Guwahati known as Pragjyotishpura in ancient Assam, Gauhati in the modern era—is an ancient urban area, largest city of state, region, major metropolis of eastern India and one of the fastest developing cities of India. Pragjyotishpura along with Durjaya (North Guwahati) were the capitals of the ancient state of Kamarupa under the Varman and Pala dynasties. Many ancient Hindu temples are in the city, so also known as the "The City of Temples". Dispur, the capital of the Indian state of Assam, is in the circuit city region located within Guwahati and is the seat of the Government of Assam. The city lies between the banks 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. It is gradually being expanded as North Guwahati to the northern bank of the Brahmaputra.
The Kamakhya Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the mother goddess Kamakhya, one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pitha, Situated on the Nilachal Hill in western part of Guwahati city in Assam, India it is the main temple in a complex of individual temples dedicated to the ten Mahavidyas:
Bhuvaneshvari, Bagalamukhi, Chinnamasta, Tripura Sundari, Tara, Kali, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Matang and Kamala. Among these, Tripurasundari, Matangi and Kamala reside inside the main temple whereas the other seven reside in individual temples. It is an important pilgrimage destination for General Hindu and especially for Tantric worshipers. Being the centre for Tantra worship this temple attracts thousands of tantra devotees in an annual festival known as the Ambubachi Mela. Another annual celebration is the Manasha Puja. Durga Puja is also celebrated annually at Kamakhya during Navaratri in the autumn. This five-day festival attracts several thousand visitors. The Kamakhya Temple is 23 minutes drive (12.3km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
Umananda Devaloi is a Shiva temple located at the Peacock Island in the middle of river Brahmaputra just opposite the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup or the Kachari Ghat in Guwahati. It was built by the Ahom King Gadadhar Singha (1681–1696), who was a devout Shaivaite. It is known as smallest inhabited riverine island in the world. Country boats that are available on the bank of Brahmaputra take the visitors to the island. The mountain on which the temple has been built is known as Bhasmacala. Siva is said to have resided here in the form of Bhayananda. According to the Kalika Purana, in the beginning of the creation Siva sprinkled ashes (bhasma) at this place and imparted knowledge to Parvati (his consort). It is said that, when Siva was in meditation on this hillock, Kamadeva interrupted his yoga and was therefore burnt to ashes by the fire of Siva’s anger and hence the hillock got the name Bhasmacala. The temple of Umananda was built in 1694 A.D. by the Bar Phukan Garhganya Handique by the order of King Gadadhar Singh (1681–1696), one of the ablest and strongest rulers of the Ahom dynasty. The original temple was however immensely damaged by a devastating earthquake of 1897. The Umananda Temple is 13 minutes drive (6.7km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
Saraighat is a place near Guwahati in Assam, on the north bank of the river Brahmaputra. Sarai was a small village where the old abandoned N.F. Railway station of Amingaon was located. The famous Battle of Saraighat was fought near this place on the river.There is a road-cum-rail bridge over the river Brahmaputra joining the north & the south banks at Saraighat. This bridge is the first bridge on river Brahmaputra in Assam.
Saraighat Bridge is the first rail-cum-road bridge constructed over the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati. It was opened to traffic in April 1962 by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The Lachit Borphukan Park is situated on the south end and Chilarai Park situated on the north end of the bridge. The bridge was built for the North Frontier Railway. Construction of Saraighat Bridge was started on January 1958. It was opened to goods traffic in October, 1962 and opened for passenger traffic on 7 June 1963. Saraighat is a historical place where fight between the Mughals and the Ahoms(rulers of assam from the 12th century for about 600 years) took place where the Ahoms triumphed. The Saraighat Bridge is 26 minutes drive (15.8km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
The Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden (popularly known as Guwahati Zoo) is the largest of its kind in the North East region and it is spread across 432 acre (175 hectare). The zoo is located within the Hengrabari Reserved Forest at Guwahati, India. The zoo is home to about 895 animals, birds and reptiles representing almost 113 species of animals and birds from around the world. The 64th session of Indian National Congress was held in Guwahati, in the year 1957. The Organising committee of INC organised an exhibit with included few animals and birds, of which a female Leopard Cub named Spotty was the favourite. After the meeting came to an end, it was felt to necessity of a zoo to house these animals. The Assam State Zoo was established in the year 1957 and was open to public viewing in the year 1958.
