Guwahati is a major city in eastern India, often considered as the gateway to the North-East Region (NER) of the country and is the largest city within the region. Dispur, the capital of the Indian state of Assam is situated within the city. Guwahati is one of the most rapidly growing cities in India. During past few decades it has experienced unprecedented spatial expansion and also steep rise in population. Today, the city straddles between the LGB International Airport in the west to Narengi in the east for almost 45 kilometres and between the southern bank of the Brahmaputra river and the foothills of the Shillong plateau for around 15 kilometres. The city is also getting gradually expanded to the northern bank of Brahmaputra and also to the south to the Ri-bhoi district of the neighbouring state of Meghalaya. Guwahati with population just 0.2 million in 1971 is a million plus city today. Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), the city's local government covers an area of 216sqkm, while Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), the planning and development authority covers an area of 340sq km.
It is a major commercial, administrative and educational centre of eastern India and is home to world class institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati. The city is also a major centre for cultural activities and sports in the North Eastern Region and for the administrative and political activities in Assam. The city is also an important hub for transportation in the North East Region.