There are a number of tourist places in Assam. Amongst the must visits are:
Guwahati derives its name from two words, guwa (meaning betel nut) and hati (meaning little market). It is customary for anyone on his first visit to this city to visit the Kamakhya temple, dedicated to the Mother Goddess. The importance of the temple is second only to the mighty Brahmaputra, the river with an undeniable presence in the town. In the center of the city, with the magnificent backdrop of the Brahmaputra and atop Sukleshwar Hill stands the Janardan temple. West of Chitrachal Hill is the unique temple of Navagraha dedicated to the nine planets.
The mighty Ahoms reigned supreme for 600 years at Sibsagar, at a distance of 369 km from Guwahati, where the ruins of their temples and palaces still exist. Resurrected by the Archeological Survey of India, these ruins provide an interesting insight into the past glory and splendor of Assam.
Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park, situated at a distance of 217 km from Guwahati, is one of the most picturesque wildlife parks in India. The natural habitat of the one-horned rhino, Kaziranga lies on the southern banks of the Brahmaputra River, northeast of the capital city. The park's original inhabitants-the rhino and the elephant being the most noticeable-now thrive in a serene environment to the sheer delight of nature lovers. Viewing wildlife at Kaziranga Park because of its vast open spaces, the presence of the mighty Brahmaputra, and adjoining Mikir hills makes a trip to Kaziranga a complete 'jungle' adventure.
Manas National Park
Manas National Park (176 km from Guwahati), situated amidst the gentle slopes of the Himalayas, is the only tiger reserve of its kind in the entire region. The park covers a large part of Barpeta district in Assam and extend to the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. Apart from the growing population of tigers, Manas is also home to the rare golden langur, the hispid hare, the pigmy hog, the one-horned rhinoceros, and at least twenty other species of animals and birds that are listed as highly endangered. Manas derives its name from the Goddess Manasa. The forest stretches beyond Indian territory to the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, with the crystal waters of the Manas River demarcating the international border.
Pabitora, a small wildlife sanctuary, 60 km from Guwahati is also worth a visit. Rhino and various species of deer abound here.
Hajo, 32 km west of Guwahati, is a sacred place for Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists. The town also boasts the Hayagriva Madhav Temple, accessible via a long stone stairway. At the foot of the stairway is a large pond inhabited by one of Hajo's oldest residents: a giant turtle. Hajo is also renowned for its bell-metal work.
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