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Tourist Places To Visit In Guwahati
Nestled between River Brahmaputra and the foothills of Shillong plateau is the city of Guwahati in the North Eastern state of Assam. Despite being a rapidly growing cosmopolitan city, Guwahati has much to offer the tourists that halt in the city briefly, before moving onto more popular destinations in the region. From wildlife sanctuaries to ancient temples, here are few of the best tourist places to visit in Guwahati.
A Shakti Peethas and one of the most holy places in the country, Kamakhya Temple is dedicated to Ma Kamakhya. Thousands of devotees throng the temple each day seeking divine blessings. It is also an important seat of Tantrikism and worship of Shakti cult. The annual Hindu mela or ‘Ambubachi Mela’ is held during the monsoon season. Lakhs of people visit the temple during this time to observe and participate in the festival.
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary harbours the highest density of the Great Indian one-horned rhinos in the world. Sprawled across the grasslands of Assam, it is home to hundreds of species of birds, some of them endangered like the Spot-billed Pelican, White-bellied Heron etc. It also nurtures the South Asian River Dolphins or fresh water Dolphins, a rare species of dolphins numbering 2500 around the world. As inhabitants of Brahmaputra River, they are also referred to as the Gangetic Dolphins. The Pobitora Sanctuary is a must visit for nature lovers and photographers.
The Saraighat Bridge is the first rail-cum-roadbridge over the Brahmaputra which was inaugurated in 1962. Over the years it has become a symbol of Guwahati city. As per history, when the Mughals sent an army to invade Assam, the Ahom dynasty drove off the invaders in a major battle fought on the waters of Brahmaputra. The Saraighat Bridge is built over the very area where the epic battle was fought. It is one of the longest river bridges in the country.
Built on Peacock Island amidst River Brahmaputra is the famous Umananda Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Considered to be the smallest riverine island in the world, the island can be accessed by boats. The presiding deity is Umananda and Shiva Chaturdasi is the most popular festival that is held and celebrated here each year.
The Navagraha Temple is the temple of Nava Grahas or nine celestial bodies. It is located in the south eastern part of Guwahati, built atop a hill named Chitrachal. It houses 9 phallic emblems of Lord Shiva, believed to represent Surya, Chandra, Mangala, Budha, Brihaspati, Shukra, Shani, Rahu and Ketu. The temple is popular among tourists for its strong religious implications.
Deepor Beel Wild life Sanctuary
A permanent freshwater lake and one of the largest in the Brahmaputra valley is Deepor Beel. It is endowed with a rich collection of flora and fauna. During winter, hundreds of birds migrate to Deepor Beel from the hills to escape harsh weather. One can come across some endangered and rare species of birds as well. Apart from birds, the lake is also a home to large number of aquatic species like lizards, turtles, amphibians etc. The place is a photographers’ and birdwatchers’ paradise.
Assam State Museum
One of the largest and best museums in the region, a visit to the Assam State Museum can enhance one’s knowledge about Ahom culture and folklore. It houses artefacts dating back to the 7th century. It offers an opportunity to get a glimpse of the local traditions and their lifestyle.
The Assam State Zoo and Botanical Garden is located in Hengrabari Reserved Forest. It houses hundreds of species of animals, reptiles and birds from across the globe. For tourists who are inclined towards animals and wildlife and for those travelling with children, this can be a good place to visit and explore.
Dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries, Madan Kamrup is an archaeological site located 25 km from the city of Guwahati. Here one comes across ruins of the Pala dynasty of Kamarupa. The monuments here are primarily temples. Madan Kamrup is considered one of the primary historical destinations in Guwahati. Those interested in history and ancient architecture must include this in their itineraries.