Assam Trade Promotion Organisation
Image Assam Trade Promotion Organisation

  About the City  

Guwahati is a major city in eastern India, often considered as the gateway to the North-East Region (NER) of the country and is the largest city within the region. Dispur, the capital of the of Assam is situated within the city. Guwahati is one of the most rapidly growing cities in India. During past few decades it has experienced unprecedented spatial expansion and also steep rise in population. In fact according to a survey done by a UK media, Guwahati is among the first 100 fastest growing city of the world and is 5th fastest growing among Indian cities. Today, the city straddles between the LGB International Airport in the west to Narengi in the east for almost 45 kilometres and between the southern bank of the Brahmaputra river and the foothills of the Shillong plateau for around 15 kilometres. Moreover, the city is also getting gradually expanded to the northern bank of Brahmaputra. Guwahati with population just 0.2 million in 1971 is a million plus city today. Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), the city's local government covers an area of 216 km, while Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), the planning and development authority covers an area of 340 km.

It is a major commercial and educational center of eastern India and is home to world class institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology. The city is also a major center for cultural activities and sports in the North Eastern Region and for the administrative and political activities in Assam. The city is also an important hub for transportation in the North East Region. Traditionally, Guwahati has been an important administrative and trading center and a river port. The name Guwahati is derived from two Assamese words: 'guwa' (areca nut) and 'haat' (market place). The name used to be spelled as Gowhatty (pre-colonial and colonial), standardized to Gauhati (colonial-British), which was then changed to the present form in the late 1980s to conform to the local pronunciation.

  Natural Environment  
Geomorphologically, the city is located in an area, where the Shillong Plateau and the Floodplains of the Brahmaputra confront each other. Landforms within the city are therefore unique with dissected hills (originally part of the Shillong Plateau), plain areas and natural lakes (the beels), swamps and the mighty river Brahmaputra. The main city is situated on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra. The main city is situated on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra. At places the width of the river is 6 to 8 km, while its narrowest portion (1.8 km) is in the location of the famous bridge of Saraighat. There are many permanent and temporary islands and beaches in the river. Umananda a permanent island situated close to the city-center provides a unique picturesque environment.

The natural drainage system consist of the Bharalu River (a tributary - the Brahmaputra) and its inter-linkages to the beels and to the Brahmaputra river. Apart from Bharalu, many small rivers Morabharalu, Bahini, and Basista flow within the city interconnected with the feeder drains of the city. There are numerous beels spread throughout the city, which largely contribute to aesthetic and natural environments. Deepor Beel, a Ramsar Convention list wetland of international importance, the only such large water reserve of Guwahati adds to its close relation with nature. It is a famous site for the bird fans after being declared a bird sanctuary by the officials.

Other water bodies/wetland within the city are Soru Sola Beel and Bor Sola Beel. The Bor-Sola Beel, which about four times the length of Dighalipukhuri, stretches from behind the Meghadoot Cinema hall and the Nepali Mandir in the Paltan Bazaar locality in the north end to Sarabhatti locality in the south end and is the biggest water body within the city. There are several hills of different sizes and shapes. The hills in the northern areas (Nilachal or Kamakhya Hill in the north-west, Chitrasala or Kharghuli Hill in the north) close to the bank of Brahmaputra, south-central areas (Narakasur Hill, Kalapahar and Fatasil Hill) and eastern areas (Narengi, Hengerabari, etc) have in fact guided Guwahati's development in three elongated corridors limiting to the plain areas. Many of these hills such as the Nilachal, Chitrachal, Narakasur, etc. are famous of their legendary, religious and historic importance.

Guwahati's climate is mildly sub-tropical with warm, dry summers from April to late May, a strong monsoon from June to September and cool, dry winters from late October to March. The city's average yearly temperature is recorded at 24 degree Celsius (76 F). Average high temperature is recorded at 29 degree Celsius (85 F), while the average low at 19 degree Celsius (67 F). The highest recorded yearly temperature is 40 degree Celsius (104 F), while the lowest recorded yearly temperature is 5 degree Celsius (41 F). December, January and February are the coldest and June, July, August and September are the hottest. Average yearly precipitation is 161.3 cm (63.5inches) with an average number of 77.3 rainy days. June and July are the wettest months. Extreme high level of humidity, many a times at more than 80/90 percent often creates discomfort during summer.

Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) is the local body responsible for governing, developing and managing the city. GMC has sub-divided the city into 60 municipal wards. The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is a state parastatal agency currently responsible for planning and development of Guwahati Metropolitan Area, which is currently revising the Guwahati Master Plan and the Building Bye-laws. The Guwahati Development Department, a special department of the Government of Assam has been recently formed for Guwahati's overall development.Guwahati consists of two assembly constituencies: Guwahati East and Guwahati West, both of which are part of Gauhati (Lok Sabha constituency).

  Places of Interest  

Guwahati possesses many places of interests with lively urban activities, ancient temples, attractive natural features (apart from the Brahmaputra river) and with recreational activities. Guwahati is also situated at the center of an attractive region (within 200 km radius) with natural parks, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations of different types and with a colourful cultural landscape.