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. In the past few decades, southern Guwahati areas such as Ganeshguri, Beltola, Panjabari, etc. began forming a southern sub-center surrounding the capital complex at Dispur, principally depending on the GS Road corridor. The area which is about 5 km from Dispur i.e. is abundant with beauty. The core area consists of the old city with Pan Bazaar, Paltan Bazar, Fancy Bazaar and Uzan Bazar, each one facilitating unique urban activities.
Among the city corridors, the most important is the corridor formed along the Guwahati-Shillong (GS) Road towards the south (almost 15 km from the city-center). The GS Road corridor is an important commercial area with retail, wholesale and offices developed along the main road, and it is also a densely-built residential area in the inner parts. The capital complex of Assam at Dispur is situated in this corridor. This corridor has facilitated the growth of a southern city sub-center at Ganeshguri, along with other residential areas to the south developed during the past few decades.
While Paltan Bazaar is the hub for transportation and hotels, Pan Bazaar is centered on educational, administrative, cultural activities, offices and restaurants. Fancy Bazaar is the hub for retail and wholesale commercial activities, and Ujan Bazaar mainly contains administrative, retail and residential areas. With these bustling areas, the city core is a busy and lively part of the Guwahati. Ulubari, Lachit Nagar, Chandmari and Zoo Road (R.G. Baruah Road), which have a mix of retail-commercial and residential areas, can be considered an additional part of the core. Many malls like Big Bazaar, Pantaloons, Vishal, Sohum Shoppie, etc have their outlet in the city, where latest, modern and fashionable outfits are easily available.
Also all the modern electronic items like mobile phone, Ipods, I phone, LCD TV etc with advanced technology are found in Guwahati. Also, people from entire North East come here for shopping. Many multi-storied flats have been constructed in recent years. Also many digital cinema halls have opened in the last few years for entertainment. Rabindra Bhavan , ITA cultural center Maskhowa are some of the places where cultural functions are organized regularly.
The corridor extending towards the west (around 30 km from the city-center) contains a rail-road linking not only Guwahati but also other parts of the North Eastern Region east of Guwahati to western Assam and the rest of India. The corridor links residential and historically important areas such as Nilachal Hill (Kamakhya), Pandu, and Maligaon (headquarters of Northeast Frontier Railways) before it separates into two - one towards North Guwahati and the other continuing west towards LGB International Airport via the University of Gauhati (Jalukbari). There are also many river ports/jetties along this corridor.
The third major corridor extends towards the east (around 15 km from the city-center) linking Noonmati (Guwahati Oil Refinery - IOC Ltd.) and Narengi, and has facilitated residential growth along it.Highway NH 37, which encircles the city's southern parts and links the southern corridor in Nomile to the western corridor in Jalukbari is currently supporting rapid development. Similarly, the VIP Road linking Zoo Road with the eastern corridor and recently completed Hengerabari-Narengi Road are also supporting massive residential development to the east.