|— Metropolitan City —|
|Nickname(s): City of Eastern Light, City of Eastern Astrology, City of Temples, Gateway of the North-East India|
|District||Kamrup Metropolitan district|
|• Body||GMC, GMDA|
|• Mayor||Dolly Borah (INC)|
|• Deputy Commissioner||Shri Ashutosh Agnihotri, IAS|
|• Metropolitan City||556 km2 (215 sq mi)|
|Elevation||55.5 m (182.1 ft)|
|• Metropolitan City||1,498,659|
|• Density||2,700/km2 ( 7,000/sq mi)|
|• Official||Assamese, English, Bengali|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||+91 - (0) 361 - XX XX XXX|
|Vehicle registration||AS-01 (Guwahati) / AS-25 (Dispur)|
|Planning agency||GMC, GMDA|
Guwahati (Pron: gʊwəˈhɑ:ti) (Assamese: গুৱাহাটী Guwāhāti (help·info)) — formerly known as Pragjyotishpura (Sanskrit:प्राग्ज्योतिषपुर) and Durjaya (Sanskrit:दुर्जय) in ancient Assam (Kamrup) and Gauhati in the modern era — is an ancient urban area and largest city of Assam and northeastern India. It is one of the fastest developing cities in India and is a major city in Eastern India often referred as "gateway" of North Eastern Region of the country.
Guwahati, formerly Prāgjyotishpura meaning "city of eastern light", "city of eastern astrology", and Durjaya meaning "impregnable" were the capitals of the ancient state of Kamarupa under Varman's and Pala's respectively. Many ancient Hindu temples are in the city, Kamakhya, Umananda, Navagraha, Sukreswar, Basistha, Lankeshwar, Doul Govinda, Dirgheshwari, Ugro Tara, Rudreswar etc. are but a few so also known as the "The City of Temples." Dispur, the capital of the Indian state of Assam is in the city and is the seat of the Government of Assam.
The city is 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 expanded as North Guwahati to the northern bank of the Brahmaputra.The famous heritage Madan Kamdev is situated 30 km away from Guwahati.This heritage is same as khajuraho. The Guwahati Municipal Corporation, the city's local government, administers an area of 216 km², while the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority, the planning and development administers an area of 340 km².
Guwahati is the major commercial and educational hub of North-East India and is home to world class institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati and other premier institutions like Gauhati University and Cotton College. The city is a major center for cultural activities and sports in the North Eastern region and for the administrative and political activities of Assam. The city is an important regional hub for transportation.
The name Guwahati is two Assamese words: 'guwa' (areca nut) and 'haat' (market place). The name used to be spelled as Gowhatty (pre-colonial and colonial), anglicized to Gauhati (colonial-British), which was then changed to the present form in the late 1980s to conform to the local pronunciation
Guwahati's myths and history go back several thousands of years. Although the date of the city's beginning is unknown, references in the epics, Puranas, and other traditional histories, 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. The ancient sakti temple of Goddess Kamakhya in Nilachal hill (an important seat of Tantric and Vajrayana Buddhism), the ancient and unique astrological temple Navagraha in Chitrachal Hill, and archaeological remains in Basista and other locations support the mythological assertions of the city's ancient past.
The Ambari excavations trace the city to the 6th century AD. It was known as Pragjyotishpura and Durjoya in different periods and was the capital under the Varman Dynasty and the Pala dynasties of the Kamarupa kingdom. Descriptions by Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) reveal that during the greatest Varman king Bhaskar Varman (7th century AD), the city stretched for about 30 li (15 km) and was probably the principal base for his strong naval force (30,000 war-boats, with officers who were knowledgeable of the sea-routes from the Indian Ocean to China - Xuanzang). The city remained as the capital of Assam till the 10th-11th century AD under the rulers of the Pala dynasty. Excavations in Ambari and the brick walls and houses excavated during construction of the present Cotton College's auditorium suggest that it was a city of great size with economic and strategic importance until the 9th-11th century AD.
