Stretched out along the Brahmaputra, Guwahati at first glance does not impress. But for those willing to dig deeper into this urban concrete jungle, there are many rewards. Right from visiting its remarkable temples to sunset cruises on the Brahmaputra and sampling its eclectic cuisine, there are so many amazing things to do in Guwahati, Assam. While most travelers treat Guwahati as a pit stop on their way to other destinations in the northeast, we’d ask you to stay a while and treat yourself to some immersive Guwahati experiences like these:
1. Be blessed at the Kamakhya Temple
When Lord Shiva, distraught at the passing of his wife Sati, roamed around the universe carrying her body, parts of it fell on the earth. The place where her ‘yoni’ fell was the Nilachal Hill where the Kamakhya Temple was built. Visiting this mystical temple to offer prayers to the goddess and seek her blessings is one of the best things to do in Guwahati.
- Location: Kamakhya, Guwahati
- Timings: 5.30 am – 10.00 pm
2. Visit the Assam State Museum
Another top thing to do in Guwahati is to visit the Assam State Museum to get a glimpse into the ancient Ahom culture. Housed in an impressive colonial building, the museum will mesmerize you with its extensive collection of tribal artworks and artifacts, Ahom sculptures, coins, ancient manuscripts, arms and ammo as well as some beautiful Assamese textiles.
- Location: Kamrup district, near railway station, Guwahati
- Timings: 10.00 am – 5.00 pm (in summer), 10.00 am – 4.30 pm (in winter), closed on Monday, 2nd and 4th Saturday
3. Go boating in the Dighalipukhri Park Lake
A boating jaunt in the Dighalipukhri Park Lake is one of the most popular things to do in Guwahati. If you can, coincide your visit with the superbly vibrant annual event of Rongali when teams in their Holong Nau – a tradition Assamese boat – compete to touch the other end of the lake to the soundtrack of excited screams at dangerous decibels.
- Location: Dighalipukhuri, Guwahati
- Timings: 10.00 am – 8.00 pm
4. Spend a relaxed day at the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden
Traveling with kids? Here’s a fun thing to do in Guwahati – go visit the zoo for some major brownie points! Nestled in the beautiful Hengrabari Reserved Forest, the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden is a delightful place where you can see indigenous animals like one-horned Indian rhinos, clouded leopards and golden langurs as well as exotic llamas, giraffes and ostriches.
- Location: Zoo Road, Japorigog, Guwahati
- Timings: 8.00 am – 4.30 pm, Saturday to Thursday
Fee: ₹30 per adult (Indians), ₹100 per adult (foreigners), ₹10 per child (Indian), ₹30 per child (foreigners)
5. Enjoy a boat ride to the Umananda Temple
A particularly amazing thing to do in Guwahati is to take an early morning boat ride to the Umananda Temple, located on Peacock Island in the middle of the raging Brahmaputra. This awesome 17th-century temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who legend has it, slew Kamdeva, the god of love, right here for disturbing his meditation.
- Location: Peacock Island, Baruah Souk, North Guwahati
- Timings: 5.30 am – 6.00 pm
- Cost: ₹100 – ₹500 for a ferry ride
6. Lose yourself in Sualkuchi
Bathed in vivid hues of silk mekhla chadors, green paddy fields and the expansive blue skies, Sualkuchi seems right out of a folk tale and visiting this traditional weavers’ village would be one of the most exquisite things to do in Guwahati. Bring back intricately ornamented mekhlas in the traditional paat silk, visit the Vastra Udyan – a museum that showcases life in Sualkuchi – and buy heaps of freshly made, sugary khurma and savory nimkis.
- Location: Sualkuchi, Kamrup, Assam (34.3 Km from Guwahati)
- Timings: 6.00 am – 12.00 pm
7. Explore the Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra
Exploring north east’s nodal cultural center is one of our recommended things to do in Guwahati. Popularly known as ‘Kalakshetra’, the institution was set up to preserve and promote the culture and artistic output of the north-east region and offers a wealth of attractions like structures showcasing Assamese style of architecture, an open-air theatre that puts up regular cultural events, a museum and contemporary art exhibits among others.
- Location: Panjabari Rd, Batahguli, Guwahati
- Timings: 10.00 am – 7.00 pm
- Cost: ₹30 per adult, ₹10 per child (between 5 and 14 years)
8. Be mesmerized at the Guwahati Planetarium
A visit to the Guwahati Planetarium will be a treat for the whole family and especially kids and we’d recommend it as one of the top things to do in Guwahati. Go for the daily stargazing sessions where you get to see the night sky in all its glory to a library where curious young minds can get to know more about the space, stars and planets.
