Guwahati is the largest city of Assam, a major riverine port city and one of the fastest growing cities in India.
The ancient cities of Pragjyotishpura and 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, giving it the name “City of Temples”. Dispur, the capital of Assam, is in the circuit city region located within Guwahati and is the seat of the Government of Assam.
Guwahati 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 noted Madan Kamdev is situated 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Guwahati. The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), the city’s local government, administers an area of 216 square kilometres (83 sq mi), while the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) is the planning and development body of greater Guwahati Metropolitan Area. With an area of 1,528 square kilometres (590 sq mi), Guwahati is the second-largest metropolitan region in eastern India, after Kolkata.
The Guwahati region hosts diverse wildlife including rare animals such as Asian elephants, pythons, tigers, rhinoceros, gaurs, primate species, and endangered birds.
Once known as Pragjyotishpura (the Light of the East), Guwahati derives its name from the Assamese words “Guwa” meaning areca nut and “Haat” meaning market.
Guwahati has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cwa), falling just short of a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw). The average annual temperature is 24.2 °C with extremes ranging from 40.6 °C recorded on April 24, 2014 to 3.0 °C recorded in January, 1964.
Guwahati is the headquarters of Assam Police. The city is under the Police Commissionerate of Guwahati headed by the Commissioner of Police, Guwahati. It is divided into three districts: East Police District, Central Police District and West Police District, each headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police. Each police district consists of officers, not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, functioning as executive magistrates within a said metropolitan area.
The city has a comparatively high quality of life. A 2006 survey ranked Guwahati 17th among all the large and medium-sized Indian cities. The city provides competitive residential and working environments with beautiful landscapes, pleasant climate, modern shopping areas, modern apartments and bungalows, and considerably developed social infrastructure. A centrally funded four-lane, ambitious East-West Corridor will pass through Guwahati and connect all the state capitals of Northeast India. Completion of the project will boost the vital upliftment of the whole region.
The city still needs attention to improve its infrastructure. Funding from the Asian Development Bank is providing assistance to improve Guwahati’s transportation infrastructure along with a substantial amount from Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for its development.