Located in the north eastern state of Assam, Guwahati was formerly known as Pragjyotishpur (the City of Eastern Light). It has derived its name from two Assamese words, �Guwa�, meaning areca nut and �Haat�, meaning market. Nestled amidst the scenic hills of the eastern flanks of the Himalayan mountain range, Guwahati has developed as one of the nicest tourist destinations in India.
The city of Guwahati offers a number of tourist sites for the travelers. These tourist attractions in Guwahati see the advent of several tourists from far and wide.
Guwahati is mainly famous for its Kamakhya temple situated on the top of the Nilachal hill, around 10 km from the railway station. Acclaimed as the best among the tantrik shrines of Shakti worship in the world, the Kamakhya Temple was constructed in the 10th century by the Koch king, Naranarayan. Till date animal sacrifice is religiously performed here to appease the Goddess.
Just above the Kamakhya Temple is located another small temple � Bhubaneshwari. From here you can have a bird�s eye view of the town of Guwahati.
Accessible by motor boats and public ferries from Umananda Ghat, the Shiva temple of Umananda, is located on an island in the middle of the Brahmaputra River.
On top of a hill in eastern part of Guwahati is located the Navagraha temple � the �temple of nine planets�, - a seat of astrology and astronomy. Housed in a red beehive-shaped dome, the central lingam is encircled by further nine domes symbolizing the planets (graha) - Sun (Surya, Ravi), Moon (Chandra, Soma), Venus (Sukra), Mercury (Buddh), Mars (Mangal), Jupiter (Brhaspati) and Saturn (Sani). Two more were later incorporated, Rahu (dragon�s head) and Ketu, (the dragon�s tail), the ascending and descending nodes of the moon.
Purva Tirupati Sri Balaji Temple:
Occupying a sprawling two acres of land at Betkuchi, the Purva Tirupati Sri Balaji Temple is another tourist attraction in Guwahati.
Around 12 km from the railway station is situated the Vashistha Ashram (the abode of sage Vashistha), an interesting old shrine, with lots of greenery and three beautiful streams, Kanta, Lalita, and Sandhya. Other temples like the Ugratara Temple, famous for its golden deity and buffalo sacrifices, are also major attractions for tourists.
The various natural and artificial lakes like Deepor Beel, Dighalipukhuri, Silpukhuri, Nakkatapukhuri and Jorphukhur are some of the nicest sightseeing options.
Pan Bazaar, Fansi Bazaar, Paltan Bazaar, Ganeshguri and Beltola Bazaar are some of the options for shopping in the urban area of Guwahati.
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