Welcome to Guwahati!
An idyllic riverside location, beautiful surrounding landscapes, and a region soaked in age-old customs, Guwahati, India, is the most lively and energetic city in the northeast of the country. It’s set alongside the mighty Brahmaputra, which is Assam’s primary urban area, engulfing the capital of the state, Dispur, within its limits.
Once you land at Guwahati airport, step outside of your comfort zone and meander through destinations unknown. Enjoy this worldwide local insider’s guide to Guwahati’s many secrets.
Guwahati Culture and Religion
To discover the soul of Guwahati is to understand its people, who have firm religious and spiritual attachments. Don’t stay planted in your Guwahati hotel--to get an authentic feel for the city, walk its streets and talk to the residents. You never know as they might even invite you to their home for some delicious lunch.
One place you have to visit is the Kamakhya Temple. Built in 1565, the temple is a Hindu pilgrimage site and home to the Ambubachi Mela. A captivating one-of-a-kind event celebrated only by the tantric cult, the festival takes place in June every year, supposedly during Devi Kamakhya’s menstrual cycle. It certainly makes for a unique way to enjoy the Guwahati weather!
Worldwide Local Tip: In search of some more religious inclination? Hajo, situated 15 miles outside Guwahati, is a unique place that holds importance for Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist beliefs. While Muslims frequent the Powa Mecca, it is the Hayagriva Madhava Temple, where both Hindus and Buddhists come to pray. Many believe Buddha accomplished nirvana where the temple stands today. No matter your faith, Hajo will surprise you with its divinity.
Shopping in Guwahati
When exploring the many facets of life in Guwahati, you must engage with its artisans to understand the nuances of the resident culture. Guwahati’s Maati Center, a social collective, is the perfect place to attend special events and interact with artists. You can also purchase unique craftwork that highlights local traditions.
If shopping is still on your mind, then Fancy Bazaar is the place to be, even though there’s nothing fancy about it. Chaotic and packed with shops selling household items and bargain buys, it is Guwahati’s premier shopping destination.
Worldwide Local Tip: Feeling a bit romantic? Head down to the Brahmaputra river in the evening to witness the most stunning sunset, followed by a candle-lit dinner cruise. Swaying gently over the river, while relishing locally produced food, is an unforgettable experience. Unfortunately, these mini-voyages are not available during the Monsoon, due to rise in river water level.
Dance the Night Away in Guwahati!
Speaking of setting the right mood, music and dance are an indispensable part of life in Assam. Folk dance performances, from different tribal regions, are a regular sight during various celebrations in Guwahati. If you get the opportunity, join in for a Bihu dance, popular with men and women of all ages.
Worldwide Local Tip: For the foodie, wanting to experiment with local cuisine, Gam’s Delicacy Restaurant is the place to visit. An iconic eatery, Delicacy is typically crowded on all days of the week. The fish curry is a must try, but opt for their thali to get a more distinct flavor profile of the provincial dishes.
Worldwide Local Tip: Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park, situated four hours away from Guwahati, are UNESCO World Heritage Centers, brimming with an assortment of colorful flora and fauna. Make sure you do a safari in Kaziranga, as it has the largest number of one-horned rhinos in the world. If you don’t have time for these, visit the animals at the Assam Zoo, Guwahati’s in-city alternative.
Enjoy Your Stay in Guwahati, Assam!
A sense of tranquillity descends upon the city at night, just as the shining stars blanket the sky in a dazzling display of natural beauty. In Guwahati, a worldwide local has the opportunity to immerse themselves in fascinating scenes that transform into remarkable memories that last a lifetime.