Guwahati's myths and history have extended to several thousands of years. Guwahati was the capital of the mythological kings Naraka and Bhagadatta. The ancient sakti temple of Kamakhya in the Nilachal hill, Navagraha, the nine planets temple located in Chitrachal Hill and archaeological remains in Basista support the mythological characters and the city's ancient past.
The Ambari excavations trace the city to the 6th century AD. The city was known as Pragjyotishpura and Durjoya in different periods of time and was the capital under the Varman and the Pala dynasties of the Kamarupa kingdom. Descriptions by Xuanzang reveal that during the greatest Varman king Bhaskaravarma 7th century AD, the city was stretched to 19 km and probably was the principal base for his strong naval force. The city remained as the capital of Assam till 10-11th century AD under the rulers of the Pala dynasty. Excavations in Ambari and the brick walls and houses excavated during construction of the present auditorium of Cotton College, Guwahati suggest that it was a city of great size with economic and strategic importance till the 9-11th century AD.
There are a number of historic features in Guwahati. The Dighali Pukhuri is a rectangular lake that was connected to the Brahmaputra, and was an ancient boat yard, which was probably used by the Ahoms in the medieval times. Moreover, there are many tanks, temples, ramparts, etc. in the city. The most important archaeological site is the Ambari excavation site close to Dighali Pukhuri.
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