Guwahati (/ɡʊwəˈhɑːti/ ( listen)
ancient Assam, Gauhati in the modern era) is the largest city of Assam
and Northeastern India, a major riverine port city and one of the
fastest growing cities in India, situated on the South Bank of the
The ancient cities of
Durjaya (North Guwahati)
were the capitals of the ancient state of
Kamarupa . Many ancient
Hindu temples are in the city, giving it the name "City of
Temples". Dispur, the capital of Assam, is in the circuit city
region located within
Guwahati and is the seat of the Government of
Guwahati lies between the banks of the
Brahmaputra River and the
foothills of the
Shillong plateau, with LGB International Airport to
the west and the town of
Narengi to the east. It is gradually being
North Guwahati to the northern bank of the Brahmaputra.
Madan Kamdev is situated 30 kilometres (19 mi) from
Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), the city's local
government, administers an area of 328 square kilometres
(127 sq mi), while the
Guwahati Metropolitan Development
Authority (GMDA) is the planning and development body of greater
Guwahati Metropolitan Area.
Guwahati is the largest city in Northeast
Guwahati region hosts diverse wildlife including rare animals such
as Asian elephants, pythons, tigers, rhinoceros, gaurs, primate
species, and endangered birds.
2.1 Ancient History
2.2 Medieval History
3 Urban morphology
5 Administration & Governance
14 Media & telecommunications
15 Growth issues
16 Notable people
17 See also
20 External links
Once known as
Pragjyotishpura (the Light of the East), Guwahati
derives its name from the Assamese words "Guwa" meaning areca nut and
"Haat" meaning market.
Guwahati's myths and history go back several thousands of years.
Although the exact date of the city's beginning is unknown, references
in the epics, Puranas, and other traditional histories of India, lead
many to assume that it is one of the ancient cities of Asia.
Epigraphic sources place the capitals of many ancient kingdoms in
Guwahati. It was the capital of the kings
Narakasura and Bhagadatta
according to the Mahabharata. Located within
Guwahati is the
ancient Shakti temple of Goddess Kamakhya in Nilachal hill Made by
Ahoms (an important seat of Tantric and
Vajrayana Buddhism), the
ancient and unique astrological temple Navagraha in Chitrachal Hill,
and archaeological remains in
Basistha and other archaeological
locations of mythological importance.
A view of Kamakhya Temple
The Ambari excavations trace the city to the Non Hindu kingdoms of
Shunga-Kushana period of Indian history, between the 2nd century BC
and the 1st century AD. During earlier periods of the city's history
it was known as Pragjyotishpura, and was the capital of
Kamarupa kingdom. Descriptions by
Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) reveal
that during the reign of the Varman king
Bhaskaravarman (7th century
AD), the city stretched for about 30 li (15 km or
9.3 mi). . Archaeological evidence by excavations in Ambari,
and excavated brick walls and houses discovered during construction of
the present Cotton College's auditorium suggest the city was of
economic and strategic importance until the 9th-11th century AD.
35-feet-high statue of Ahom general Lachit
Borphukan and his army in
the middle of the Brahmaputra
The city was the seat of the Borphukan, the civil military authority
of the Lower
Assam region appointed by the Ahom kings. The Borphukan's
residence was in the present Fancy Bazar area, and his council-hall,
called Dopdar, was about 300 yards (270 m) to the west of the
Bharalu stream. The Majindar Baruah, the personal secretary of the
Borphukan, had his residence in the present-day deputy commissioner's
The Mughals invaded
Assam seventeen times, and they were defeated by
the Handful of Ahoms in
Battle of Itakhuli and Battle of Saraighat.
During the Battle of Saraighat, fought in
Saraighat in 1671, the
Mughals were overrun due to the strong leadership and hard work of
Lachit Borphukan. The great embankment called ‘Mumai-Kota Gorh’,
named after an incident in which Lachit had to slay (Kota) his own
maternal uncle (Mumai) for being lazy in building the embankment
(Gorh) that runs along the outskirts of the city, stands as a proof of
the hard work and war-readiness on the part of the Ahoms. There was an
ancient boat yard in Dighalipukhuri, probably used by the Ahoms in
medieval times. Medieval constructions include temples, ramparts,
etc. in the city.
