Guwahati is considered the site of Pragjyotishpura, a semi- mythical town founded by Asura King Naraka who was later killed by Lord Krishna for a pair of magical earrings . The city was a vibrant cultural centre well before the Ahoms arrived, and later the theatre of intense Ahom- Mughal fighting, changing hands eight times in the 50 years before 1681. Most of the old city was wiped out by a huge 1897 earthquake followed by a series of devastating floods .
Guwahati is located on the Brahmaputra River in Assam, a state in the extreme northeast of India connected to the rest of the country by the narrow Siliguri Corridor, nearly 125 km east of the border with West Bengal and and about 62 miles north of the border with Bangladesh .
Guwahati is the state’s leading business center and the political seat of the Kamrup district.
Guwahati is recognized to be the most critical city in the Northeast India. The city has a well developed connectivity with the rest of the country and acts as the Gateway to the entire North Eastern India.
Guwahati has several places of historical interest with the biggest attraction being the Kamakhya Temple. The city is donned with several places of religious and tourist attractions such as Umananda Temple situated on an island in the middle of the river Brahmaputra , which incidentally is the smallest river island in the world . In addition to the religious sites, there are splendid water fronts and water bodies, which could be developed as places of tourist attraction
It is a major commercial and educational center in eastern India and is home to world class institutions such as Indian Institute of Technology. According to a survey done by a UK media, Guwahati is among the first 100 fastest growing cities in the world and is 5th fastest growing city among Indian cities
Modern Guwahati dates back to the British occupation of Assam in 1826 and it is from this date the city came to have due importance. Except few temples, an earthen fort and tanks, there are hardly any medieval remnants and ruins in Guwahati.
Throughout 19th century and also during the first four decades of the 20th century , the growth of Guwahati was very slow. But, there after, both spatial and population growth of the city was rather rapid. During the World War II, the Britishers used this city as their strongholds by establishing the civil lines and cantonment .
Guwahati - which received this name sometime after the Ahom conquest – served for a time as the seat of a provincial governor, and 1786 it became the dynastic capital...It was an important city to the Ahoms as indicated by the construction of the Kamakhya temple.
Ahoms, a tribe from Burma , who controlled the region from thirteenth to eighteenth centuries, who absorbed Hindu culture, were the original builders of Guwahati’ most famous site, a shrine to the goddess Sati, also known as Kali , consort of Shiva .
Guwahati came under Mughal control in the 1630s and would change hands frequently thereafter. Gadadhar Singh not only drove out the invaders but resolve internal disputes among Ahom nobles.
It took about 15 years to put the first rail-cum-road bridge across Brahmaputra at Guwahati so that transshipment at Amingaon and Pandu (on the right and left bank of Brahmaputra near Guwahati) assisted by steamers could be avoided. Now even though the broad gauge rail line is ready up to Guwahati, connecting Calcutta and Delhi via Farakka and Barauni, both south and north of Ganga; the speed of train is very slow because of defective or single line tracks.K. K. Upadhyay
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