During medieval times between the 12th and 15th centuries AD, after the destruction of the Kamata kingdom, the city lost its earlier glory and became mainly a strategic outpost of the Koch Hajo and Ahom kingdom. When the western part of the Koch Kingdom (Koch Bihar) fell to the Mughals, the eastern half (Koch Hajo) eventually became a protectorate of Ahom. Although the border between the powers (Ahoms and Mughals) fluctuated between the Kartoya river (now in North Bengal) to the Manas and Barnadi rivers, Guwahati remained an important outpost.
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 Bazaar 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 residence.(Baruah 1992:200–201)
The Mughals tried to invade Assam 17 times and each time they were defeated by the Ahoms led by the great Ahom general Bir Lachit Borphukan. The Battle of Saraighat fought close to Guwahati in 1671 is the most well-known of all those battles; the Mughals were overrun due to the strong leadership and hard work of Lachit Borphukan. Brahmaputra and was an ancient boat yard probably used by the Ahoms in medieval times. Moreover, there are many tanks, temples, ramparts, etc. in the city. The most important archaeological site is the Ambari excavation site close to Dighalipukhuri.
A new cantilever bridge across river Brahmaputra has been planned to link North Guwahati.
|Climate data for Guwahati|
|Record high °C (°F)||28.8
|Average high °C (°F)||23.6
|Average low °C (°F)||10.3
|Record low °C (°F)||4.7
|Rainfall mm (inches)||11.9
|Avg. rainy days||1.8||2.9||5.8||13.1||17.0||19.6||22.3||18.5||15.2||7.4||2.8||1.3||127.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||226.3||214.7||220.1||201.0||192.2||132.0||124.0||161.2||138.0||204.6||231.0||232.5||2,277.6|
|Source #1: World Meteorological Organization., NOAA (extremes & humidity, 1971-1990) |
|Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory.|
The lowest temperature ever recorded was 5.4°C on January 7, 1983.
Guwahati's 'urban form' is somewhat like a starfish. With a core in the central areas, the city has tentacles extending in the form of growth corridors towards south, east and west. In the past few decades, southern Guwahati areas such as Ganeshguri, Beltola, Panjabari, Jatia, Kahilipara, etc., began forming a southern sub-center surrounding the capital complex at Dispur, principally depending on the GS Road corridor.
The core area consists of the old city with Pan Bazaar, Paltan Bazaar, Fancy Bazaar and Uzan Bazaar, each one facilitating unique urban activities. While Paltan Bazaar is the hub for transportation and hotels, Pan Bazaar is centered around education, administrative, cultural activities, offices and restaurants. Fansi Bazaar is the hub for retail and wholesale commercial activities, and Uzan Bazaar mainly contains administrative, retail and residential areas. With these bustling areas, the city core is a busy and lively part of the Guwahati. Ulubari, Lachit Nagar, Chandmari and Zoo Road (R.G. Baruah Road), which have a mix of retail-commercial and residential areas, can be considered an additional part of the core.
The most important corridor is along the Guwahati-Shillong (GS) Road towards the south (almost 15 km from the city-center). The GS Road is an important commercial area with retail, wholesale and offices developed along the main road; it is a densely built residential area in the inner parts. The capital complex of Assam at Dispur is 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 from the city-center) contains a railroad linking Guwahati and other parts of the North Eastern Region east of Guwahati to rest of western Assam and 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 towards North Guwahati and the other continuing west towards Guwahati Airport via the University of Gauhati (Jalukbari). There are many river ports/jetties along this corridor.
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 Hengerabari-Narengi Road are also supporting massive residential development to the east.
In brief, the major components of Guwahati's urban structure are:
The city is having notable changes in its morphology with rapid expansion. The Khanapara road is being converted into four lanes and it will be extended up to a Changsari in the near future. Projects are undertaken on the outskirts like the water park in Rani, which has brought those far-flung areas under city reach by visit by tourists. The road towards Airport from Jalukbari is also being converted into a four-lane road. Two five star hotels are on the verge of being set up, raising hopes that by a decade or so, the city will be twice its size now.
Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) is the local body responsible for governing, developing and managing the city. (GMC) is further divided into 60 municipal wards. Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is an agency responsible for planning and development of the greater Guwahati Metropolitan Area, which is revising the Guwahati Master Plan and Building Bylaws. Guwahati Development Department, a special department of the Government of Assam, has been recently formed for Guwahati's overall development.
Guwahati is one of the most rapidly growing cities in India. The city's population grew from just 200,000 in 1971 to more than 500,000 in 1991. In the census of 2001 the city's population was found to be 808,021. By 2012, it is estimated that Guwahati will boast more than a 1.6 million residents.
In 2001, males constituted 55 percent and females at 45 percent of Guwahati's residents. It was found that 10 percent of the population is under 6 years of age. Guwahati has an average literacy rate of 78 percent, with male literacy at 81 and female literacy at 74 percent. The Major religion followed is Hinduism.
The gross domestic product of Guwahati metro was estimated at $1 billion in 2010. As a river port, Guwahati has traditionally been an important administrative and trading center. Separate income estimates are not yet available as city-level income estimation is not a traditional practice in India, and is not practiced in a systematic and continual manner. However, by looking at the agglomeration of activities and employment patterns it can be easily understandable that the city contributes a lion's share of the state's income.
The major economic activities are trade and commerce, transportation and services. Guwahati is the most important trade hub in the North Eastern Region. It is a major wholesale distribution center, a marketing hub, and also a retail hub of the region. The Guwahati Tea Auction Centre is one of the largest in the world. As in other cities, 'mall culture' is now invading Guwahati. Manufacturing is an important activity, although it is not comparable to those of India's rapidly growing industrial cities. The most important manufacturing industry in the city is the petroleum refinery of IOCL at Noonmati, which is known as Guwahati Refinery. The city contains the headquarters or regional offices of several manufacturing and business establishments, e.g., Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL). Bamunimaidam and Kalapahar are two major industrial estate of Guwahati. Guwahati is important for printing and publishing, as well as businesses related to electronic and print media. During the past two decades, businesses such as real estate development, finance, etc. have intensified. Retail and real estate have emerged as big players. Recent times have seen large scale retail chains such as Big Bazaar, Westside, Pantaloons, Salasar Mega Store, Hidesign, Wills Lifestyle, Levi Strauss & Co. had opened outlets in Guwahati. Guwahati is home to the Guwahati Stock Exchange (GSE). For the promotion of trade and industry of Assam there is a trade centre named Maniram Dewan Trade Centre at the Betkuchi area of the city.
Tourism and recreation, education, research, cultural activities, real estate, etc. are slowly increasing and contributing to city's economic growth.
Although being a medium sized city, ranking around 50th (in terms of population) in India, the city's quality of life is comparatively higher. A recent survey (2006) by a popular Indian magazine - Outlook (Money) ranked Guwahati 16th among all the major 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 good social infrastructure. Yet infrastructure in the city still requires extensive attention, which can increase and revolutionize the city's reputation, investment environment, and overall growth pattern. Major investments in infrastructure are being planned in the city, covering many aspects of the utilities and transportation infrastructures, with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Guwahati is to also receive substantial city development funds from JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) - the Government of India's recently conceived commission for urban development, and a development plan for the city has been recently finalized.
Guwahati is serviced by the Guwahati Airport at Borjhar, about 20 km west of the center of the city. Air connectivity have improved considerably in the last couple of years with all major domestic airlines flying into Guwahati. Helicopter services are operated from Guwahati to Shillong (30 min), Tura (50 min), Naharlagun (Itanagar), Tawang (75 min) by Pawan Hans, a helicopter service provider. The Helicopter services have been scrapped after the death of the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh. Guwahati airport averages about 95-100 arrivals and departures a day. Guwahati is serviced with direct flights to Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and other major cities in India by different airlines. Druk Air connects Guwahati internationally airport to Bangkok and Paro twice a week. A modernization plan is underway at Guwahati airport right now and once it is completed, the AAI plans to make Guwahati a hub of air connectivity. Northeast Shuttles(P) Ltd. has started daily flights in their 18 seater Dornier 228 and 9 seater Cessna 208 aircraft from Guwahati airport connecting Silchar, Imphal, Aizawl, Dimapur.