Guwahati's urban morphology
Guwahati's 'urban form' radiates from a central core with growth
corridors radiating and extending towards the south, east and west. In
the past few decades, southern
Guwahati areas such as Ganeshguri,
Beltola, Hatigaon, Six Mile and Panjabari began forming a southern
sub-center surrounding the capital complex at Dispur. The core
area consists of the old city with Pan Bazaar, Paltan Bazaar,
Fancy Bazaar and Uzan Bazaar, with each area facilitating unique urban
The smallest inhabited riverine island in the world, Peacock Island,
Guwahati at dusk
Among the city corridors, the most important is the corridor formed
along the Guwahati-
Shillong (GS) Road towards the south (almost
15 km [9.3 mi] from the city-center). The GS Road
corridor is an important commercial area with retail, wholesale and
commercial offices developed along the main road; it is also a densely
built residential area in the inner parts. The capital complex of
Dispur is situated in this corridor. This corridor has
facilitated the growth of a southern city sub-center at Ganeshguri,
along with other residential areas to the south developed during the
past few decades.
The corridor extending towards the west (around
30 km [19 mi] from the city-center) contains a
rail-road linking not only
Guwahati but also other parts of the
northeastern region east of
Guwahati to western
Assam and the rest of
India. The corridor links residential and historically important areas
such as Nilachal Hill (Kamakhya), Pandu, and
Maligaon (headquarters of
Northeast Frontier Railways) before it separates into two – one
North Guwahati via the
Saraighat Bridge and the other
continuing west towards LGB International Airport via Gauhati
University (Jalukbari). There are also many river ports/jetties along
The third major corridor extends towards the east (around 15 km
(9.3 mi) from the city-center) linking Noonmati (Guwahati
Refinery) and Narengi, and has facilitated residential growth along
it. Highway NH-37, which encircles the city's southern parts and links
the southern corridor in Noumile to the western corridor in Jalukbari
is currently supporting rapid development. Similarly, the VIP Road
linking Zoo Road with the eastern corridor and recently completed
Narengi Road are also supporting massive residential
development to the east.
Guwahati is one among 98 Indian cities which will be upgraded to Smart
Cities under a project embarked on by Ministry of Urban Development,
Government of India. With the grade of a Smart city,
have highly up-to-date and radical provisions like regular and
continuous electric supply, first-rate traffic and transport system,
superior health care and many other prime utilities. Under this
scheme, the city will use digital technology that will act as the
integral mechanism of the aforesaid facilities and thereby further
elevate the lifestyle of the citizens of Guwahati.
City view from Sarania Hill
To the south-west of the city lies Dipor Bil, a permanent freshwater
lake with no prominent inflows apart from monsoon run-off from the
hills that lie to the south of the lake. The lake drains into the
Brahmaputra, 5 km (3.1 mi) to the north, and acts as a
natural stormwater reservoir for the city.
Guwahati has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate
classification Cwa), falling just short of a tropical savanna climate
Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification Aw). The average annual
temperature is 22.2 °C, with extremes ranging from 40.6 °C
recorded on 24 April 2014 to 2.0 °C recorded in January 1964.
Climate data for
Guwahati (Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: NOAA
India Meteorological Department (record high and low up to
Administration & Governance
Dispur, the capital of Assam, lies in Guwahati. The passing of North
Eastern (Reorganization Areas) Act in 1971 by the Indian Parliament
Meghalaya the status of a full-fledged state. After the
Meghalaya as a separate state,
Shillong continued to be
the joint capital of both
Assam and Meghalaya. However, in 1972, the
Assam decided to shift the capital to Dispur.
Accordingly, the first sitting of the Budget Session of the Assam
Legislative Assembly was held at
Dispur on 16 March 1973. Dispur
houses the Secretariat of
Assam Government, the
Assam Assembly House,
the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
Regional Office, the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd
(NEDFi) House and the
Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC).
Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) is the local body responsible for
governing, developing and managing the city. GMC is further divided
into 31 municipal wards.
Guwahati Metropolitan Development
Authority (GMDA) is an agency responsible for planning and development
of the greater
Guwahati Metropolitan Area and for revising the
Guwahati Master Plan and Building Bylaws to cover an area of 3,214
square kilometres (1,241 sq mi) by 2025.
Guwahati consists of four assembly constituencies: Jalukbari, Dispur,
Gauhati East and Gauhati West, all of which are part of Gauhati
(Lok Sabha constituency).
