Exploring Guwahati – Gateway to North East India

Sandwiched between the Brahmaputra river and the Shillong plateau, Guwahati is said to be the “Gateway” of the North East Region. Whether you are heading to see the One-Horned Rhinos of Kaziranga in Assam or the Tattooed Tribes of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh, Guwahati is your major connecting city!

Majuli Vignettes Guwahati Assam India
Majuli Vignettes at Guwahati International Airport

Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport also called Guwahati International Airport, is the main international airport of the North-Eastern States of India.

Majuli Vignettes Guwahati Assam India
Majuli Vignettes at Guwahati International Airport

I was returning from Yazali after attending the Nyishi tribes Nyokum Yullo Festival and had an opportunity to explore Guwahati for a couple of hours till I caught my flight back to Delhi.

So if you are in Guwahati waiting for your connecting train or flight, here are a couple of destinations you can cover in those few hours.

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Dipor Bil

Dipor Bil Guwahati Assam India

 

Dipor Bil (Deepor Beel) is a permanent freshwater lake, in a former channel of the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati.

It is about 5 km from the Guwahati Airport (GNB Int. Airport). 

The name Dipor Beel has its origin in the Sanskrit word ‘Dipa’ which means Elephant. In the Assamese language, ‘Beel’ means wetland. Thus, Dipor Beel essentially means a large aquatic body inhabited by an elephant. 

Dipor Bil Guwahati Assam India

 

Scores of aquatic vegetation like water hyacinth, aquatic grasses, and water lilies are found in the lake. Elephants frequent the Beel to feed on the floating plants. 

 

Dipor Bil Guwahati Assam India

On this mosaic of diverse shades of green and brown were camouflaged hundreds of birds, both local and migratory.

The early bird catches the worm and the early visitor catches a good glimpse of the birds.

One gets to see the likes of the Potbilled pelican, lesser Adjutant stork, Baer’s pochard, Pallas’ sea eagle, greater Adjutant stork, the Siberian crane and a host of other species of birds.

The birds start arriving towards the end of October and stay here until March.

Dipor Bil Guwahati Assam India

The Dipor Bil provides livelihood by fishing to villagers living close to its boundaries.

When I was here in March 2018, I was informed that boating in the lake is no more allowed for tourists.

When to go:

October to March

Where:

  • Guwahati, Kamrup district, Assam
  • It is about 5 km from the Guwahati Airport (GNB Int. Airport).

Entry Fee:

Free

Kamakhya Temple

Kamakhya Temple Guwahati Assam India

Located on the Nilachal Hills, the Kamakhya temple was built between the 8th and 9th century during the Mleccha dynasty.

But the deity within is an ancient one, a Tantrik goddess predating Vedic culture some say, or even older.

A cleft in the rock, the goddess is worshipped in the form of a womb. (source).

Kamakhya Temple Guwahati Assam India
A flight of stairs takes you to the Kamakshi Temple

Legend has it after the death of his wife, Sati, Shiva was inconsolable and clung to her corpse. Vishnu cut Sati’s body so that Shiva would finally let go.

The places on earth where the various body parts fell became Shakti Peethas or the seats of the Goddess.

Kamakhya Temple Guwahati Assam India

The Kamakshi temple comprises of four chambers – one Garbhagriha and three mandapas.

The Garbhagriha is believed to contain her yoni (womb).

An interesting festival called Ambubasi (Ameti) fertility festival is observed here.

After the first rains, once every year, red fluid flows out from the cleft in the rock. This red color is believed to be goddess Kamakshi’s menstrual blood.

For those three days, the temple remains closed and opens with great festivity on the fourth day.

Locker room at Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati, Assam, India
Locker Room facilities are available

Kamaykhya Temple Timing:

5:30 AM to 10:00 PM

Where

Kamakhya Mandir Road, Kamakhya, Guwahati.

Website

http://www.kamakhyadham.com/

Entry Fees

Kamakhya Temple Guwahati Assam India
Long queue of devotees
  • Free
  • If you plan to visit the temple through general line be ready to spend 4-5 hours at least.
  • If you pay ₹500 you will get through VIP entry but even that takes 2 to 2.5 hrs. Weekends are the most crowded days.

Shopping in Guwahati

My fellow travel blogger Anjali enjoying a rickshaw ride! 

For the local flavour of artefacts head to Paltan Bazar and/or Fancy Bazar. 

Tea Strainer, Guwahati, Assam

I picked up Jaapi (a local traditional bamboo hat) and Gamocha (towel) as souvenirs. 

Beautiful Lady in Mekhla Chadar, Guwahati, Assam, India
My sister in Mekla Chadar Sari

If you love saris don’t forget to check out the Assamese Traditional Mekla Chadar(Sari). You will find beautiful embroidery in Muga Silk.

READ MORE:  Dharamkot with children – Things to Know before you go!

Meals

Breakfast? – Chisel Health Cafe

Who would want to visit a Gym while hopping between connecting trains right? Well if you reach too early and there are no eating joints open, a health Cafe is your only option.

Health Cafe Uzan Bazar, Guwahati, Assam

With no Panty Car in the train, I was too famished to Explore Guwahati without eating anything and thankfully found Chisel Health Cafe with its healthy eating options available that early morning.

Where

  • It’s around 10 minutes from Guwahati Railway Station.
  • Amazing Grace, Dr. S.K. Bhuyan Road, Dighalipukhuri, Uzan Bazaar, Guwahati

Opening hours

7 AM to 10 PM

 

Contact

+91 9401149044

+91 8876913328

Average Cost

₹400 for two people (approx.)

Lunch / Dinner – Thali – Paradise Restaurant 

For an authentic Non Vegeterian Assamese food order the Parampara or Vyanjan thali. For Asamese Vegeterian food you can order the vegerterian fixed meal.

Paradise Restaurant Guwahati Assam India

Where

Maniram Dewan Road, Silphukhri
Gauhati 781003

Opening Hours

11:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Contact

094355 48812

Average Cost

₹1000 for two people (approx.)


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