Best Places to Visit in Guwahati
Guwahati is the land of Brahmaputra. The entire city of based around this lashing river and hence in covered with lots of greenery. Guwahati is also capital city of Assam which provides it, its own political and commercial interest. This is also known as the gateway to North India and once visited can give you a complete feel of it. Be it the food, culture, clothes or anything. The city is well connected by all means of transport like train and airplane and is easy to reach. Often people plan road trips to reach this place to experience the rich culture of North East.
I will try to take you step by step on a literary journey of the city as I have experienced it. Hope you enjoy it.
Guwahati – The Spiritual City
Guwahati is a spiritual abode of Kamkhya Devi. Once you are in the city, the very famous Kamkhya Devi temple is a must visit, for both its cultural and historical importance. Named after the goddess established in this temple, the temple is famous for rewarding its disciples with their wishes. It is part of 51 sacred places from a very famous tale from ancient Hindu mythology in India where a body part of Goddess Shakti fell. These 51 areas are called Shakti-peeths and are believed to be a source of energy.
Besides the mythological interest, this place has its sacred aura. When you visit this place, you see gods and goddesses carved out in stone. There is a circular platform which provides a scenic view of the river. One can even play with pigeons; the place is full of them. People buy grains from the local sellers and spend their time feeding them.
Then there is another temple called Doul-Govinda. It is not so famous, but a traveler’s secret that I am telling you. It is situated on the other side of the city and needs to be reached by hiring a ferry. This is a small temple of Lord Krishna. What’s peculiar about this temple is the kheer that they offer two times as Prasad in this temple. It’s cooked by keeping milk on low-medium flame for an extended period which gives it a peculiar taste. People give all the credit of kheer being so tasty to Lord Krishna and eat it very tastefully as his Prasad. Milk is one of the essential items to be offered while visiting this temple. It’s almost always available at a small shop near the temple. The temple is situated amid lush green forest and most of the time it’s raining, which makes this temple even more attractive.
There are various other temples and places of religious interest in the city like Bhuvaneshwari Temple, Ugratara Temple, Vashistha Temple, Navagraha Temple, etc.
Markets in Guwahati
When in Guwahati, you cannot spare yourself without spending some bucks. It has its charm regarding the hand-woven material and cane wood furniture. You can buy very famous Mekhla Chadar from this place. It’s a long strip of woven material, mostly in cotton silk which is worn in an unusual manner almost like a lehenga. Another specialty of the place is famous Manipuri jacket which is also hand woven.
In case, cane furniture is something you cannot carry with you; you can also buy other decorative items made of cane like lamps and centerpieces. You may also like to try some local delicacies while shopping in these local markets. Since the city is located near a river, the most famous food is fish curry with steaming hot rice. You can also try veg and non-veg authentic momos in the roadside stalls. Rice is staple food item of the city and can be savored in many ways available both in local markets and in a five-star hotel. The most famous hotels and restaurants to taste authentic Assamese food are Paradise Restaurant, King Chilly, Heritage Khorika, Ambrosia, Gam’s Delicacy, Missing Kitchen and Seven, Vivanta by Taj.
The must visit local markets are Paltan Bazaar (famous for fabric market and book shop), Uzan Bazaar (famous fish market) and Fancy Bazaar (to buy famous Darjeeling tea).
The River – Brahmaputra
One of the not to miss things while in the city is the scorching sunset beside the river. You may visit Surkeshwar Ghat to view the mesmerizing sunset. The best way is to go a bit early and take a peaceful stride along the river bed while waiting for the sunset. When it happens, the whole sky turns red, and a soft breeze starts to flow along the river bed. You can experience the chirping of birds all along as they come back to their homes after a long day. I bet you will visit it again to repeat the experience.
Next thing to do near the Brahmaputra is a night time cruise. While the city silent’ s itself amid the night, you can enjoy it in a cruise sailing through the river with soft, soothing music playing around. They plan a perfect night for you with gourmet food and sizzling wine. You get a scenic view of dim lights floating straight from the city, and soft, gentle breeze keeps you mesmerized. Please remember to take a mosquito repellent balm with you, in case you don’t want to spoil your whole experience.
You can also visit Salkuchi – the silk village of Assam. It’s famous for its hand-woven silk patterns on authentic cotton silk of Assam. The village is situated around thirty kilometers from the city. While you can visit various small factories, it’s also a perfect weekend getaway. It provides the scenic view of the river and lush green rain forest in near vicinity. There is a stunning resort “Spice Route Resort” located in the village, where you can stay and experience the jungle adventure.