- Location: D-Block, 4th Floor, Janata Bhawan, Guwahati
- Timings: 11.00 am – 4.00 pm
- Cost: ₹30 per person, ₹15 for students
9. Take a sunset cruise on the Brahmaputra
One of the most enjoyable things to do in Guwahati is to take a relaxing sunset cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra. You might want to enjoy some live music along with delicious Assamese dinner, gaze at the sun dipping into the west or just watch life passing by on the river bank…fishing boats heading home, birds noisily settling down in their tree homes on the river’s shores and the lights coming on in the city’s bustling markets and buildings.
- Location: Cruises start from A. T. Road, Bharalumukh, Guwahati
- Timings: 5.30 pm – 7.30 pm
10. Drive over the iconic Saraighat Bridge – Gateway of Assam
What if we told you that the whole of northeast is connected to the rest of the country with just one bridge? That’s the Saraighat Bridge – an iconic symbol of the city and visiting it is one of the most popular things to do in Guwahati. Go to see how one bridge supports both road and railway traffic, the two parks (Lachit Borphukan Park and Chilarai Park) that bookend it and to see the site of a famous battle between the Ahoms and the Mughals in Saraighat town.
- Location: Saraighat
- Timings: All hours
11. Take a jungle safari at the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
A jungle safari in this awesome national reserve is one of the most memorable things to do in Guwahati. Famed for its huge population of the great Indian one-horned rhino, the wildlife sanctuary is about 30 Km from Guwahati. Take an elephant ride through thick forests, marshes and swamps to see this magnificent animal as well as leopards, wild boars and several types of migratory birds.
- Location: Pobitora Forest Range Office Road, Pobitora, Assam (48.1 Km from Guwahati)
- Timings: 6.30 am – 5.00 pm
12. Be fascinated at the Regional Science Centre
Here’s another thing to do in Guwahati with kids – go visit the Regional Science Centre and be just as fascinated as the little ones at all the science-magic shows, 3D shows, a digital planetarium, several outdoor science-based shows that are fun for kids as well as a large aquarium.
- Location: Pir Ajan Fakir Rd, Resham Nagar, Khanapara, Guwahati
- Timings: 10.00 am – 5.30 pm
13. Explore the temples of Hajo
Hajo is a small village about 30 Km from Guwahati and is famous as a pilgrimage center for both Hindus and Buddhists. Taking a day trip to visit and explore the many temples here that are not only deeply spiritual places but also excellent examples of medieval Assamese architecture. Focus on the Hayagriva Madhava Temple that sits on top of the Monikut Hill, the Madan Kamdev Temple and the Kedareswara Temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- Location: Kamrup district, Guwahati
- Timings: 5.00 am – 12.00 pm / 4.00 pm – 9.00 pm
14. Go birdwatching at Deepor Beel
Get acquainted with Assam’s remarkably rich and diverse flora and fauna at the Deepor Bil; wetlands flourishing with flora and fauna. Not many people would count this as a thing to do in Guwahati but we’d say arm yourself with a pair of binoculars and some comfy shoes to go spot ducks, pelicans, white-bellied eagles, migratory Siberian cranes, and cormorants along with aquatic plants like water hyacinths, pondweed and red water lilies. That’ll be a day well spent!
- Location: Deepor Beel Bird Sanctuary, Guwahati
- Timings: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
15. Let out the gastronome in you
Dive face first into the delectable and unusual Assamese cuisine because it is one of the best things to do in Guwahati. Try khorika, the traditional Assamese-style barbeque, eat crispy and spicy, fried silkworms, sample lucchis with curry and end your meal with payash, the super sweet and sticky rice pudding made with palm sugar. Throw caution to wind and try all the chowmein and momos you find on streetside stalls because you’ll regret it if you don’t.
16. Shop till you drop
Shopping is another awesome thing to do in Guwahati because, well, it’s shopping! When is it not fun? The best place to shop in town is Fancy Bazaar where you can shop for those coned Assamese hats called jaapi, gamochas (cotton towels), Assam tea, traditional outfits and wood handicrafts. Buy souvenirs at Maati Centre, a non-profit that sells handicrafts made by the Mishing people and textiles from Jagran – the state-run handicrafts emporium.
17. Paint the town red!
The city has a vibrant night scene and sampling some of its exciting bars and clubs is one of the most fun things to do in Guwahati. Terra Maya is an awesome rooftop lounge that offers live music, Topaz 2.0 is one of the most stylish gastro-pubs to be seen at, Café Hendrix has a cult following for its amazing music and Underdogg is a sports bar where you can have a drink with a game of pool or watch an exciting match on the many HD screens.
Got more things to do in Guwahati? Tell us about them in the comments below and we’ll come up with Version 2.0 of this blog!