Guwahati is the headquarters of
Assam Police. The city is under the
Police Commissionerate of
Guwahati headed by the Commissioner of
Police, Guwahati. It is divided into three districts: East Police
District, Central Police District and West Police District, each
headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police. Each police district
consists of officers, not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of
Police, functioning as executive magistrates within a said
Guwahati is the principal seat of the Gauhati High Court. It acts as
the High Court of
Assam and also of Nagaland,
Mizoram and Arunachal
Pradesh with their outlying benches of Kohima,
Aizawl and Itanagar
Gauhati High Court
Gauhati High Court came in effect from 5 April 1948. It
initially had its sittings at
Shillong but was shifted to Gauhati from
14 August 1948.
Guwahati also houses the Court of the District & Sessions Judge,
Kamrup established in 1920. It is a lower court of the district
judiciary having territorial jurisdiction over the greater Guwahati
The city has a comparatively high quality of life. A 2006 survey
Guwahati 17th among all the large and medium-sized Indian
cities. The city provides competitive residential and working
environments with beautiful landscapes, pleasant climate, modern
shopping areas, modern apartments and bungalows, and considerably
developed social infrastructure. A centrally funded four-lane,
ambitious East-West Corridor will pass through
Guwahati and connect
all the state capitals of Northeast India. Completion of the project
will boost the vital upliftment of the whole region.
Guwahati from Kamakhya Hill
The city still needs attention to improve its infrastructure. Funding
Asian Development Bank
Asian Development Bank is providing assistance to improve
Guwahati's transportation infrastructure along with a substantial
Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)
for its development.
Guwahati is one of the fastest growing cities in India. It is
Guwahati metro will house 2.8 million residents by
2025.[better source needed]
Religions in Guwahati
Percent of population
Distribution of religions
Sikhism (0.36%) and
The percentage of child population of
Guwahati is 9.40%. The average
literacy rate is stated to be 91.47% with male literacy at 94.24% and
female literacy at 88.50%. The sex ratio has been recorded to be 933
females per 1000 males and child sex ratio to be 940 girls per 1000
Pandu, located on the banks of the
Brahmaputra at the western part of
the city, is an ancient urban area that acted as the chief military
base for the Ahoms against external invasions. Due to extensive
fortification ('Gorh') surrounding Pandu, it acts as a natural river
harbour and is formally called Gar-Pandu.
Pandu port falls under
Dhubri-Sadiya National Waterway-2 and is an important terminal cum
transit point for goods and cargo as well as passenger and tourist
vessels. Construction of both low-level and high-level jetty of fixed
terminal, capable of handling container vessels, has been completed
and has further enhanced revenue generation for the city.
Manufacturing sector in
Guwahati contributes a substantial share to
the economy of the city. Petroleum manufacturing is an important
economic activity of the city. The
Guwahati Refinery is the most
important manufacturing industry in the city. Located at Noonmati, the
refinery was set up by the Indian Oil Corporation Limited as the first
public sector refinery of
India as well as the refinery of Indian Oil
since 1962. It was built with an initial crude processing capacity of
0.75 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA) at the time of its
commission which was gradually increased to 1.0 MMTPA. It
produces various products and supplies them to the other northeast
states and also beyond to Siliguri through the Guwahati-Siliguri
pipeline. The various products produced by the refinery include
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Kerosene Oil, Turbine Fuel (aviation
use), Motor Spirit, High Speed Motor Diesel, Light Diesel Oil and Raw
Petroleum Coke. There is also an LPG bottling plant in the
city.[better source needed]
Tea manufacturing and processing is another important activity of
Assam is one of the highest tea-producing areas in the
world, contributing 80% of India's export and 55% of the country's
total tea production. So high is the production of tea in
it is the biggest industry of the state. The headquarters of the Assam
Indian Tea Association (ABITA) is located at Guwahati. The
Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC), located adjacent to the capital
complex at Dispur, is the world's largest CTC tea auction centre and
the second largest in terms of total tea auctioned. The inaugural sale
took place on 25 September 1970 and the first lot of tea was auctioned
at the price of Rs. 42.50 which, during those days, was a big
achievement.[better source needed]
Many centralised, private and international banks have set up their
branches in the city with the Reserve Bank Of
India having one of its
own at Pan Bazaar.
