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Guwahati, the gateway to Northeast India, is a vibrant city nestled amidst the scenic beauty of the Brahmaputra River and the lush hills of Assam. Known for its rich cultural heritage, ancient temples, and natural landscapes, Guwahati offers a delightful experience for tourists. In this blog, we will take you on a virtual tour of Guwahati, Assam and introduce you to some of the must-visit places that should be on every traveler’s itinerary.
Explore Guwahati – Places to Visit
- Kamakhya Temple: Start your Guwahati exploration by visiting the famous Kamakhya Temple, one of the most revered Shakti Peethas in India. This ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Kamakhya offers a breathtaking view of the city and is known for its unique architecture and religious significance.
- Umananda Island: Situated on the Brahmaputra River, Umananda Island is a small river island that is home to the Umananda Temple. Take a boat ride to the island and explore the tranquil surroundings while paying homage to Lord Shiva at this historic temple. The island also offers panoramic views of Guwahati and is a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers.
- Assam State Museum: For history and culture enthusiasts, the Assam State Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the rich heritage of the region. From ancient sculptures to tribal art and historical relics, the museum provides a glimpse into Assam’s past and its diverse cultural traditions.
- Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden: Located in the Hengrabari Reserve Forest, the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden is a must-visit place for nature lovers. It houses a wide variety of animal species, including the famous one-horned rhinoceros, tigers, elephants, and more. The botanical garden within the zoo is a peaceful retreat with a stunning collection of plants and flowers.
- Nehru Park: Nestled on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, Nehru Park is a popular recreational spot for both locals and tourists. The park offers beautifully manicured gardens, boating facilities, and a children’s play area. Enjoy a leisurely stroll, indulge in some outdoor activities, or simply relax and soak in the serene ambiance.
- Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra: Dedicated to the great saint and scholar Srimanta Sankaradeva, the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra is a cultural institution that showcases the art, dance, music, and theater forms of Assam. The premises include a museum, an open-air theater, and a traditional Assamese village, providing a comprehensive understanding of the state’s cultural heritage.
- Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary: Nature enthusiasts should not miss a visit to the Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary, a haven for migratory birds and diverse flora and fauna. This wetland ecosystem is home to numerous bird species, including the endangered greater adjutant stork. Explore the sanctuary through boat rides or walking trails and immerse yourself in the natural beauty it offers.
Authentic Food of Assam
Assam, known for its rich culinary traditions, offers a wide range of authentic and flavorful dishes. Here are some of the must-try Assamese delicacies:
- Assam Tea: As Assam is renowned for its tea plantations, a visit to the region would be incomplete without indulging in a cup of Assam tea. Known for its robust flavor and bright red color, Assam tea is popular worldwide.
- Assamese Fish Curry (Masor Tenga): Assam’s proximity to rivers and wetlands makes fish an integral part of the Assamese cuisine. Masor Tenga is a tangy fish curry prepared with ingredients like tomatoes, elephant apple, and lemon. The use of indigenous souring agents like kokum or tomatoes gives it a unique taste.
- Khar: Khar is a traditional Assamese dish made from filtered water obtained by percolating the ashes of sun-dried banana peels. This alkaline liquid is then used to cook various vegetables, pulses, and even meat. It has a distinct flavor and is often enjoyed with rice.
- Duck Meat Curry (Haahor Mangxo): Assam is known for its duck farming, and duck meat curry is a popular delicacy in the region. The tender meat is cooked with a blend of spices, including ginger, garlic, onions, and a touch of mustard oil, resulting in a delicious and flavorful dish.
- Assamese Thali: For a wholesome culinary experience, try an Assamese thali, which comprises a variety of dishes served on a traditional bell-metal platter (bota). The thali usually includes rice, dal (lentils), various vegetable curries, tenga (sour curry), pitika (mashed potatoes or brinjal), pickles, and chutneys.
- Pitha: Pitha is a popular Assamese snack or dessert prepared during festivals and special occasions. These rice flour dumplings are steamed or fried and come in various shapes and flavors. Some famous varieties include Til Pitha (sesame-stuffed), Ghila Pitha (pan-fried), and Sunga Pitha (cooked in bamboo tubes).
- Aloo Pitika: Aloo Pitika is a simple yet delicious dish made with mashed potatoes, onions, green chilies, mustard oil, and salt. It is often served with rice or roti and adds a comforting flavor to meals.
- Black Rice Pudding (Bora Saulor Pitha): Black rice, known as bora saul in Assam, is used to make a delightful dessert called Bora Saulor Pitha. The black rice is soaked, ground, and cooked with jaggery and coconut milk, resulting in a creamy and aromatic pudding.
Best Time to Visit Guwahati
The best time to visit Guwahati is during the winter season, which spans from October to March. The weather during this time is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 25°C (50°F to 77°F). The days are generally sunny, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing.
Guwahati experiences a humid subtropical climate, with monsoon rains occurring from June to September. While the monsoon season brings lush greenery to the region, heavy rainfall may disrupt travel plans and outdoor activities. Therefore, it’s advisable to avoid visiting Guwahati during the monsoon season.
The summer season in Guwahati, from April to June, can be quite hot and humid, with temperatures reaching up to 38°C (100°F). However, if you can tolerate the heat, this period also offers opportunities for cultural festivals and events in the region.
Guwahati, with its blend of spirituality, natural beauty, and cultural heritage, has much to offer to every traveler. Whether you’re seeking a religious experience, exploring historical artifacts, or immersing yourself in nature, the city has a wide range of attractions to cater to your interests. Plan your visit to Guwahati, and let the city mesmerize you with its charm and warmth.