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Best Places To Visit Near Guwahati - Weekend Getaways
The city of Guwahati is one of the most beautiful jewels of the North East. Perched on the banks of Brahmaputra, the city is also popularly termed as the gateway to North East India. Apart from the virgin lands and islands, waterfalls and sightseeing destinations in and around Guwahati, what else is there to see? Where else can you go?
As locals, these questions might be plaguing you, especially when there is a weekend coming up and travelling very far away is not feasible. For this reason, here we have listed some of the most stunning places to visit near Guwahati.
48 km from the city of Guwahati, Nongpoh is a town in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district. Located in the foothills of East Khasi Hills, this town is usually preferred as a stopover on road trips to Shillong. But it has a charm of its own. With places like Nature Around, Orchid Lake Resort and Roadside Market, you have options for the weekend. Visit the Phrut Day Lake, Marngar Lake and and check out the Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary.
The capital of Meghalaya, Shillong is only a 100 km from Guwahati, and hence pretty easily reached. It is a holiday destination preferred by most Indians and foreigners wanting to imbibe the North-East vibe. With its parks and lakes, churches and waterfalls, wines and amazing food, Shillong is a coveted weekend getaway. Especially in the winters, when thick fog hangs down lush green mountains. Some of the best places to visit around here are Shillong Peak, Ward’s Lake, Williamson Sangma State Museum, Spread Eagle Falls, Elephant Falls, Cathedral Catholic Church and Lady Hydari Park.
One of the wettest places on this earth, Cherrapunjee is only second to Mawsynram in terms of the rain received per year. You would only imagine what this town looks like as it is nice and humid, cool with nearly year-round rivers and streams flowing, as well as a lushness that spreads through mountains and forests like an evergreen carpet. What’s even more special about Cherrapunjee is the fact that it is home to root bridges made of natural tree roots that were bent by the locals to cross rivers. Around 150 km from Guwahati, you must visit Cherrapunjee during monsoons and winters, and do not miss the following places — Living Root Bridge, Seven Sisters Falls and Nohkalikai Falls.
Tezpur is an ode to Assam’s history and nature, located 177 km from the city of Guwahati. Probably the best contrast to Guwahati’s fast life, Tezpur is home to many Hindu temples, tea gardens, wildlife reserves and historical sites. Tezpur is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited places, its relics dating back to 4th century CE. Explore Bura-Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary, Chitralekha Udyan, Agnigarh and Nag-Sankar Temple while here.
West Garo Hills
The West Garo Hills make for one of the largest chunks of Meghalaya, encompassing Shillong in its wake. There is a decide tribal culture in most parts of these hills, with Bodo clan of Tibeto-Burma race residing here in majority. Other tribes co-habitating include Koches, Rajbansis, Hajongs, Meches, Kacharis, Rabhas and Dalus. A trip here will educate you on the rustic, aborigine culture of Meghalaya as well as let you soak your parched eyes with beauty like the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve, Tura Peak, Arbella Peak, Mir Jumla’s Tomb and Kima Songa. The West Garo Hills are 210 km from Guwahati.
East Garo Hills
The East Garo Hills, located 195 km from Guwahati, make for another great weekend away. With the lakes, waterfalls, eco-villages and virgin flora and fauna, this area is ripe for a relaxing little vacation. Here you get space to breathe, and just be. To isolate yourself from the world and reflect. Some of the most peaceful places to visit around include Ta’sek Lake, Mokma Dare, Nongchram, Williamnagar, Rongrenggiri and Domre and Rong’bang Falls.
Dimapur is a town in Nagaland, again quite close to Guwahati. The locale is 270 km away and known for its ruins, Non-Aryan Hindu settlements and green villages. The name of the town literally translates to ‘the great river city.’ Here you can explore ruined temples, monoliths, public baths and embankments that date back centuries. Do visit the Diezephe Craft Village, Zoological Park, Kachari Ruins, Triple Falls and Shiv Mandir.
Kaziranga National Park
193 km from Guwahati is the Kaziranga National Park, home to the famous one-horned Rhinoceros in India. Apart from these unique species, Kaziranga is also the habitat of elephants, water buffaloes, tigers and swamp deer. Avifauna conservation is also high on the list here so you will get to do much bird watching. With rivers criss-crossing across the landscape, marshes and tall elephant grass cutting across your way, safaris are just too thrilling. Winters and even early summers are great for a visit.
Heaven of the east, Jaintia Hills make for a major piece of eye candy. Imagine tranquil evergreen mountains surrounding you on all sides, mountain rocks cut in monoliths, waterfalls sprouting from random spots high up in hills and caves inviting you into their depths. That is just the beginning of Jaintia Hills. You can explore this place forever and ever, but a short weekend away from Guwahati is perfect to relax. 177 km away, Jaintia Hills are renowned for places like Jowai, Nartiang, Thadlaskein Lake, Nartiang Monoliths, Umhang Lake, Umlawan Cave, Stone Bridge of Thlumuwi and Dawki — the land of transparent lakes.
Not too far from Guwahati, Haflong is around 170 km away. Home to lakes and ridges, gardens and horticulture orchards, Haflong is a hill station that is called the ‘White Ant Hillock.’ Camping, eco-tourism, hiking, trekking, paragliding etc are quite coveted out here. Orange and pineapple orchards and horticulture farms abound here, releasing sweet fragrances in the air every now and then. Due to its colonial past, there is a marked British influence to the culture and architecture of this town.
Only 43 km from Guwahati, Nalbari is the hub of nature, culture and religion. With its green carpeted lush-land peppered with ancient temples and tribal settlers, Nalbari is frequented for its unique blend of tourism. Paddy and rice fields as well as dense evergreen forests abound around the region, attracting you deeper into the thickness of its beauty. Best places to visit in Nalbari are Hari Mandir, Shripur Dewalay Mandir, Billeswar Temple, Jaypal Than and Fenguwa Rampart.
Manas National Park
Manas National Park lies 148 km from Assam and forms the foothills of the Himalayas that extend from Assam into Bhutan. With its unique flora and fauna, Manas is one of the World Heritage Sites, encompassing an area of 2837 sq. km. Terai grasslands and thick Bhabar woodland cover most of the park, making a safari even more thrilling. Among the many wild animals, keep your eye out for the one-horned rhinos and the royal Bengal tigers.