Saraighat Bridge on the Brahmaputra
Inside LGB International Airport
Guwahati is served by the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International
Airport, in Borjhar, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) west from the
heart of the city. With all major domestic and international airlines
flying into Guwahati, it is the thirteenth busiest airport in
total passenger traffic. Daily and weekly flights are available to
Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Bangkok, Paro and other
Guwahati Railway Station
The city of
Guwahati and the northeastern region falls under the
Northeast Frontier Railway
Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Zone of the Indian Railways. The
Guwahati railway station, located in
Paltan Bazaar area of Guwahati,
is the major railway station of the city. It lies along the
Barauni-Guwahati Line and Guwahati–Lumding section, categorised as
an A-1 railway station under Lumding railway division. There are three
more railway stations in the city – the
Kamakhya Junction for
passenger and goods services, the New
Guwahati Junction (near
Noonmati) for only freight services and Azara Railway Station, also
primarily used for freight services. There are regular trains
Guwahati to and from other major cities of the country.
Rajdhani Express, Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express,
Kamrup Express, Northeast Express,
Saraighat Express and Garib Rath
are some significant trains running to and from Guwahati. The train
with the longest route in India, Vivek Express, which runs from
Dibrugarh in Upper
Kanyakumari in southern tip of India
The length of surfaced roads within the city is 218 km
(135 mi). National Highway 27 connects
Guwahati with the states
West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh,
Gujarat. This highway connects
Silchar and further
connecting the city to the states of Manipur,
Mizoram and Tripura.
National Highway 17 from
West Bengal terminates in Jalukbari
Guwahati with the major cities of
Dhubri and Cooch Behar.
National Highway 15 and its several secondary roads runs through both
the banks of River
Brahmaputra and connects the
Guwahati with the
cities of Tezpur, Jorhat,
Dibrugarh and the states of Arunachal
Pradesh and Nagaland.
The public transportation is well developed in the city. Buses are the
major means of public transport in Guwahati. The
Assam State Transport
Corporation (ASTC) and private operators provide the city bus services
within the city. ASTC operates the
Volvo air-conditioned bus services
within the city as well as to the LGBI airport. In addition to this,
there are a number of bus operators which regularly run day and night
Guwahati to neighbouring towns and cities. Rupnath Brahma
Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT), located at Betkuchi area on NH-37, is
the most significant terminal cum transit point for buses plying
Guwahati and other destinations in
Assam and Northeast India.
The areas of Adabari and
Paltan Bazaar also act as nodal points in
providing bus services to towns and cities in
Assam and adjoining
A metro rail project has also been planned to relieve the hectic
traffic conditions on the streets.
The Inland Water Transport Department is headquartered at
in Guwahati. The waterways transportation services in
used for transporting bulk goods and cargo, and for movement of
passenger and tourist vessels. Ferry services are available for
transportation of people from different ports along the
Further information: List of educational institutions in Guwahati
Guwahati is the major educational hub of Northeast India. Among
the esteemed institutions is the Indian Institute of Technology
Guwahati (IIT), an autonomous institute dedicated in the field of
technical studies in India.The Indian Institute of Information
Technology Guwahati. The Cotton College is yet another century-old
autonomous institution in the fields of Science and Arts.
Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati
Guwahati has numerous educational institutes such as Gauhati
University, Cotton University, Srimanta Sankaradeva University of
Assam Science and Technology University, Gauhati
Commerce College, Handique Girls College, National Law University and
Judicial Academy, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Assam
Assam Institute of Management,
Assam Don Bosco
Assam Down Town University and Royal Global University,
Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Rongmon Statue at Sarusajai (IGA) Stadium
Guwahati features the multi-purpose Nehru Stadium which hosts mainly
cricket and football; while the Kanaklata Indoor Stadium in the R.G.
Baruah Sports Complex (in the Ulubari locality) is one of the oldest
sports complex in the city. There are smaller stadiums in Maligaon
(the North-East Frontier Railway Stadium) and in
Paltan Bazaar where
the Sports Authority of
India (SAI) complex is located.
The sporting infrastructure specially constructed for the 33rd
National Games in 2007 include a large stadium at Sarusajai—the
Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, the Dr. Zakir Hussain Aquatic Complex,
and the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi A.C. Indoor Hall. Other new
sports structures include the Maulana Md. Tayabullah Hockey Stadium at
Bhetapara, the Deshbhakta Tarun Ram Phookan Indoor Stadium at Ulubari,
Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium at Amingaon, Chachal Tennis Complex and
Tepesia Sports Complex. The other renovated sports complexes
include Ganesh Mandir Indoor Stadium at Khanapara, Rudra Singha Sports
Gauhati University Sports Stadium. The Indira
Gandhi Athletic Stadium was also the main venue of 2016 South Asian
Games, which was held from 5 to 16 February 2016. Indra Gandhi
Athletic Stadium also hosted the Himalayan Region Games in 2017. Indra
Gandhi Athletic Stadium also hosted the
FIFA U-17 World Cup
FIFA U-17 World Cup
Guwahati is home to professional football team
NorthEast United FC
NorthEast United FC of
Indian Super League. The
Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium
Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium presents
one of the finest football atmospheres in the country. They play their
home games at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.