Over the years, the Zoo grew and expanded to accommodate eye-catching exotic ones like Chimpanzees, White Rhinos & Black Rhinos, Zebras, Ostriches and Giraffes from Africa; Puma, Jaguar and Llama from South America and Kangaroos from Australia. To get these exotic animals the Zoo used to send indigenous animals like One horned Indian rhinoceros and others, to many countries. The Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden is 10 minutes drive (4.6km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
The Assam State Museum is located in the southern end of Dighali Pukhuri tank which is in the heart of Guwahati city, Assam. The Museum was established by the Kamarupa Anusandhan Samiti (Assam Research Society) in 1940. Late Kanklal Baruah was founder president. In the year 1953, it was taken over by the State Govt. Assam State Museum surpasses all the other museums in India, as one of the biggest multipurpose museum. The exhibits of the Museum are displayed under different sections, viz., Epigraphy, Sculptures-The sculptures from the Assam region fall into four principal categories - stone, wood, metal and terracotta, Miscellaneous, Natural History, Crafts, Anthropology & Folk Art & Arms section. The collections which are on display here, are very rare.
The library in Assam State Museum was established in 1985 is rich in its stenographic collections. There are various periodicals, journals and books relating to art, culture, mythology, biography, encyclopedic works and even the Asiatic Society journals of the country. The Assam Rajyik State Museum is 9 minutes drive (5.6km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
Basistha temple, located in the south-east corner of Guwahati city is a Shiva mandir constructed by Ahom King Rajeswar Singha in 1764 along with gift of land 835 Bighas for the ashram. The history of the Basistha Ashram where the temple is located dates back to the Vedic age. According to legend the ashram was founded by the great saint Basistha (Vasishtha).
Temple in the ashram stands on the bank of the mountain streams originating from the hills of Meghalaya, which becomes the rivers Basistha and Bahini/Bharalu flowing through the city.
This ashram is believed to be the home of famous sage Basistha, also known as "Vasishtha". The ashram is located a few kilometers (10-12) from Guwahati, on the outskirts of Garbhanga reserve forest which has an ample population of Elephants. This Garbhanga reserve forest is also a proposed Butterfly reserve. Although the ashram has a temple but still the cave in which the Muni Vasistha is believed to have meditated is located 5 K.m. inside the ashram. The ashram also has a waterfall. The Basistha ashram Temple is 18 minutes drive (7.6km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
Navagraha temples are temples devoted to Navagraha - the nine (nava) major celestial bodies (Grahas) of Hindu astronomy. These celestial bodies are named Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangala (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), Rahu (North Lunar Node) and Ketu (South Lunar Node). However, the term Navagraha temples refer to a cluster of nine separate temples, each an abode of one of the Navagrahas.
The Navagraha Temple is found on the top of Chitrasal Hill (or Navagraha Hill), in Guwahati city, Assam, India. Enshrined in this temple are nine Shivalingams, representing the nine Celestial bodies, each covered with a colored garment symbolic of each of the celestial bodies, with a Shivaligam in the centre symbolising the Sun. The Navagraha temple was built by Ahom King Rajeswar Singha in the late 18th century. It has been renovated in recent times during the late 1923-45. The Navagraha Temple is 13 minutes drive (6.7km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
Guwahati Planetarium is one of its kind centre of astronomical research in Assam and the entire North-Eastern region of India. The Guwahati Planetarium is unrivalled in Assam and rest of northeast India with its distinctive dome and sloping walls that sets it apart in the skyline of the area. Besides daily shows, the Planetarium also regularly organises seminars, workshops and conferences for the astronomy fraternity, and exhibitions, quizzes and outdoor viewing facilities during eclipses for students and the local community. The Guwahati Planetarium is a sincere attempt to reach the young and scientifically inclined minds and provide them a glimpse of the available treasure trove assembled over centuries by the human explorers. The Planetarium is getting a unique hybrid planetarium projection system, the first one of its kind in the entire northeast region. It is the second planetarium in India to get such a system, the first one being New Delhi Planetarium. The Guwahati Planetarium is 11minutes drive (6.2km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
Regional Science Centre, Guwahati, popularly known as Science Museum, is one of the units of National Council of Science Museums functioning under the Department of Culture, Govt. of India. The basic purpose of this Science Centre is to popularize Science among the people of this region. Since its inauguration on March 15 1994, this Centre has been attracting students, teachers and general public as it provides an able forum for them to learn science through interaction and fun. Apart from its permanent galleries with a number of participatory exhibits on science, this Centre organizes regular educational programmes and activities, especially for the students, in order to inculcate scientific temper in them by imparting science education in a non-formal way. This museum also exhibits the many contributions and developments brought about in the world of science by the Indian Nobel laureates and scientists. It remains open on all days except for festivals of Diwali and Holi. The Regional Science Center is 11 minutes drive (5.7km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
Srimanta Sankaradev Kalakshetra commonly Kalakshetra is a cultural institution in the Panjabari area of Guwahati, Assam, named after the medieval poet-playwright and reformer Srimanta Sankardev. It includes a cultural museum, library and various facilities for preserving, demonstrating and performing cultural items, besides a children's park. In addition to being Northeast India's largest cultural congregation, the Kalakshetra is also a major tourist spot in Guwahati. Built in the 1990s, the artistic excellence of Assam and rest of the north-eastern region is displayed here. There are eateries, places of worship, emporiums and open-air theatres within the sprawling Kalakshetra premises. The Kalakshetra also has the Artists' Village, which replicates the village society of Assam. The Sahitya Bhavan is the library in the Kalakshetra, which has a huge collection of rare books and manuscripts. It is a repository of the literature of the region. The Srimanta Shankardeva Kalakshetra is 15 minutes drive (7.3km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
Hajo is an ancient pilgrimage centre for three religions: Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims. It lies on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, 24 km from the city of Guwahati in the Kamrup district of Assam, India. The area is dotted with a number of ancient temples as well as other sacred artifacts.
