Ambari excavations trace habitation in the city to the sixth
century. Epigraphic sources place capitals of historical kingdoms,
like Pragjyotishpurnagara, in the Guwahati area. Guwahati was a
Mughal administrative and military center for lower Assam, and it
became the seat of the Borphukan, the Ahom viceroy for the western
part of the Ahom kingdom.The Dighalipukhuri is a rectangular lake
that was connected to the Brahmaputra, and was probably dug for
naval reasons by the Ahoms.
The name Guwahati is derived from two Assamese words: guwa (betel
nut) and hat (market place). It was situated midway between two
powerful kingdoms: the Ahom and the Koch kingdoms. This city is
surrounded by hills and from the top, it looks like a cave (Guha in
assamese) and with river Brahmaputra and bharalu, the looks like a
picture of an elephant (Hati in assamese). Many people believe the
name was Guhahati which later took the form of Gauhati (under
British dynasty) and then changed to Guwahati.