ACA Stadium is a cricket stadium located at Barsapara in Guwahati.
Professional sports clubs based in the city
NorthEast United FC
Indian Super League
Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium
Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium
I-League 2nd Division
Nehru Stadium, North-East Frontier Railway Stadium
Gauhati Town Club
GSA Super League, Youth League U18
FC Green Valley
GSA Super League,
Assam State Premier League
Media & telecommunications
The Dainik Asom building at Chandmari
Assamese daily newspapers published from the city are Dainik Agradoot,
Asomiya Pratidin, Asomiya Khobor, Amar Asom, Dainik Janambhumi,
Janasadharan, Niyomiya Barta, Dainik Asam, Ajir Asom and Gana Adhikar.
English dailies are The
Assam Tribune, The Sentinel, The Telegraph,
The Times of
India and Eastern Chronicle. Eclectic Northeast
Magazine is a leading Guwahati-based monthly Northeast magazine
with an online version.
G Plus is the only English weekly tabloid
published from Guwahati.
Guwahati provides composite satellite television
services to Northeast India. The Guwahati-based 24-hour regional news
channels include News Live, DY 365, Pratidin Time, Prag News, Assam
Talks and News 18 Assam/North-East.
Guwahati Radio Station of state-owned All
India Radio was
inaugurated on 1 July 1948 as Shillong-
Guwahati Station. The
Headquarter of the Shillong-
Guwahati Station was shifted from Shillong
Guwahati in 1953. It is a full-fledged Regional broadcasting
station with 3 channels; the
Guwahati A & B Channels are AM
Channels and the CBS Channel is a FM Channel. The other FM stations
include 92.7 BIG FM, Radio Gup-Shup 94.3 FM,
Red FM 93.5 and Radio
Mirchi. Telecom services are BSNL, Aircel, Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance,
Idea Cellular and Jio.
Increase in population
Guwahati has seen a rapid rise in population in the past few years.
People from other parts of the state and the region routinely migrate
to the city chiefly for education and occupation resulting in
undesirable expansion of population in the city, which further brings
with it many collateral problems in the city.
One of the economic problems that the citizens of
Guwahati have to put
up with is the hike in prices of many essentials, chiefly vegetable,
poultry and fish. The prices of these commodities keep escalating at
an inordinate rate because of which the buyers find it difficult to
buy these items. Vegetables are transported into
Assam from West
Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi,
Meghalaya and the
truckers en route have to pay considerable amount of money as tax at
various check posts. It is one of the causes of rise in prices
of vegetables in the markets of Guwahati. The prices of locally
available vegetables and fruits undergo large markup because of
transportation expenses grounds, besides intra-State check posts
taxes. In addition to these, the wholesale dealers as well as the
retail sellers augment the prices of the commodities according to
their own desires. The prices of poultry, mainly chicken that reach
the city markets from places like
Barpeta have been
soaring rapidly because of similar factors. There has been steep rise
in the prices of fishes as well, the prominent varieties of which
being Rohu ("Rou"), Catla ("Bahu"), Walking catfish ("Magur") and
Monopterus ("Kuchia") among many others.
Narakasura, founder of Naraka dynasty
Bhagadatta, ruler of Naraka dynasty
Vajradatta, ruler of Naraka dynasty
Pushyavarman, founder of Kamrup Kingdom
Bhaskaravarman, ruler of Kamarupa
Durgabar Kayastha, medieval litterateur
Nabakanta Barua, poet/educator
Indira Goswami, novelist/educator
Himanta Biswa Sarma, education and health minister of state
Angaraag Mahanta, singer and composer
Shiva Thapa, boxer and Olympian
Abu Nechim, cricketer
Zubeen Garg, singer, actor, music director, composer
Arnab Goswami, journalist
Nayyara Noor, singer
Brahmaputra Valley Film Festival
Battle of Saraighat
Gauhati High Court
History of Beltola
List of people from Assam
List of colleges affiliated to Gauhati University
List of educational institutions in Guwahati
Personalities from Western Assam
Tourism in North East India
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