Guwahati falls under the Northeast Frontier Railway zone of the Indian Railways. Guwahati Junction which is the major station of Guwahati is the headquarters of the zone. Two other stations are Kamakhya and New Guwahati (for freight services) located towards west and east from Guwahati respectively. Few trains depart from Kamakhya station also. Guwahati is well connected by express trains to major cities like New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Jaipur, Trivandrum, Ranchi, Patna, Puri, Jammu etc. Major trains serving Guwahati are Guwahati Rajdhani Express, Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express, Saraighat Express, North-East Express, Guwahati Bangalore Express, Guwahati Egmore Express, Guwahati Ernakulam Express, Kamrup Express, Kanchanjunga Express, Guwahati-Jorhat Jan Shatabdi Express etc.
National Highway 31 connects Guwahati with the states Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. National Highway 37 from Goalpara in Assam to Dimapur in Nagaland traverses the entire length of Assam and connects Guwahati with almost all the major cities of Assam including the cities of Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Bongaigaon.
Guwahati is very well connected with adjoining regions via bus services. Three nodal points, Adabari, Paltan Bazar and ISBT Guwahati, provide bus services to towns and cities in Assam and adjoining states. Some of these services are run by the government agency ASTC, whereas a vast majority of them are run by private companies. "Night supers", or buses that run overnight, and luxury coaches, are very popular.
The Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) located at the outskirts, provides connectivity with other regions of the Northeast with regular buses for major cities and tourist destinations of the neighbouring states.
Citizens from Myannmar can come in through the border post of Tamu-Moreh and take a connecting flight from Imphal to the city. There are also regular Bus services from Imphal to the city. Similarly, citizens can come from Bhutan and Bangladesh through Border Posts and take the Bus Services to the city.
Guwahati, being on the bank of Brahmaputra River, is connected to National Waterways No 2, with a terminal at Pandu. It is used for movement of bulk & general cargo, passenger vessels and tourist vessels.
Lack of sufficient road space is a major problem. The length of surfaced road within the city is presently at 218 km (ARSAC). The major corridor roads suffer from insufficient right of way, illegal construction methods, and improper planning and design. The roads in the residential neighborhoods are extremely narrow (lack of proper regulations) causing problems related to both traffic and infrastructure installations. Cul-de-sacs are neither planned nor designed properly.
Guwahati has a good public transit system. The government agency - Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) and many private operators provide a considerably good city-bus system. It requires further modernization and integration with city planning and management initiatives. Guwahati is the first city in the North-east where low-floored buses were introduced.
Apart from city buses, trekker services, which are soft-top multi-utility vehicles with a sitting capacity of 10-12, provide public transport facilities along major roads in the city. They are popular among people for fast travel, although these vehicles are usually overloaded with passengers and tend to go very fast causing frequent accidents.
The city is home to Gauhati University in Jalukbari. Gauhati University was the first university in Assam to be set up in 1948. It was also the first premier educational institute to be set up in the North-East India. Gauhati University was recently ranked among the top 26 universities of India according to a survey by India Today.
The century-old Cotton College is one of the most reputed colleges in eastern India and possesses great scholastic and cultural value. The Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati is the sixth member of the high-profile world's renowned IITs in India. Since its establishment in 1994, IIT Guwahati has proven itself as an excellent institution for research and education. The Assam Engineering College and the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital which include Regional Dental College and Regional College of Nursing are the two important institutions for science and technology and medical education. National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam which is one of the fourteen National Law Universities of India was established in the year 2010 and is a torchbearer in the field of legal education in North East India.
Among the city's many other institutions of higher learning are the Gauhati Commerce College, College of Veterinary Science under AAU, Government Ayurvedic College, Arya Vidyapeeth College, B. Borooah College, Handique Girls College (they all have both Arts and Science streams), Assam Engineering Institute (engineering diploma courses), Pandu College, LCB College, West Guwahati Commerce College, K.C. Das Commerce College , J.B. Law College, Dispur College, Icon Commerce College, NEF Law College and Pragjyotish College.The Guwahati campus of TISS was also established here in 2010. Guwahati has branches of professional courses like the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) and Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India (ICWAI). Apart from those, Assam Institute of Management, North Eastern Regional Institute of Management (NERIM), Royal Group of Institutions, Asian Institute of Management and Technology, Darwin School of Business, Girijananda Chowdhury Institute of Management and Technology, Azara, NETES Institute of Technology and Science Mirza, Institute of Strategic Business Management (ISBM), Guwahati Institute of Technoloy (GIT), NEF College of Management & Technology, Hindustan College and GEA National College are notable institutes of higher education. The city has Don Bosco University, the first state-approved private university in Assam and North East India at Azara, outskirts of the city . The Kamrup College of Vocational Training provides education and training on vocational and professional management courses. It is home to many good schools like Asom Jatiya Vidyalaya, South Point School, DPS Guwahati, Don Bosco School, Holy Child School, Maharshi Vidya Mandir, Royal Global School,Kendriya Vidyalayas and Miles Bronson Residential School.It also has organisations like Seven Stars,talent hunters founded by Barun Brahmachari and his companions for the education of students in varied fields.
Guwahati is an important center for health facilities in eastern India, featuring many government and private specialty hospitals and health research centres. The most important are the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital, Dispur Hospital, Guwahati Neurological Research Centre (GNRC), Down Town Hospital, International Hospital, Dr. B. Borooah Cancer Institute, Hayat Hospital and Sankardev Netralaya.
Guwahati features the multi purpose Nehru Stadium, hosts mainly cricket and football; while the Kanaklata Indoor Stadium in the R.G. Baruah Sports Complex (in the Ulubari locality) is older sports complex of the city. There are smaller stadiums in Maligaon (the N.F. Railway Stadium) and in Paltan Bazaar area where the Sports Authority of India (SAI) complex is.
The sporting infrastructures 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, Khanapara, Rudra Singha Sports Complex, Dispur and Gauhati University sports stadium.
GTC: Gauhati Town Club, a very old and prestigious club of the state at Pan Bazar provides very good sports facilities. The club has a football academy, cricket centre, chess foundation and a swimming centre where the prime thrust is given to groom the young and budding talents of the region.
A new cricket stadium is also in the offing at the suburbs of Guwahati ,located in Barsapara.the stadium is being constructed by the ASSAM CRICKET ASSOCIATION(ACA).Construction began in 2007 and is expected to be complete by 2013.With a seating capacity of 60,000 people and world class infrastructure it is pipped to be the 2nd home ground for Kolkata Knight Riders from the 2014 IPL season.
Moreover, along with the Brahmaputra river, there are many lakes and rocky hills in the city suitable for water and adventure sports.
The popular Assamese daily newspapers published from the city are Dainik Agradoot, Asomiya Pratidin, Asomiya Khobor, Amar Asom, Dainik Janambhumi, Janasadharan, Niyamiya Barta and Gana Adhikar. English dailies are The Assam Tribune, The Sentinel, Seven Sisters Post, The Telegraph and The Times of India. Doordarshan Kendra Guwahati provides composite satellite television services to north east region. The Guwahati based 24 hour regional news channels include NE TV, News Live, DY 365, Frontier TV, Prime News, News Time Assam, News Network and Prag. In FM Radio, apart from All India Radio, Radio Oolala 91.9 FM, Radio Gup-Shup 94.3 FM, Red FM 93.5 and BIG FM 92.7 are other FM stations of the city. Telecom services are BSNL, Aircel, Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Mobile, Idea Cellular, S Tel etc.
The city has several shopping malls:
The city has several multiplexes including:
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