Guwahati: the gateway to the Northeast India!

Guwahati, in Assam, is where I grew up and have spent my formative years. Any place that you spend two decades in, becomes a little closer to your heart but that’s not the only reason I love this city!

We shifted there in November 1993 when my brother was just one year old. My earliest memory of this place is the Saraighat Bridge over the mighty river Brahmaputra. Our train was on the bridge around the evening time and the train was crawling along the tracks. It took us almost ten minutes to cross the bridge. And for those ten minutes, all you could see was the vast expanse of the river, a few lights flickering along the banks of the river.

We started school in January 1994 and our school followed the state board curriculum in which an academic year would be from January to December. That very year, our school decided to shift to the CBSE curriculum and the academic year ended in April 1995. As a result, I studied the fourth standard for 20 months. (I had already done four months of schooling before we relocated).

We had a very adventurous first year in Guwahati. From kidnapping threats to being suddenly picked up from the school to moving to Shillong, we were under constant threat from the terrorist organisation there. This also started our annual ritual of a staycation in Shillong. Every summer we would go to the “Scotland of the East”, spend a weekend or a few more days there, mostly just relaxing in the hotel.

This city also has a ritual of a winter picnic by the river bank and this ritual still exists! Every year from December to January sees people going for picnics in the boats, making a bonfire, cooking the meals, soaking in the winter sun, playing games and reconnecting with nature and life. This is one thing that I really miss in the cities.

If you’ve ever visited Guwahati, you would have also gone to pray to Maa Kamakhya, one of the holiest shrines in the country. It is said that when Sati’s body was cut into pieces, the reproductive part fell here. It doesn’t have any idol, only a carving in the earth from where there is a constant flow of water.

Then there is the Umananda Temple the smallest river island that houses a Shiva temple.

Umananda Temple

A city that boasts of a river, hills and the greenery, celebrates every festival with equal pomp and galore. Most of the festivals here revolve around the crops and their harvesting season.

Best time to visit there: November to March.

Detailed posts to follow soon!

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39 thoughts on “Guwahati: the gateway to the Northeast India!

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  1. I’ve so many friends from Guwahati that it feels like a mini Kolkata. I remember you reading my Shillong to Cherrapunji trip pic post and now I discovered why we connected so effortlessly. Loved reading every bit of this nostalgic write up and so glad to meet you through this campaign.

  2. No doubt Guwahati is very beautiful especially when it comes to nature and beauty and the view of the sunset is just amazing . I too from Guwahati and with love in this city

  3. Hey Tamanna , Most of us Mumbaikars visit Kashmir, Simla , Kulu Manali , Bangalore , Ooty , Mysore , Mt. Abu, Kerala but hardly ever go to North East. Thanks to your scenic post , I have made a note to visit the North East part of great India , especially Guwahati. #MyFriendAlexa #SujatawdeReads

  4. I am yet to explore the Northeast India. I have been to IIM shillong for a competition and spent a night there and then spent another night at my friends house in IIT Guwahati. Shillong was picture perfect from the little that I saw on our drive and Guwahati also has it’s own charm. The threats of terrorist attacks were real those days , have heard horrific stories! Hope things are better now. looking forward to more in this series

  5. Not yet visited and is always on my agenda, and with your temptation as “Scotland of East”, I will be soon visiting. I have heard a lot from friends and it is beauty and bounty of nature that takes our breathe away. The clean rivers and the river side picnic are such wonderful experiences which we miss in the cities and towns. Looking forward to your next post and shall pick up your expert suggestions before the visit plan.

  6. I have never been to Guwahati but it’s on my bucket list. Just like you studied in the same class for 20 months, I jumped the 4th and 7th class after completing it midway, because of dad getting posted from Agra (CBSE curriculum) to Kalimpong( State curriculum). I was sure I didn’t want to continue for 20 months each time. So I studied hard each time and got promoted. No wonder, I was probably the youngest in my batch.
    Lovely post! Can’t wait for the follow up to this post. Looking forward!

  7. I haven’t been to Guwahati yet but friends who’ve visited say that its beautiful. Your pictures are an ode to their claims. Must be fun growing in a such a place!

  8. I am a travel enthusiast but North East is the only belt of India I have not visited yet, unfortunately. I am amazed by its beauty and will plan soon. I didnt know Maa Kamakhya Devi is in Guwahati also, I had heard of only the one in Punjab.

  9. My daughter, wife and sister-in-law recently visited Guwahati and they came back and told me they really enjoyed their stay there. My daughter especially was simply thrilled about the whole trip. I plan to visit sometime soon with my family once more. Great post.

  10. I always wanted to explore the north East India.. I don’t know what stops me from doing it.. Your post actually woke me up for it’s time to explore what I always wanted to do

  11. You know what I have a dream to travel to North East States. I love Assam most out of all NE States because of its uniqueness in culture, colours, food, clothes and above all the natural flora and fauna. Guwahati, is a beautiful city i have heard. I look forward to visit this state and city. Lovely post. Loved the images.

  12. Oh, I had no idea you have stayed in Guwahati for this long time. I have visited Guwahati in 2014 during our trip to Meghalaya. And have stayed in Guwahati for 1 night but could visit only Umananda temple that time. Guwahati is still on my bucket list for this year.

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