Guwahati is not just the capital of the state of Assam, it is also the gateway to North East India. It is ringed around three sides by a chain of hills that stretches to the distant horizon. The Northern side is bordered by the awesome Brahmaputra river. A cruise on the Brahmaputra is an uplifting and peaceful experience. The following places are also worth visiting in Guwahati -

1. Kamakhya Temple
The Kamakhya is atop the Nilachal hill near the western rim of the city. Mention of this important shrine is made in ancient treatises. It is one of the important centres of the Shakta form of Hinduism. It attracts pilgrims from all over the country.

The architecture of this temple, the rites and rituals associated with Tantricism which have an important seat here, are of absorbing interest to the visitor.

However, even those who are neither religiously inclined nor archaeologically minded would enjoy the drive up to the top of the hill for a breathtaking view of the city below, the curve of the river ahead, and the blue hills stretching hazily away to the horizon beyond. The sunset on the river, seen from this vantage point, is simply glorious.

2. Assam State Museum
The Assam State Museum houses important artifacts. A visit to it is a must if one is to get an idea of the richness and diversity of the region's historical past.

3. State Zoo cum Botanical Gardens
The location of the state zoo cum botanical garden is one of the best in the country. Several species seen here are success stories in conservation and have been bred in captivity.The botanical gardens are great source of interest.

4. Vashishtha Ashram
Vashishtha Ashram situated on the southernmost rim of the city on the Sandhyachal hill, is a tranquil spot to visit. Thick forests surround the area. It is said that sage Vashishtha had established his "Ashram" here. Three gushing rivulets meet at this point. The temple here is also worth a trip.

5. Shrimanta Shankar Deva Kalakshetra
The Shrimanta Shankar Deva Kalakshetra has been conceived as a grand exposition of the life and culture of the people of Assam, of its many ethnic groups and tribes, the people who have made the cultural mosaic of Assam, in all its beauty and splendour.

Named after the great unifier of Assam and one of the greatest integrators of the Indian society in the 15th century, Shrimanta Shankar Deva, the Kalakshetra has been attempting to capture and convey the essence of the great seer's spirit, who preached the message of unity in diversity, sang the song of universal brotherhood.
The complex is spread over 10.28 hectare and has a) literary and dance drama department b) an art department c) a cultural museum d) a heritage park e) an open air theater and f) an artists' village.



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