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Guwahati Travel Guide:

Guwahati is a metropolitian city in eastern India, with a population of 818,809 (2001 census). It is the largest city in the North-East Region of India and the second metropolitian in Eastern India after Kolkata. It is also considered as one of the largest cities of eastern India. It is said to be the "Gateway" of the North-east Region. Dispur, the capital of the Indian state of Assam, is located within the city. Guwahati is one of the most rapidly growing cities in India; during the past few decades it has experienced expansion and also a steep rise in population. According to a survey done by a UK media outlet, Guwahati is among the 100 fastest growing cities of the world, and is the 5th fastest growing among Indian cities[citation needed].

The city is situated between the southern bank 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. The city is gradually being expanded as North Guwahati to the northern bank of the Brahmaputra. 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 a major commercial and educational center of North-East India and is home to world class institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. The city is also 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 also an important hub for transportation in the North East Region.

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 'mythological' kings Narakasura and Bhagadatta according to the Mahabharata. The ancient sakti temple of Goddess Kamakhya located in Nilachal hill (also important seat of Tantric and Vajrayana Buddhism), the ancient and unique astrological temple Navagraha located in Chitrachal Hill, and archaeological remains in Basista and other locations support the mythological assertions of the city's ancient past.

Guwahati is serviced by the Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport at Borjhar, about 20 km west of the city center. Air connections have improved considerably in the last couple of years and all major domestic airlines fly 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. 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 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 18seater Dornier228 and 9seater 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 minor stations are Kamakhya and New Guwahati (for freight services) located towards west and east from Guwahati respectively. Major trains serving Guwahati are Guwahati Rajdhani Express, Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express, Saraighat Express, North-East Express, Guwahati Bangalore Express, Guwahati Ernakulam Express, Kamrup Express, Guwahati-Jorhat Town Jan Shatabdi Express.

But the city still lacks direct connectivity through railway to Bhopal Junction, Indore Junction BG, Gwalior, Pune and many central as well as western cities of India.

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 and Dibrugarh.

City Attractions
There are several interesting and lively places in the city. These areas provide the city with hotels, restaurants, shopping and business areas, the most lively being the city center. Momos and chicken rolls are a popular form of fast-food available in almost every restaurant. Moreover, there are several good restaurants offering Indian, South Indian, traditional Assamese, Chinese and continental food. There are also several good book shops and music stores. A few of these areas are: