Guwahati

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Recreational center
A view of Peacock Island, the smallest river island of the world, The Umananda temple is situated in this island
Krishna and Satyabhama fighting Narakasura's armies

Guwahati in ancient Assam, Gauhati in the modern era — is an ancient urban area, largest city of state and region, second-largest metropolis of eastern India and one of the fastest developing cities of India. 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.

Quotes[edit]

  • 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.
  • Located on the banks of the Brahamaputra River, it is the largest commercial, industrial and educational center of the NE region.
    • Plan, in '"City Development Plan Guwahati", p. 8.
  • 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
    • Plan, in '"City Development Plan Guwahati", p. 48.
  • Guwahati is the state’s leading business center and the political seat of the Kamrup district.
    • Anthony Levi, Trudy Ring, in Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda, "International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania", p. 308.
  • The people of Assam made remarkable contributions at every stage of the freedom movement since 1920 to 1947. Noted activists and freedom fighters include Tarun Ram Phookan, Kuxol Konwar, Gopinath Bordoloi and others. The visit of Mahatma Gandhi to the State in 1921 gave fillip to the freedom movement which had already gathered momentum in both valleys of Assam.
Saraighat Bridge rail-cum-road bridge across Brahmaputra at Guwahatiduring 50 years celebrations.
  • It is the capital of Assam since 1972, the Assam State Government is ensconced in a Disneyesque new secretariat complex 6km south of the train station in the Dispur district.
  • Guwahati since 1972 has been the capital of the reorganized State of Assam, but was never a state headquarter in modern times except for a brief period, though in ancient times the area was location of various pre-historic urban settlements.
River front view of Indian Institute of Technology, Guwhati.
  • 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
Guwahati's urban morphology
  • Guwahati's 'urban form' is somewhat like a starfish. With a core in the central areas, the city has tentacles extending in the form of growth corridors towards south, east and west. The most important corridor is along the Guwahati-Shillong (GS) Road towards the south (almost 15 km from the city-center). The GS Road is an important commercial area with retail, wholesale and offices developed along the main road;….The city is having notable changes in its morphology with rapid expansion.
  • Ancient Guwahati was the flourishing capital of several dynasties during the epic and classical period. It had never been the capital city of the Ahom Kingdom nor the Koch kingdom. The strategic importance of Guwahati was well known to the Moghul invaders. In 1667, the Moghul forces were defeated in a battle by Ahom forces commanded by Lachit Borphukan. Thus in a sense Guwahati became a bone of contention among the Ahoms, Kochas, and the Moghuls during the medieval period. The Ahom king made Guwahati the administrative headquarters of Lower Assam with a Viceroy or Barphukan.
Panoramic view of Guwahati City on the banks of the Brahmaputra River.
  • 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.
    • Pabitra Giri, in "Guwahati: The Gateway to the East", p. 27.
  • 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. Today, this fast-growing metropolis houses more than 1.8 million people; covering an area of over 360 km2 and rapidly expanding further. During the World War II, the Britishers used this city as their strongholds by establishing the civil lines and cantonment.
    • Pabitra Giri, in "Guwahati: The Gateway to the East", p. 28.
  • Only a few facts are known about Guwahati and Assam before the coming of the Ahoms. Assam was called Kamarupa in ancient times, and Guwahati then known as Pragjyotishpur, was its capital until the middle of the seventeenth century. The region was settled by a diverse group of tribes.
    • Anthony Levi, Trudy Ring, in Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda, "International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania", p. 308.
  • Earlier legends arising in the region suggest a dynastic conflict mirrored in the devotees of Krishna, the eight peasant incarnation of Vishnu, and those of Shiva, the god of creation and reproduction, represented with phallic imagery.
    • Anthony Levi, Trudy Ring, in Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda, "International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania", p. 308
Krishna Storms the Citadel of Naraka - showing Prince Bhagadatta and his grandmother offering prayers to Krishna.
  • The first historically documented raja of the region dates from late in the first century AD, but names of semi legendary rulers are known from as long as the first millennium BC, including King Narakasura, whose son Bhagadstta distinguished himself in the great war in the epic poem of Mahabharata, which is understood to have real mythological events, chiefly concerning the absorption of the social and religious attitudes of invaders and indigenous Indian culture.
    • Anthony Levi, Trudy Ring, in Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda, "International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania", p. 308.
  • 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.
    • Anthony Levi, Trudy Ring, in Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda, "International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania", p. 308.
  • 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.
    • Anthony Levi, Trudy Ring, in Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda, "International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania", p. 308.
  • The invasion that caused the temple’s destruction was one of a series that menaced Gauwahti and Assam from the thirteenth through seventeenth centuries, although with no lasting success.
    • Anthony Levi, Trudy Ring, in Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda, "International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania", p. 309.
  • 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.
    • Anthony Levi, Trudy Ring, in Robert M. Salkin, Sharon La Boda, "International Dictionary of Historic Places: Asia and Oceania", p. 309
A view of Kamakhya Temple
...Kamakhya is believed to be the location where goddess’ own yoni or sexual organ lies. As such it is literally ‘the mother of all places of power’...
  • Because the goddess has come to the great mountain Nilakuta to have sexual enjoyment with me [Shiva], she is called Kamakhya, who resides there in secret. Because she gives love, is a loving woman, is the embodiment of love, is the beloved, she restores the limbs of Kama, she is called Kamakhya. Now hear of the great glory of Kamakhya, who, as primordial nature, sets the entire world in motion.
    • Kalika Purana (KP 62.1-3) quoted by Hugh B. Urban, in "Matrix of Power: Tantra, Kinship, and Sacrifice in the Worship of Mother Goddess Kamakhya, South Asia: South Asia Journal of Asian Studies, n.s., Vol. XXXI, no.3, December 2008".
  • One should worship the Supreme Goddess with blood, meat and wine.
    • Yogini Tantra (og T.2.8) quoted in in "Matrix of Power: Tantra, Kinship, and Sacrifice in the Worship of Mother Goddess Kamakhya, South Asia: South Asia Journal of Asian Studies, n.s., Vol. XXXI, no.3, December 2008".

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