History of Guwahati

Guwahati is a very ancient city that dates back to thousands of years. The epics and the puranas witness the mention of Guwahati in their historical scriptures and compositions. There are a few temples that have existed in this place for ages such as the Kamakhya Temple, Basistha Temple and Navagraha Temple.

Guwahati History

Ancient Guwahati:

There have been a lot of mythological references regarding the city of Guwahati which clearly states that it has been the capital of mythological kings such as Bhagadatta and Narakasura. Guwahati City has been associated with both the Ramayana and Mahabharata stories and incidents. There was a town named Pandu in the city of Guwahati named after the King Pandu who was the father of the Pandavas. There is also a temple in the Tila hills which is also dedicated to Pandu, the King. It is also believed that during the period of exile, the Pandavas lived in Guwahati disguised as Ganesha.

In the ancient times, the name by which Guwahati was known was Pragjyotishpura, the name being derived from Jyotish Shahstra meaning astrology. Pragjyotishpura served as the capital city for the Varman and Pala dynasties and it remained the capital of Assam till the 10th / 11th Century AD. However, during the 12th – 15th century, the city gradually lost its glory.

Guwahati and its Rulers:

The Ahom ruled in Assam for almost 600 years and during that time, Pragjyotishpura was the seat for the Borphukans who were given authority for the civil and military responsibilities. During that time they resided in the present day Fancy Bazaar and Bharalumukh area of Guwahati. The Deputy Commissionner’s present campus was the residential quarter of the Borphukan for above hundred years during the rule of the Ahoms. When the Mughals invaded Assam long back, it was chased back home by the Ahoms under the guidance of General Lachit Borphukan in the Battle of Saraighat, which was fought near Guwahati itself.

Initially, during the pre-colonial and colonial times, Guwahati was named as Gowhatty and then it changed to Gauhati during British Rule and then it finally acquired its present name Guwahati in the late 1980s. Since the olden times, Guwahati has undergone a number of changes and development in different sectors ranging from industrial sector to education sector to commercial sector and so on. With the passage of time, the advancement rate of the town can also be seen to increase at a very rapid pace hence making it more and more efficient for the people with rapid pace.

Timeline of Guwahati History

Guwahati has found mention in the ancient puranas and epics. According to the Ambari excavations the existence of the city dates back to the 6th century AD. Guwahati served as the capital under the rule of the Varman and Pala dynasties. Guwahati remained the capital of Assam till 10-11th century AD under the Pala dynasty. Listed below are the chronology of important events taking place in the history of Guwahati:

Pushya Varman establishes Varman dynasty in Kamrupa

350 CE

Salasthamba establishes Mlechchha dynasty in Kamrupa


Sukapha enters Assam

1228 AD

Ahoms win Battle of Saraighat

1671 AD

Cotton College established

May 27, 1901

Assam Tribune founded

4 August 1939

Guwahati University established

26 January 1948

Guwahati High Court established

1 March 1948

Saraighat bridge opened to traffic


Assam Agitations begin


Doordarshan Kendra Guwahati commissioned


Assam Accord Signed


Srimanta Shankardev Kalakhetra foundation laid


Guwahati Planetarium established


IIT Guwahati established


33rd National Games in Guwahati


Sangeet Natak Academy, Guwahati, started operating


Huge procession follows Bhupen Hazarika's death


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