Bihu Dance Performance
Known all over the world as a joyous and graceful symbol of Assamese culture, the Bihu dance is performed primarily during the Rongali Bihu festival in mid-April, marking the arrival of spring. But at Vivanta Guwahati, we make sure that you can partake of the merriment across all seasons. An experienced troupe of local dancers and musicians can be arranged on request to put up an evening performance just for our guests who can also join in the very rhythmic dance patterns. Even if you don’t join in, there is much to observe and admire in the local culture, from the costumes to the music. While the men wear traditional dhoti-gamocha, the women are decked up in mekhala chador and plenty of tribal jewellery. There is a certain hierarchy of musical instruments – from a dhol, pepa, taal, toka to xutuli, gogona and baanhi – that resound in harmony to provide an exquisite backdrop for the dancers.
One of Guwahati’s lesser known epithets is ‘City of Temples’. Our Concierge is your insider guide to touring the city’s finest spiritual establishments that also showcase spectacular architecture and fascinating details of Assamese culture. Begin with Kamakhya, perched on Nilachal Hill in the western part of Guwahati. Dedicated to the mother goddess Kamakhya, it is one of the oldest of the 51 shakti pithas (places of worship dedicated to Sati, the female principal of Hinduism) and a renowned centre for tantric learning. The Nabagraha temple on Chitrachal Hill celebrates the nine celestial bodies (planets) including the all-powerful Surya (Sun) while serving as a research centre for astrology and astronomy. There’s plenty to admire at the site, from the magnificent domed roof and old shikhara style architecture to spectacular views of the Brahmaputra River and valley. For another stunning site right in the middle of the Brahmaputra, take a ferry ride to Peacock Island - the smallest river island on earth - where the 17th century Umananda temple is a very popular pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Tea Garden Tour
As the world’s largest tea-growing region, Assam produces a bouquet of powerful malty black teas that have more variety than the most ardent tea-lover can think of. A visit to a tea garden is topmost on the wish list of guests to Assam and at Vivanta Guwahati, we have exalted the experience to a fun and memorable outing. Opt for a half or full day trip to a tea plantation just outside the city where experts will walk you through the rolling hills of the estate. The experience concludes with a lovely tasting session which gives an insight into how blends are produced and how to distinguish between different varieties of Assam teas.
Wall on the Wild Side
Vivanta Guwahati passionately champions and showcases Assamese culture and legends throughout the hotel, whether in the architecture, decor or cuisine. One of our most exciting ventures is the Kaziranga and Manas Photo Wall on the lobby level. A stylish open gallery of framed photographs by Guwahati’s brightest young photographers, it celebrates Assam’s peerless national parks. Kaziranga and Manas are both UNESCO World heritage sites; the former is the world-renowned home of the One-Horned Rhino and other endangered species including the Ganges White Dolphin, while the latter is one of India’s nine tiger reserve sanctuaries and serves as a border between India and Bhutan. The thrilling natural surroundings and wildlife at these two parks have inspired our handpicked pool of photographers, whose surreal images leave guests enthralled, whetting their appetite for a first hand experience. Our Concierge can arrange for customized tours of both national parks.
Dine on the Brahmaputra
A private dinner atop a cruise on one of India’s mightiest rivers is on the bucket list on world travellers. Tick this sublime experience off yours, with Vivanta Guwahati’s Dine on the Brahmaputra extravaganza. The Brahmaputra runs along the entire length of Assam, but is at her most scintillating along the ghats (riverfront steps) of Guwahati. Your well-appointed cruise will set sail from either Bharalu or Kachari ghats, taking you on a leisurely journey of astounding beauty. As the sun begins to set, the crew sets up a table for two on the deck. Feast on a customized four-course meal and click your champagne flutes as the sun sets over Saraighat Bridge, giving you moments to treasure for a lifetime. The cruise dinner can be adapted for any group of people, with the added option of dining on an island in the Brahmaputra.