Guwahati is a sprawling city on the banks of the river Brahmaputra in one of the north eastern states of India, Assam. It is also often referred as Gateway to the Northeast. If you are travelling to North eastern part of India, you are likely to cross Guwahati on your way. During my recent trip to Assam with Koyeli travels, I spent a day in Guwahati indulging in the festivities of Rongali festival and exploring the offerings of the city.
I suggest you plan to stay in Guwahati atleast for a day and explore the city for its heritage. Here you go with my listicle of places to see in Guwahati in a day.
Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati
This 2000 years old temple is undeniably the most coveted place to visit in Guwahati. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas of Hindu mythology and thus people especially travel to Guwahati to visit Kamakhya temple. Legend says that it is where the yoni (vagina) of Goddess Sati fell during Lord Shiva’s angry dance (Tandav nritya) with the corpse of Sati.
The temple is located on the Nilachal hill and the deity of the temple, Kamakhya Devi is referred as the ‘Bleeding Goddess’. When most of the people in India still treat menstruation as a taboo, there is this temple which stands tall celebrating the most natural biological process. It’s a very unique temple which should be visited during your trip to Guwahati.
Also, this temple is said to be epicenter of many Tantric activities in Guwahati. And whether you like it or not, you will see animal sacrifice in the temple.
Hajo City near Guwahati
Located 35kms away from the bustling city of Guwahati, this pligrimage city surely deserves a visit because of its archaelogical and mythological importance. The devotees of Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist communities have been visiting Hajo from a very long time. It is where the different faiths merge. Hajo found its first mention in 11th century AD in Kalika purana.
Of the places to see like Hayagriva Madhava Temple, Hajo Powa Mecca, Madan Kamdev Temple and Kedareswara Temple, I could visit only Hayagriva Madhava temple in detail.
Hayagriva Madhava Temple
We entered the premises to find the flock of flower sellers lined before the entrance of the temple. Before entering the temple, people were heading to the giant pond called Madhab Pukhuri to feed the turtles. To enter the main temple complex, one must climb the steep steps. The architecture of engraved stone appeared to be a blend of Buddhism faith and Assamese culture. A row of elephants en carved in stone outlined the exterior of the main temple. It is also believed that it is in Hayagriva Madhava Temple, Buddha attained nirvana.
The main temple enshrined an image of Narasimha (Man lion) form of Lord Vishnu and photography was prohibited in the main temple. There were Buddhist preachings going on in one of the other smaller temples in the complex. We could also meet one of the very old monks of the temple. We roamed about the complex and clicked a few pictures. The view from the top of the Monikut Hill where the temple is located was lush green dotted with water bodies here and there.
Also read – Kaziranga National Park- An Assam jungle odyssey
Sual Kuchi village near Guwahati
Next stop was the textile center of Assam called Sual Kuchi. The village once a craft village home to several cottage industries like handloom weaving, oil processing, pottery, gold making ow boasts of a full fledged silk weaving industry running in almost every household of the village. While we walked in the narrow lanes of the village, we were mesmerized to see the locals turning mere threads into magnificent fabrics. The orchestrated tunes of the looms echoed the entire village. The people here weave different varieties of silk including the Muga and Eri which are local to Assam.
I also fell for the beautiful silk sarees and dupattas sold by the shops in Sualkuchi and picked up a few for family and myself. It’s an experience of walking in the picturesque village of Sualkuchi and listening to the click clack of the looms which I will behold forever.
Cafe Hendrix, Guwahati
A place to check out if you are a lover of old music. With live music , this is one place where I go to every single time I am in Guwahati. The cafe looks retro and the music they play is absolutely to unwind you after a long hectic day of exploring the city. I would spend hours sipping beer, enjoying the retro vibe and indulging in the food delicacies in Cafe Hendrix. One must definitely hit the place to enjoy the local vibe of the city.
Next time you are venturing into Northeast, you must spend a day in Guwahati!
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