The Hayagriva Madhava Mandir is the most famous temple of Hajo. Lesser known temples of Hajo like that of Ganesha was constructed during the reign of Ahom King Pramatta Singha in 1744 AD. The Kedareswara Temple, a Shiva temple, has inscription on the temple showing that it is of Rajeswar Singha period. Hayagriva Madhava Temple is situated on the Monikut hill. The present temple structure was constructed by the King Raghudeva Narayan in 1583. It is a stone temple and it enshrines an image of Hayagriva Madhava. Some Buddhists believe that the Hayagriva Madhava temple, best known in the group of Hindu temples, is where the Buddha attained Nirvana.
Hajo Powa Mecca: Hajo is also a Muslim pilgrimage centre since the mosque known as the Poa Mecca (1/4th Mecca) is thought to have some of the sanctity of Mecca. It is said that Powa Mecca was constructed from the soil that was brought from the city of Mecca itself (Mecca is the holiest city for the Muslims and is located in the Saudi Arabia). The Temple of hajo is 15 minutes drive (6km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
Sualkuchi is a census town in Kamrup district in the Indian state of Assam. It is situated on the north bank of the river Brahmaputra, about 35 km from Guwahati, Sualkuchi is a block of Kamrup District. There are large number of cottage handloom industries for which it is also known as the "Manchester of Assam".This is the textile center of Assam. Muga silk and Pat silk along with Eri silk and Endi cloth from this region is famous for its quality. Mekhela chadors and Gamosas made from this indigenous materials is in demand throughout Assam as well as other parts of India. The Sualkuchi is 55 minutes drive (36km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife reserve in the Marigaon district of the state of Assam in India. It is located about 30 km east of Guwahati. The Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is about 48 km by road from Guwahati. It is a 1-hour drive through a road passing by River Brahmaputa, and a small portion of the village of Mayong. It has a dense population of the Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros. It covers 38.8 km2. Though the total notified area of the park is 38.80 square kilometres, only 16 square kilometres is the effective rhino habitat. Pobitora was declared a reserved forest in 1971 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1987. It covers flat flood plains and a hillock. Pobitora is mainly famous for its great Indian One-horned rhinoceros. Besides rhinoceros, the other animals are leopard, wild boar, Barking deer, wild buffalo etc. Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to more than 2000 migratory birds and various reptiles. It is also an Important Bird Area. In Pobitora wildlife sanctuary, there are now around 93 rhinos, a ten per cent increase over the last six years. The Pobitara Wild Life Sanctuary is 54 minutes drive (41.7km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.
Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. A World Heritage Site, the park hosts two-thirds of the world's great one-horned rhinoceroses. Kaziranga boasts the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer. Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International for conservation of avifaunal species. Compared to other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
The history of Kaziranga as a protected area can be traced back to 1904, when Mary Curzon, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston, the wife of the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon of Kedleston, visited the area. After failing to see a single rhinoceros, for which the area was renowned, she persuaded her husband to take urgent measures to protect the dwindling species which he did by initiating planning for their protection. On 1st June 1905, the Kaziranga Proposed Reserve Forest was created with an area of 232 km2. The Kaziranga National Park is 3hours drive (185km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati
Cherrapunji currently the historical name Sohra is more commonly used, is a subdivisional town in the East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. It is credited as being the wettest place on Earth, although nearby Mawsynram currently holds that record. Cherrapunji still holds the all-time record for the most rainfall in a calendar month and in a year: it received 9,300 mm (366 in) in July 1861 and 26,461 mm (1,041.75 in) between 1 August 1860 and 31 July 1861.
Cherrapunji is the traditional capital of a hima (Khasi tribal chieftainship constituting a petty state) known as Sohra or Churra.
The original name for this town was Sohra, which was pronounced "Churra" by the British. This name eventually evolved into the current name, Cherrapunji. The name "cherrapunji" which means 'land of oranges' was first used by tourists from other parts of India. Cherrapunji is located at 25.30°N 91.70°E. It has an average elevation of 1,484 metres (4,869 ft) and sits on a plateau in the southern part of the Khasi Hills, facing the plains of Bangladesh. The plateau rises 600 meters above the surrounding valleys. Cherrapunji is 3 hours 46 minutes drive (172km) from Mayflower Hotel, Guwahati.