty landscape to the city. There are plenty of tourist destinations in the city. A tourist is spoilt for choice and hence the beautiful attractions keep him on his toes. As we want him to explore the city smartly without missing on any important centers, we hereby discuss the top 10 attractions of the city which should not be missed by those visiting Guwahati:
1. Temples of Hajo
If you want to see cultural and religious symmetry in India, this is the place to be. It is known as the pilgrimage center for three religions, Hindus, Buddhists as well as Muslims. One of the famous temples in this place is Hayagriva Madhava Temple which is situated atop the Monikut hill. Both Hindus as well as Buddhist pilgrims are seen seeking spiritual solace at this stone temple. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and has exemplary architecture.
The religious village of Hajo finds place on the banks of Brahmaputra. Situated 30 kilometers away from Guwahati, it is also known for other temples such as Madan Kamdev Temple situated on Dewangiri hill and the Kedareswara Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
2. Kaziranga National Park
Enjoying the tag of a World Heritage Site, the Kaziranga National Park is one of the most well-known attractions of Assam.
What makes this park all the more attractive and unique is the presence of the single-horned rhinos that can be seen roaming free in the dense jungles. In 2006, this park was announced as a ‘Tiger Reserve’ as it had many tigers in the park. There are other interesting species of animals in the park as well which include water buffalos, swamp deer and elephants. Kaziranga National Park has also been announced as an ‘Important Bird Area’ by Birdlife International for conserving avifaunal species.
One can enjoy an hour-long elephant ride and track one-horned rhinos on their way. There are jeep safaris easily available which can take you for exciting jungle quest through the dense forests.
The elephant safari timings are from 5:15 am to 6:15 am and 6:30 am to 7:30 am.
Similarly, the Jeep Safari Timings are from 7.30am to 9.30am & 2pm to 3.30 pm.
3. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
If you want to see one-horned rhinos in large number, this is the perfect place for you. This sanctuary is situated in the floodplains of Brahmaputra. It enjoys a high population of rhinos. You will fall in love with this place after seeing a group of rhinos roaming freely in the jungles. It has swamp marshlands which are fit for these species. These marshlands also provide shelter to other animals such as feral semi-wild buffalo, wild boar and jackal. Those coming to Pobitora should enjoy jeep safaris and elephant rides for sure. Also you should come loaded with your binoculars to trace rare varieties of birds.
The Elephant Safari Timing here starts in three shifts from 6:30 am, 7:30 am and 2:30 pm respectively. Similarly, the Jeep Safari Timings are 7 am and 3 pm daily.
The Elephant Safari Fee is Rs. 550 per person per ride while the Jeep Safari Fee is Rs 1350 for 1 hour jeep ride.
4. Kamakhya Temple Overview
One of the oldest of the 51 shaktipeeths, this temple is a conglomeration of 20 temples. It is nestled on Nilachal Hill and is one of the most visited temples by devotees. There are four chambers in this temple including the garbhagriha and three mandapas.
This temple is believed to have the yoni of Sati which had fallen on the hill after her body was cut into pieces.
Garbhagriha can be reached by climbing steep steps.
This temple is dedicated to 10 Mahavidyas. They are Bhuvaneshvari, Tripura Sundari, Bagalamukhi, Tara, Kali, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Matangi, Chinnamasta, and Kamal.
5. Saraighat Bridge
The Saraighat Bridge enjoys the credit of being the first rail-cum-road bridge passing over the Brahmaputra River. This bridge was opened to traffic in 1962. It enjoys historical significance too for being the witness to a battle between Mughals and Ahoms who ruled Assam from 12th century for 600 years. And Mughals had to face defeat from these rulers in this fight and hence this place made a mark in history.
It is this Saraighat Bridge which connects northeast India to the other parts of India.
6. Assam State Zoo
If you want to visit a family-friendly place for entertaining kids, then this is the place to be. Home to one of the rare species of animals, Assam State Zoo is spread over 130 hectares of land. Your kids will be happy to see the diverse species of animals flourishing in their natural habitat.
The distinguished species found here include the rare one-horned-rhinoceros, white tigers, swamp tapirs and leopards. There are other species including animal exhibits, museum, reptile house, a botanical garden etc. to explore.
The opening time for zoo is 8 am to 6 pm from Saturday to Thursday. However, it remains closed on Fridays. The entrance fee is Rs. 3 per person.
7. Bhuvaneswari Temple Overview
It is this temple which is situated at a little more height as compared to Kamkhaya Temple. The Hindu mythology proclaims this Goddess to be the ruling queen of universe. There are spectacular views seen from this temple. The locals celebrate Ambubachi festival with great zeal in the temple.
8. Janardana Temple
If you love to see the blend of different architectures, then this is the place to be. It smartly blends Buddhist and Hindu architecture. There is a big idol of Lord Buddha in its main hall.
The temple is situated on Shulleshwar hillocks which banks on Brahmaputra.
You can offer your prayers and meditate in the temple premises.
It opens at 6 am and closes at 7 pm. There is a free entry to this temple.
9. Regional Science Center
Want to take your kids to a world of knowledge and introduce them to science? Then Regional Science center is the best place for them. Established in the year in 1994, it encompasses science park, 3D science movies, a prehistoric park, and science shows. Kids can learn from interesting information and at times, they can also attend exhibitions organized by renowned scientists. The center remains open from 10 am to 5.30 pm daily and the entrance fee is Rs 10 per person while it is Rs 5 for organized student groups. There is free entry for kids under 5 as well as for police and military personnel in uniform.
10. Sukreswar Temple
Those who are the devotees of Lord Shiva find this place ultimate.
It’s the abode of the sixth Jyotirlinga of India. Constructed by the Ahom King Pramatta Singh, in 1744, this temple is located on the banks of Brahmaputra on the Itakhuli Hill (Sukreswar hill). There is a long flight of stairs which leads down to the river from the temple.
If legends are to be believed, a dead person attains Moksha if his last rites are performed at this temple.
Guwahati serves as one of the best tourist destinations for all kinds of tourists, be it family, single travelers, groups or couples. Also it is one of best attractions fulfilling the needs of all age groups, such as young, old or children.
Due to its religious significance, people from all castes thong this place.
If you too want to view the pristine glory of this place, then this is the time to pack your bags and plan an interesting itinerary for it.